Episode 4 – Spessart-Tour
After our cycle trip, „Against the Wind“, along the North Sea coast, Alexandra had to do some revision for her final exams, and I didn`t want to disturb her. So I packed up my bike again and took a train to the Spessart, just wanting to enjoy some time alone with nature and camp outdoors in the woods; not in a tent, but on the ground, protected just with a thermo mat and my light summer sleeping bag, and with a tarpaulin to keep me covered if it rained.
My journey started in the pouring rain in Blankenbach by Schöllkrippen, near Aschaffenburg. By the time it had stopped raining, I was in Westerngrund, where I began filming.
My route took me over a kind of plateau with a view over luscious meadows, fertile fields and green woods, past old fruit trees and grazing cattle, and always on the look out for good photograph subjects, as long as it wasn`t starting to pour with rain again. I love rain! Not just because it makes the land lush and green, but also because of the peaceful atmosphere and the special scent it exudes. The fair weather fools stay at home, and I can be alone with myself and the silent world. Peace! Rain – sun – wind – clouds, the weather changes constantly. Raincape on and off, hood up, hood down. Can I do some filming or do I have to put the camera away again?
There`s a car now and again – unfortunately! In this sparcely populated area, the roads are just tracks and the tracks are roads. The inhabitants are often talkative and curious when strangers appear. But I don`t want to talk, otherwise I wouldn`t have come – I`m only interested in my natural surroundings. I really do want to be alone, just believe me! I`m suspicious of people who natter all the time, no matter what. Just keep those jaws moving… They prattle their whole lives away and don`t realise that words are just a means of referring to the unfathomable which lies between the words – just as every sound, every noise can only point out the silence between itself and the next noise, the next sound. The silence, which for ever evades sound, noise and comprehension itself.
Through a blanket of cloud, the sun shines between the treetops of the Huckelheimer woods onto the forest floor, conjuring (konndschuring) up a beautiful array of colours with its silky light. Colours, which are only visible to the naked eye, not to the camera – so you`ll have to come and take a look in person some time.
I was intending to set up camp for the night at the highest point, but it then occurred to me that that would probably be where lightening would first strike, so I thought otherwise and found somewhere lower down, where I nevertheless had a fantastic view of the villages, fields and woody hills. But I did have to fight my way through several metres of knee-high, wet grass before finding an even patch where I could lay out my blanket and fix up my tarpaulin.
There weren`t enough trees standing close enough together, so I quickly carved myself 2 pegs, in order to stretch the tarpaulin out in every direction. It was bound to rain again in the night, and I didn`t want to end up with a soggy sleeping bag. Wet and freezing – in the pitch black of the woods in the middle of the night – no thanks! Better to snuggle up warm and listen to the raindrops falling on the tarpaulin, and not on me.
At half past three in the morning, it began to chuck it down. That was fine by me! The tarpaulin held strong and the sleeping bag served to keep me warm. Although I`d noticed the tracks of wild boars, there was neither sight nor sound of them in the night, which was quite a relief. Just a pair of slugs under my sleeping bag, looking for – whatever… They didn`t survive long, as I steamrollered them when I rolled over in the night. But a third had a lucky break: It crawled up onto the tip of my nose while I was lying on my stomach, and I put it back into the damp grass.
By eight thirty I`d had enough sleep for the time being. Meanwhile, the rain continued to pour. So I sat up and got out my MacBook to make some final touches to my Adwords campaign and answer a few mails. Open-air office, I call that. That`s what I´ve always dreamt of, to work and make money independent of location. This dream has come true. Guys sitting in offices only have themselves to blame!
As rain had been forecasted for the whole day, reaching its climax in the evening, I packed my things together as soon as there was a break between showers, got on my bike and made for home. Inevitably, it rained all the way home, so I only took 3 more photos and gave up on filming entirely.