Friday 29th of July Ruhpolding to Bad Reichenhall

After yesterday's huge walk I had managed to convince myself that today's would be easier. It was shorter (slighty) and there was a lot less climb. The only hint of misplaced optimism were the timings in the guide which pointed to yet another ten hour marathon.

Stayed at a nice Gasthof in Ruhpolding, cheap, clean and a substantial amount of typical Bavarian food - food that is wholesome but not that exciting. The landlady was really nice, very motherly, and actually invited us to make sandwiches at breakfast.

Had our first heavy shower of the day in Ruhpolding town centre. Ruhpolding, as we discovered, had loads of accommodation and was not a place where you would need to worry about advance booking.

The first 10 kilometres of walking to Inzell was a bit dull, easy, and perhaps put us in a slightly over-confident state of mind for the day. At Inzell we had the first indication that the Man with the Maps, the Colonel, was not on top navigational form and that a five day operation might be a day too many.

Gentle walking to Inzell

The real climbing started just after Inzell (after a small disagreement with a local as to the right route) with a path ascending steeply up 900 metres up to Kohleralm. Got there at about 2.30 and stopped to eat the sandwiches we made at the Gasthof.

St Nikolaus


The weather was now threatening and although the signs were clear enough the information on timings was very confusing. We then started a contour path heading east which in the end took nearly four hours to complete. Not complaining and on a better day the views would have been amazing but the going was tough and progress slow.

Approaching Reichenhaller Haus 

At about four o'clock we got to the Reichenhaller Haus and within a space of 200 metres saw signs that suggested that Bad Riechenhall could be reached in 2, 3 and 4 hours. Just past the Haus we had to take a decision as to whether to continue with the high route or drop down. I said stay high but soon started to doubt my judgement as the rain started to pour down, the path went from high to higher, and the route became increasingly exposed. The last thing Chris wanted to do after 8 hours walking was climb but he stuck with it without complaining despite the fact that the path was getting just a bit dangerous. At last things became less treacherous and we started the mega and often slippery descent down to Bad Riechenhall.

Just before the descent

Bad Reichenhall is quite a big place and although we had a Gasthof booking we had no real idea where it was. After a beer in a bar and instructions we were walking along the street to the Bahnhof with Chris thinking were we travelling in one direction and me the other. The misunderstanding was not resolved by a large street map leaving Chris believing we should turn left and me believing we should turn right. Two local men joined in the debate and although they backed my argument they took so long to reach a conclusion that little confidence was generated.

We headed of in the direction suggested but still couldn't find the street. Eventually we asked a couple of well dressed Germans the way and they suggested that the Colonel had been right all along and sent us the 500 metres or so back to the Bahnhof. Despite the fact that it was now well past eight Chris was jubilant and his victory dance was a bit embarrassing in front of our new cosmopolitan friends.

Back at the Bahnhof, and confronted with the barrier of the railway lines, the confidence of Colonel Chris started to ebb forcing him to seek fresh instructions in a nearby liquor store. Just then the two well dressed Germans reappeared having come all the way to the station to find us, apologise for giving us the wrong directions, and to then escort us all the way back to the Gasthof in the direction originally suggested by yours truly. Chris took the disappointment of being wrong very well perhaps helped by the fact that I only reminded him of his mistake a dozen times.

Anyway alls well that ends well. The Gasthof was excellent, very old fashioned and chaotic, but great fun. Dinner and two huge beers in a local bar finished an interesting and enjoyable day.

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