The Black Forest Mittelweg

In the midst of these crazy times, after cancelling two long-distance hikes because of the pandemic, I’m finally setting off on another multi-day trail. The Paris region where I live in France is still on the German government’s list of risk areas, even though my village of just 200 people is 80 km out of the city and only 10 km or so from Burgundy, which is not a risk area. The German government requires a negative test done 48 hours or less prior to arrival, but there is currently a 7- to 15-day wait for test results where we live and labs are working to full capacity. However, thanks to my daughter who found a lab in Paris that delivers results in a matter of hours, and after queuing up from 6 am to 9 am on Saturday morning, I now have the required certificate. And so, this Monday morning, less than 48 hours after my test results, I’m on a train to Pforzheim via Karlsruhe to start the Black Forest Mittelweg later this morning. After the Westweg, which I walked at the same time of year in 2019, the Mittelweg is the second of the three trails running north to south across the Black Forest. It is shorter than the Westweg, 9 days instead of 13, and looks to be a lot easier, despite a few long days of more than 30 km. The weather is likely to be as wet as last year but, quite frankly, I couldn’t care less: I’m just happy to get away for my first real break since last February. As my train speeds towards Strasbourg and the border, I’ve just filled out the online form to enter Germany and, in just under 3 hours, I’ll start the first 25-km section of the trail at the station in Pforzheim.

To be continued…

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