G3VGR SAAR-HUNSRÜCK-STEIG     Nonnweiler - Börfink      

It was cold and raining heavily when I left the hotel and walked the 2 miles back to the trail. I was feeling a little worse than yesterday. My temperature seemed better, but I was feeling quite fatigued and could only breathe shallowly. This was made very obvious to me at the beginning of today's section, a strenuous ascent to the Talsperre Nonnweiler. The area was deserted and it was cold, wet and windy around the reservoir. I was pleased when the trail led me into the woods, out of the wind. The trail led further upward until reaching a steep rocky section, the Steilabsteig. I was very tired by now and having great difficulty breathing, but after scrambling up this section, was rewarded by a panoramic view over Nonnweiler and its reservoir. It had been a 200m ascent from the start point to this viewpoint. Another 100m further on, I reached the highlight of the day, the Celtic Ringwall of Otzenhausen. This is one of the largest Celtic fortresses in Europe, dating back to approximately 400 BC. Originally, the walls were 20 metres high and 25 metres thick and even today the walls are 10 metres high.

I walked along a section of the wall, conscious I was following in the footsteps of ancestors. It was quite a profound experience and one that I will always treasure. On the other side of the wall, the trail led into the forest and followed a very waterlogged path up to the Dollberge ridge. The Dollberg, at 695m, is the highest peak in the Saarland. The path undulated gently along the ridge and I was grateful for the easy walking. However, there were no views apart from the trees on each side of the path, but it was a pleasant walk anyway, although a little agility was required for some of the boggier parts. The ridge marks the northern border of the Saarland. On reaching the Tiroler Stein, the trail descended into the Trauntal along a narrow path winding its way down through dense forest. After following a brook in a side valley, I saw the marker for the access road to the finish of the stage. My night's accommodation in Börfink was at the Forellenhof Trauntal, a trout farm with hotel rooms and restaurant. I arrived about 3PM and felt so weak, I had difficulty removing my boots before collapsing into bed. After 4 hours sleep and a shower, I felt much better and was ready to enjoy an excellent trout dinner. I saw both thru-hikers in the restaurant, but was too tired to make much conversation and retired early to bed.

The church at Nonnweiler

Talsperre Nonnweiler

The trail climbs steadily above the reservoir

The trail is quite rough in this area

A few shafts of sunlight between the rain showers

Steep scramble up the Steilabsteig

Impressive panorama from Steilabsteig

Celtic Ringwall at Otzenhausen

One of the 18 Celtic sculptures by modern artists
View along Celtic Ringwall

View along Celtic Ringwall

Border marker on the Dollberg Ridge

Summit of the Dollberg, highest peak in Saarland

Along the Dollberg Ridge

The trail is very boggy in places

Schutzhütte after descending Dollberg Ridge

Forellenhof Trauntal

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