G3VGR RHEINSTEIG     Braubach - Kamp Bornhofen      

After an early breakfast, I caught the train from Osterspai back to Braubach, arriving around 0845. The morning was very foggy, but warm and humid as I rejoined the trail, which went up from the town to Marksburg castle. Unfortunately, the castle didn't open until 10AM, so I carried on my way, having quite a few steep ups and downs to contend with on this stage. The morning was spent on forest trails with some steep sections and the fog started to lift a little as the morning wore on.

The highlight of the morning was when I reached a viewpoint overlooking the deep valley of Dinkholder. The panorama encompassed the whole valley resplendent in fresh spring foliage and, through the mist, across the Rhein to the town of Spay. The sun came out later as I made my way past Osterspai to Filsen. There followed a steep climb to Filsener Ley, high above the Rhein with stunning views of Boppard across the river. This part of the trail had a high complement of hikers.

Despite having completed over half of the Rheinsteig, I still hadn't figured out the correct etiquette for greeting people on the trail. In the Allgau and Austria, "Grüss Gott" universally suffices, similarly "Bonjour" in the Pyrenees. However, the Rheinsteig is more confusing and using "'Morgen" or "Guten Tag" elicits varying responses. I tried to simplify matters by communicating with a hearty "bore da", but Welsh seemed to be lost on everyone greeted this way. Eventually, I resigned myself to settling for the less inspiring "Hallo" as my standard trail greeting. It probably didn't help my case that I was improperly dressed for hiking in Germany. When a German partakes in any pastime, it is always necessary to correctly dress up for the occasion. The standard German hiking uniform appears to be a pair of convertible long trousers, checked shirt and sweater or fleece tied around the waist. I don't suppose the people I passed were overly impressed at being greeted by an old tramp dressed in shorts, t-shirt and a battered suede bush hat.

The remaining walk to Kamp was uneventful and I finished there, feeling too tired to carry on to Bornhofen. I had booked accommodation in Filsen for the night, which now presented transportation problems, because not all trains stop there, especially on bank holidays. The train I caught passed Filsen and stopped at Osterspai, where there was an 90 minutes wait to get back to Filsen. I used the waiting time constructively by sitting outside a kneipe drinking beer with a fellow Rheinsteiger. He was an impressive character, with similar dress sense as mine (unusual in a German), and was heading North, hoping to reach Bonn by the following Sunday. We discussed at length the eternal mystery of why the Dutch appear incapable of brewing drinkable beer.

I arrived at the Hotel Altes Tor in Filsen and, after a shower, went for a stroll along the riverbank opposite Boppard. The Altes Tor's kitchen is supplied with meat and wurst from it's own butchery and dinner was excellent. Next door to the hotel is a local Rheinsteig Office but it was closed that evening.

Foggy morning

Trail near Phillipsburg

Dinkholdertal

Spring blossom by Osterspai

A foggy view of Boppard from Filsener Ley

Forest trail to Kamp

Shrine near Bornhofen

Altes Tor, Filsen

Boppard

Nice evening along the Rhein


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