August 6, Day 24: 517 km. Done!

Last day, last hike, last ninja, last group hug, last words, last moments, last rain drops, last goodbye, last blog entry, BUT … memories that last forever. We crossed the bridge at Wernstein and followed the Inn to the „Dreiflüsseeck“ in Passau together with some friends who stayed with us at Wernstein after the RiboSommer-Fest. There we had our final goodbye and then we all traveled back home while still thinking about the intense times that lie behind us. Thanks to all our great supporters both during the planning stages and during the Riverwalk itself! We will soon be back with the Riverwalk 2017-Film!

August 5, Day 23: RiboSommer-Fest, chillax :)

Ooooh what a festival! In total, 9 different workshops were offered; dealing with topics like community supported agriculture, chances in the climate crisis, non-violent comunication, project management and dancing. Food was provided by the team of Christian from Generation Earth plus their deeply dedicated mums. You can tell how enjoyable the food was by the amount of wasps that were hanging out at the food table, not giving a shit about the most effective vegan wasp trap that was set up JUST above the food table in order to scare the wasps away by imitating a REAL wasp nest.

We were all delighted to see the wasps slowly go to sleep, leaving the airspace free for mosquitos to conquer. Therefore, finally after a long period of being starved out, we set up another campfire for chasing the flying beasts off, plus to take home a little extra spice of smoky clothes flavour. But luck was upon us: the tombola spit out tickets for the most exciting (apart from ours..) festival in this region – the Free Tree festival! The two honored winners from now on suffer from insomnia due to overload of emotions and excitement, thrilled by the upcoming event.

The next applause was awarded to the Riverwalkers themselves, which presented their masterpiece, described in yesterdays blog as „no porridge – we cry“. The enthusiasm in the audience was close to its peak and the bar was set high for the real professionals that took over the stage afterwards. Daniel (Herzwort) and Nora and Peter (Prinz Rosa) turned up the heat that maintained us entertained long into the night before the first rain drops began to cool it down. According to myths and stories the party continued a loong time and they all lived happily ever after.

 

August 04/05 – Day 22 actually, but a little bit of 23 as well ;)

Sorry, we didn´t post anything about yesterday yet. We all woke up pretty tired after a night of moving around. Most of us slept outside without a tarp and woke up as the first raindrops fell on our sleepingbags. We grabbed our stuff and looked for shelter under a pavilion in the garden. We made ourselves comfortable and fell asleep again. After another two hours of rain though, the pavilion got leaky and we had to rush indside the house. It was about six o’clock in the morning then and most of us felt exhausted after the short night. Luckily we had enough time to relax during the day. After breakfast we all sat together and sang our personal version of „No women no cry“ – „No porridge, we cry“. Which we will teach people in workshops while the festival RiboSommer.

After that we began to prepare the big River Festival for today. Some of us went shopping, some cleaned the house and garden and others installed the sound system. Now some are creating some posters, decorate and cook while listening good music. We’ve got a lot of work to do still but with music it makes fun 🙂

Yesterday in the afternoon the group split up as some felt the need for a little solo time. Some went up to the castle again, some went swimming and others had a little competition in table football.

We all came together for dinner again. With new energy we headed out to Schärding to hand out flyers and promote our festival. Successfully ? We will see 🙂

Today, we are already busy preparing for the RiboSommer-Fest in the afternoon. Hopefully many people will find their way to Wernstein and help us make the River Festival an unforgettable experience for all of us. You are all invited, so COME !!! We’ll be happy to see you 🙂 🙂

 

Day 21 – Time to say good bye (part V-VII)

Time has come and in addition the bitter sweet aftertaste of spending almost three weeks intensivly together. Three power-ladies left us today and we can’t say that this didn’t effect us all. Even for those who came as guestwalkers later by, already felt how fast a deep relationship can be built.

However, riverwalk-life keeps going on but today we had a “Do whatever you like”-Day. We all enjoyed our day differently. Some of us left the place and went for a walk, or visited Passau already. Some stayed and invented a song for this project, made a massage-workshop, or used the day to sleep and eat when- and whatever they want and some spent the day with reading.
In the evening everyone who wanted went to the river, swam and covered their bodies with mud. Maybe you can guess the order. There we met a guy from pakistan who joined us with hiking up to the castle of Neuburg. While this walk we exchanged some information about rivers in Pakistan. Who knows where we’ll have Riverwalk2018. Pakistan sounds nice.

 

August 2, Day 20: Almost there!

After a rainy night full of thunderstorms we woke up to a nice morning and had our breakfast while looking outside as the morning sun dried off the wet grass. It was the day of our last bike ride. It began with a visit of the Europareservat Unterer Inn where we spent a few hours learning about the wildlife in that area and the river dynamics during a guided tour with biologist Beate Brunninger. Furthermore we walked through the riparian forest and to the Inn where we saw a lot of rare bird species. This is an important location for migratory birds because it´s their last chance to take a rest before they cross the Alps. The habitat was formed because the hydropower dam slowed down the water and allowed the sediments to create small islands in the river. Filled with knowledge we started the cycling journey to Schärding which is a nice little historic town in Upper Austria. We had a relaxing afternoon next to a small lake while some of us visited the old town of Schärding. After cooking for ourselves most of the time, we really enjoyed having a nice dinner at a restaurant. Then we continued cycling in the cool evening air to our camping spot while enjoying the sunset at the Inn. We were all feeling proud of almost reaching the final destination Passau, which is only 8km away, and celebrated it with a nice evening together!

 

August 1, Day 19: Exploring the Wetlands

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the soccer field, which was our sleeping place for last night. While having our beloved porridge and a first cup of coffee, a journalist arrived, asked us about our project and somehow managed to get a good shot of the still sleepy group.

A little later we took off and started today’s tour which was about 30 km long. Our destination for the day was Ering. As it was pretty hot already in the morning, we soon stopped at a lake in Kirchdorf and all went for a little swim. The lake seemed to be very natural and relatively untouched. We saw a watersnake, ducks and many, many fish. With these impressions in mind we continued our tour along the river Inn and its lack of naturality startled us even more than the other days. All along the way we drove along a dam serving as flood protection and keeps the Inn within its artificial borders. Furthermore we passed two more power plants and noticed that the flow velocity of the river totally decreased in the wetlands.

A stop at a viewing point next to a bird reserve lifted our mood up again. It gave an idea of how beautiful the Inn could be if it had the chance to flow in its natural ways. Tomorrow morning we are going to have a guided tour through this bird reserve which we are all very looking forward to.

But until then we’re going to rest and prepare ourselves for our last bike ride of Riverwalk 2017 all the way to Wernstein.

July 31, Day 18 – Ice Cream Dream

Surprise surprise, our porridge was containing some couscous ­ some left-overs from last nights dinner.

To give you an insight of our morning struggles: packing the van is an every-day challenge since today we even had to include Leas bicycle. Real life Tetris. Also we had a clothing auction with wet towels, shirts and underwear which were left on the fence. Of course they belong to nobody.

With half an hour delay we started our 50 km trip from Kraiburg to Haiming. Our batteries were charged with good food and sunshine and thus we had a really good speed the whole way.

We were promised an ice cream on our way but then had to realize that we planned our break in the only village without any possibility for eating ice cream.

Finally we celebrated the arrival at the sports center where we are going to stay the night with vanilla ice cream, coffee and a bath in the cold creek nearby.

Some spent the hot summer afternoon creating art work, chatting or sun bathing, others explored the nature preserve in Haiming and checked out the meeting point „Innspitz“, the confluence of the Inn and the Salzach. The bike ride and the short hiking tour through the jungle was wild and adventurous.

„Guys, dinner is ready!“ ­ We have to go, the cooks prepared pasta with 60 tomatoes! Tonight the group will gather in a circle to reflect on us and the following days. See you tomorrow!

July 30, Day 17: Cruising through beautiful Bavaria!

After a night without the tarp, we woke up under the blue sky, ate our daily dose of porridge with view on motivated people in the fitnesscenter and got ready to take off to the center of Wasserburg.

Sadly, Daniel had to leave the group today. We had a long goodbye and also some tears. But there wasn’t too much time for sadness because we soon welcomed our new groupmember: Dominic, who is going to join us for the last week of riverwalking.

In the new constellation we continued  our way with the bikes to Kraiburg. We had lunch at a wonderful place next to the Inn with great weather and hot temperatures. Shortly before we arrived in Kraiburg, Jasmin’s bike chain broked. -but we have Jure!!! He repaired the chain within minutes and we could finish our trip. We spent the evening with swimming in a small stream, washing clothes and preparing a bonfire on the river banks of the Inn. So we are having a relaxed and funny end of the day. Oh, by the way: today we’re sleeping in front of the primary school of Kraiburg, thanks to the mayor Dr. Herbert Heiml!

July 29, Day 16: Here comes the sun :D

How sun changes mood and gives everyone a smile even in the morning before breakfast. We guess, or at least it feels like that, it was the first sunny day after two weeks. Already in the night the wildest slept under the stars without the tarp. Others were proud because they learnt how to built a tarp and finally had the feeling to deserve sleeping under their self-made-tarp.

Since we left the Austrian Alps we discovered a totally different landscape in Bavaria: FLAT. Also we observed the new very sad river which turned into a dead flow. It looked like a brownish brew. We remembered how we swam in that river, now we can’t even imagine washing our vegetables in it.

We cycled a very long flat, dry and hot path along the levee of the Inn. Although we had two flat tyres (on the same bike!), we reached our lunch point at 2 pm at a beautiful lake in a nature preserve. Apparently, we were not used to bike over 35 km in hot weather anymore, so once we had eaten our sandwiches most of us fell asleep on the pier.

Altogether we rode 50 km to arrive at our final destination. Surprisingly, it is not a camp site, it is the backyard of a sports center. The night is still young and we might go to the center of Wasserburg later.

July 28, Day 15: Third week, third country :) Guten Tag, Deutschland!

We woke up after a rainy night in Kufstein and enjoyed looking at the sky as it was slowly turning blue suggesting that we will have some nice weather. The cooking team prepared a wonderful breakfast and we enjoyed it while feeling the sun on our skin again after such a long time. We were surprisingly quick to pack everything and to clean the place up before leaving for a meeting with the press in the old centre of Kufstein. After some pictures, Beatrix, our new guest-walker, joined us and we had a quick name game to welcome her. We soon took off on our bikes to Germany, sadly the weather was not like we wished for and we soon got wet again. The river changed its lively mountain flow for a slow lazy movement between two dams on its sides and it was a sad sight. The ride was relaxed and short with a nice snack break in between before we reached our first campground in Germany in the early afternoon so we had plenty of time to chill in the sun, have a tarp building workshop, go swimming, take a shower and have some deep discussions about everything and nothing at the same time. We are now looking forward to a delicius dinner in the sun and a dry night. Meet us on our bike tour to Wasserburg tomorrow!