Travel

Take a hike – Eisleck Trail Luxemburg

I’ve taken a few days off from work to take a hike with a friend of mine. The plan was to walk for four days, through the hills of Luxemburg. We’d spend the night camping on campsites on the route. Well…that didn’t work out.

Intended route

Eisleck Trail Luxemburg

Eisleck Trail Luxemburg

The plan was to start in Kautenbach, and walk a bit beyond Troisvierges. About 48 kilometres in total. We’d be doing it in four days, so it should be an easy hike:

Day 1: Kautenbach – Enscherange

Day 2: Enscherange – Clervaux

Day 3: Clervoux – Troisvierges

Day 4: Troisvierges to Asselbom (nearby anyway).

But like so many plans, this plan fell apart as soon as it got in touch with reality.

First crossroad – got lost

As soon as we left the Kautenback trainstation, we ended up lost. We took the turn, and followed the sign to the left. And discovered that there were no other signs. It took us well over 30 minutes to remember that last year (when we did the track which ends in Kautenbach from the South) we had stumbled across a sign towards our current destination. Eventually, we found it, and we walked for about 6 hours.

The weather was above expectation. Forecasts had been talking about rain and cold, but it was sunny and a good 15 degrees, sometimes even 20. This was awesome.

Small castle en rout (Source: Escapardenne.eu

The trail took us over hills, brought us to amazing viewpoints, and followed the many creeks and small rivers flowing through Luxemburg. Small rocky paths were followed by broad sandtracks, and some grass, and then more rocks and sand. It’s a delight to walk their. We reached our camping with little problems, and pitched our tents. Next, we got our cold-weather gear out. We had already put on our thermal underwear, and now it was time for the light weight insulating matresses and ridiculously expensive sleeping bags, which guarantee comfort to minus 10 degrees.

Freezing my ass off

Well, I’ll be blunt: I froze my ass of. The night temperature was minus 5, but somehow, my sleeping bag forgot about the insulation promisses made. I dozed off every now and then, but kept waking up from the cold again. Rubbing my arms, my legs to get the blood flowing again would ease things a bit, and helped me fall asleep again. This happened several times. The next morning, I was rather grumpy. So was my companion.

But we headed on our second day, towards Clervaux. The route was, again, hilly. Tiring at times. Beautiful at all times. I mean, I hiking, I love nature, so I love Luxemburg. It’s an absolute paradise for hikers.

Except, this day, we couldn’t find the camping….

Clervaux

Clervaux (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Where to sleep?

So there we were, in the centre of Clervaux, not a camping in sight. Now what? We asked for directions, and someone pointed us to a camping. 3 Kilometres back. Back up the hill we had just come down from. Uhm…no.

So then what? I suggested we could continue our hike to Troisvierges. After all, the Clervaux-Troisvierges was supposed to be an easier bit. And it was still kinda early. We had sufficient time until sundown.

Instead, we ended up taking the train to Troisvierges. We had left the car there, and went for the camping. The next day, we’d just go back (by train) and walk the remainder.  But first, we had to eat, and build camp. This went quite alright, and it seemed less cold than the night before.

But still, it was cold.

The next day, the first thing I did when I woke up, was take a leak. Then, a good HOT shower. Aaaah. Days like this make you appreciate the small things.

Then, breakfast.

Low morale

Morale was low. For me, the first night was a major disaster, the second just a minor one. My companion had experienced the nights exactly the opposite. Night one was do-able, but the second… we sat and ate our breakfast in silence. We couldn’t really get going.

We looked at eachother, and probably both came to the same conclusion: time to go home.

Appreciation

Which is where I am now. At home. Behind the computer. My home. The temperature a comfortable 18 degrees. Not a bone in my body is feeling cold anymore. I’ve had my good coffee. And I am an experience richer.

We didn’t succeed in our “mission”. And I definately WILL go back and finish that track.

But next attempt will be in summer 🙂

 

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