Friday, September 21, 2012

The Big Hike–Part 3

Well, since we were all feeling fit and adventurous and the kids had not uttered a peep of complaint we decided to take the long route back.  On the posted sign/map it did not look too tough and it was not particularly late.

We started out ok and went on this trail that took us out of the gorge.   As the sign says, we bid goodbye to Taxenbach.


The trail was long and winding as it took us up away from the gorge and we had some very nice views of the woods and river as we walked along.  I do like to notice how much less “safe” touristy things are in Europe.  There are tons of trails that go right along the edge of cliffs and drop offs without a single fence, warning sign or other lawsuit-preventing accessory.  They count pretty heavily on people to exercise some common sense and behave themselves.  Maybe I am cynical about North America, but I every time I see a nice path like this I just imagine a version where someone’s kid falls off the edge and a train of American lawyers are rolling up to sue the life out of everyone in range. 

This is not even the most steep drop off we walked along, but it was a nice bit of the trail.


Every now and then a little stream would cross the path, often with a nice little waterfall like this one.


Mike of course had to stick his head in it.


Sometime shortly after this, it became evident that it was not going to be a leisurely walk, but more of a tremendously strenuous hike up very steep and uneasy terrain.  About an hour out of the gorge, we were all questioning the decision that we made to take the long route home.  This nasty section has no photos because both Mike and I became too tired to stop and take out the cameras.  I was struggling up the hillsides with a laughing frolicking Henrik strapped to my back, and Mike was carrying his belly.

At about 1.5 hours of all uphill walking  we came at last to an Alm where we could stop and have an ice cream break.  Some very much needed cold treats and feet resting took place before we started out again on the final leg of the trek back to the starting point.  We were refreshed enough to bring the cameras back into play.   Here we are as we head out for the (thankfully) downhill portion of the hike.


Austria has a lot of beautiful landscape and we really enjoyed the nice sights as we crossed fields and villages on the way back.  I think one of the highlights was walking through a herd of cows that were enjoying lunch on the trail.  Cherie is posing here with her new friend.

Austria - 2012 2012-08-20 093

All in all the hike took us about 4.5 hours and was somewhere around 18km.  A little more than we planned when we had set out that morning… 

Here we are in the home stretch, walking down the final big hill.


There were still very nice views right through to the very end though.


One of the last things we saw on this route was a big hollow tree that all the kids loved.  Of course each child had to climb inside and have their picture taken.  This is Liam’s version, where he is also showing an interesting rock that he picked up at some point of the journey.  I forget why it was interesting, but he assured me it was.


There you have it, the big hike came to an end and my feet and shoulders demanded that we would take it slightly easier the next day….

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