Saturday 6th August Habernau to Spital a.Pyhrn

So today was a transfer day from the E4 walking the Weitwanderweg 04 to the E4 walking the Weitwanderweg 01, the higher Alpine variant of the E4. Now I'm in Austria I've realised that my approach to the transfer was really clumsy and that if I had done it yesterday when the two routes got close to each other then I could have reached the alpine variant in a couple of hours or so. As it was I waited for them to diverge and then caught a train down the valley from Steyrling to Spital a.Pyhrn.

The good news is that Christine's knee is holding up. It seems to work going up, on the flat and can cope with gentle descents. Trouble is we are in the Alps and gentle descents are few and far between. We have looked at the rest of the itinerary and compared to what we have been doing I think we will be staying high longer so perhaps will have fewer descents. We are going to see how things go tomorrow, the first tough walk for a couple of days and then see - fingers crossed.

Normally, today's walk would have been pleasant but in the middle of the Alps it was just a bit dull. A 24 kilometre walk from west to east first along one valley next to a river and then, after crossing a ridge, along another valley next to river. The trees were great, the noise from the river was lovely, but it wasn't quite what you hope for when walking in Austria. One thing, after lots of rain in the night and despite forecast rain for today, the weather was good, sunny and warm.

Climbing up to Ring

Along the Steyrling

Stopped mid morning at the Almtaler Haus where Christine bought what she thought were two bars of homemade fudge/nougat which, on sampling later, turned out to be soap. She was very cross.

Didn't stop again - apart from a quick sandwich and the customary immersion of Christine's feet in icy river water - until early afternoon when we had tea and strudel at a bar in Steyrling. I was fed up because the sign said it would take an hour and half to walk to the train station (although the fact that there was a station at all was a small miracle). In the end it took only 30 minutes, and a train came just 15 minutes later.

Lovely mountains around the town but Spital a.Pyhrn itself appears to be a bit of a dump. Will be glad to get walking in the morning and get my teeth into the Alpine variant of the E4.

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