chapter 14 Hiking the Austrian Alps – the golden lakes and a new haircut

We were still at the Hitchhikers´ gathering, sponsored bSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES y dtsg (see last chapter), up in the mountains near Nauders, in southern Austria. The weather forecast predicted rain throughout the whole day. We got up late in the hut, still warm from the wood stove where we cooked oats and coffee for a lazy late breakfast. Soon the clouds dSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESispersed and the sun broke through, of course we decided to spend the day outside and go exploring the mountain peaks that surrounded us. There was a path leading up from next to our hut to the Goldseen – “Lakes of gold”. We followed it through dark forests, muddy fields and across cow-meadows. Fields were blooming in all colours, even the stones and rocks were colourful. We crossed small creeks and saw SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTUREShorses, small calves, butterflies, more flowers and mushrooms. Taking pictures while waiting for the slower hikers among us to catch up. It was very hot. After walking maybe two hours we met a family who was coming down, they told us it was at least one more hour of fast hiking up. Uff, still so much? -but we didn´t want to turn around now. So one by one, each in his or her own pace, we reached thSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESe top. There it was only big stones we had to jump across and small patches of snow. We were now 500 meters higher than the hut, on 2400m over the sea level approximately. Some of us jumped in the ice cold water, just for the picture or to proof themselves they can. It was freezing cold. They had not yet put their clothes back on when SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESsuddenly it started hailing! We put on all we had and ran across the rocks back don the hill. After ten minutes the sunrays broke through and the rain stSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESopped, the mSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESountain turned from terryfying to beautiful again. We went back down to the hut, the muddy fields now more mud than fields, but in the hut it was warm and we could dry our clothes and have a cold beer. Only one of us had the energy to still walk a whole hour down toSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES the valley and go dumpster diving. He returned some hours later carrying a big bag full of vegetables the supermarket workers had offered him.  Ah, it´s so nice to be among hitchikers, they care about each other. We implemented a freeSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES shop and a donation box- as it is tradition. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis evening two more hitchhikers arrived. In the evening we shared swiss chocolate and listened to hitchhiking stories. The next day started nice, sunny and hot, we had a shower in the ice cold river next to the hut. Lying in the sun, reading. We decided to walk down and check out the village. After 10 minuted a car passed, we stuck out our thumbs and it picked us up. It as the keyholder of our hut. We asked her what food (herbs and fruit) we could gather at this season in the forest, her answer was “deer”. We explained we were all vegetarians and vegans and earned a big laugh. She took us all the way to the village. When we jumped out SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESof the car, we met the hunter, some of us had catched a ride with him earlier. He offered us a ride up, we felt really popular, so many people offering rides! We arranged to go up with him at 7 o ´cSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESlock in the evening. We went to drink coffee and check the Internet to make future plans. We passed the supermarket at closing time and asked for leftovers that they would throw away, but they told us to come back another day, they had nothing. We walked to the church lit by the romantic evening sun, found some old bread on the way, behind the bakery and met the hunter who gave us a ride up. He is trying to hunt down a fox. We started cooking dinner and drinking beer. Someone knocked our door, we opened, it was the hunter. Offering to cut someone´s hair. We needed a volunteer and found one. The hunter turned out to e better hair-dresser than hunter, our friend was really happy about his new look! The next day we felt sportive and decided to climbSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES the “kleiner Schafskopf” (=small sheephead) of 2750m aprox. We had lots of SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESsun, heat, blue sky, flowery fields and a rapid pace with nice conversation. Up there we had snow, and small lakes, too. This time I went in to take a quick bath, the water was cold but outside really nice with the sun. We went up to the peak and walked across the mountain ridge. It was really beautiful, we felt tempted to climb all the higher and lower peaks that surrounded us. On the way back we found a herd of sheep and then crossed a skiing resort, that somehow spoiled the landscape. When we arrived at the hut, we had a sunburn and felt happy and tired. Drank a beer and wrote some letters, lying in the shade. The next day already was the last dSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESay unfortunately we couldn´t rent for more time. But we also felt it was time to carry all the empty beer bottles down the hill and move on, most of us going south for the next hitchhiking adventures. Where to exactly  was to be decided still, it´s so hard to make plans!





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