See im Großen Moor, 800 days away!September 4 in Germany
Now this is more like it! While the 6 places we've stayed since setting foot back on the continent have all been good, we feel we've really connected with this spot, on the shore of See im Großen Moor, a lake near Meckelfeld. Parked up beside a single track dead end road, the layby of hard packed earth we are in is plenty big enough for the van, but not so big that other cars can pull in along with us. Through the trees to our left we can see a grassy field and to our right, a narrow path has been cleared between the foliage and leads from our door, over a walkway and to the water's edge just 15m away. Whilst the area feels very rural and has a sense of peace, it is in close proximity to Machen rail terminus, comprising over 100 train tracks and surrounded by many urban areas, not to mention Hamburg just to the north.
The sun was shining brightly when we arrived so Will soon joined the other people splashing about and cooling down in the lake. The bed was sandy with a few large rocks at the edges and it became deep quickly so it was ideal for wild swimmimg. He returned later with his snorkle, exploring the fronds of yellowy green weed and the fallen trees, their submerged trunks reaching out branches like fingers. Vicky waited until late afternoon before getting her cossie on. Although it felt cold, it was in fact warmer than the freibad we swam at a few days ago and she soon acclimatised. We swam nearly 400m to the opposite bank, then around the head of the lake and back to our little entry point. Immature Perch darted along beneath us while Coots and the occasional Great Crested Grebe bobbed on the surface. We were pleased to see two other pairs of swimmers making their way up the lake. Vicky watched in awe as one pair passed by in front crawl, their face immersed for several strokes before they drew breath. She was used to doing this in heated pools but found the breath went out of her when in cold water, forcing her to take the air every stroke. She spent some time practicing and found that after 20 minutes she was able to swim as they had been, albeit over a much shorter distance!
As the light began to fade, Will spotted a few hares in the field opposite. From the cover of the van we were able to watch them quite naturally lying down, their long ears pinned back, almost reaching their tails. Evening brought an intense sunset over the water. Rich warm hues backlit the woodland skyline, transitioning to cool blues in the higher echelons of the atmosphere before being capped with inky blackness. Once darkness fell and Vicky had gone to bed, Will went for a quick dip under the twinkling stars.
Morning light revealed dense mist blanketing the area, turning the world black, white and shades of grey. The air and water were still and Vicky took her yoga mat to a small wooden platform on the lake shore for her morning session. All was calm, but for the occasional 'Splosh' from a large fish jumping above the surface and creating concentric circles of ripples. It was a relaxing 30 minutes.
Before leaving we took the 2.4km track around the lake, coming close to the train tracks at one end. The sound of metal on metal as engines screeched to a halt, wrenched the air like some sound effect from a horror movie, but in contrast, the 3 people we met along the way were remarkably friendly, with one even having a good natured laugh and joke about Will's kilt, which of course Will loved!
We have been on this tour for 800 days now. The time has whizzed by! Our health issues have meant we've needed to be flexible with our itinerary in the past 8 months in order to attend UK based appointments but this in turn has meant we've enjoyed more time with family and friends. Many of our plans have worked out and we've clocked up a total of 56,200km; that's 1.4 times around the world! We've visited 20 countries and toured 15. Vanlife isn't without its challenges but we are having a blast living the lives we do! Thank you to everyone who travels vicariously with us and who like and comment on this blog, it is wonderful to have your company on the road.Read more