Tuesday July 5th Hinter-Weissenstein to Balsthal

Staying in a hotel in a Balsthal, a big hotel but it doesn't have wifi. This is a major pain because I have just finished my book and I can't download another one. When I'm walking on my own, and I've now had a long stretch on my own, I'm listening to podcasts all day and reading books, on my Ipad, in the evening. I'm dependent on a wifi connection to keep this all fresh and this useless place hasn't got wifi. Still I did knock them down three times on the price of the room.

Another nice day on the Jura Höhenweg. I think things will change after today. Although I've still got another 50 kilometres or so before I get to Dielsdorf, the end of the route, I think I have finished the 1200 metre plus part with the last two days at around 600 metres. In fact the big feature of today's 20 kilometre walk was the 700 metre descent at the end.

Left the splendid Gasthof at Hinter-Wiessenstein at about 8.30 (where they did have wifi) and the scenery was very similar to what I've been enjoying for the last week, although no views of the Alps today. Not sure if that's because I've run out of Alps for the time being or because it was too misty.

As good as it looks

It was a lot warmer today and heat was giving the countryside more of a high summer look, grass looking dry and the trees darker. Lots of haymaking activity and they really don't let any scraps go to waste. No idea what the weather forecast is but it could get seriously hot as I get lower down.

Picture postcard landscape

There was a final peak to climb, the name of which I forgot to record, before the drop down to Balsthal. Before the descent you walked a path along the ridge with a tall fence topped with razor wire on its side. This was definitely about something a bit more serious than deer management. Sure enough at the end of path, and on the other side of the fence, there was a group of young uniformed military men with blackened faces. Didn't have the nerve to take a picture.

And then the drop down to Balsthal, the first place since Saint Cergue with an ATM machine.

My shoes, although dry, continue to smell. Not sure if this is because they are basically trainers or whether it's what happens when you walk miles and miles in the same pair of shoes. They, the third pair, are wearing very thin and it will be touch and go as to whether they are still in one piece by the 19th when the next pair arrives.

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