The forecast and the sky both indicated rain, so I did check the bus schedule as an alternative. My reading glasses needed repair, though, so I was delayed until the shops opened. By that time, the first band of showers had cleared out, so I did set off on foot. Every so often during the day, a black cloud would threaten overhead, prompting me to hole up under a tree canopy or a bus shelter.
This morning the route followed the river Naab as we left Schwandorf, then headed uphill a bit. The little villages come along frequently, every few km, punctuating the rolling fields of grains and seed crops (some is mustard, some is for canola oil).
At mid-day the monotony was broken at Neukirchen. The church, although dedicated to St Martin (of Tours), had a statue of St Jakob and a pilgrim-stamp. Yay! The lodgings here don’t have designs on their stamps, only the church stamps have graphics for my pilgrim credential. That was the good news. The bad news was that the route went up steeply (so steep they had installed stone stairs, now moss-covered, wet, and slick as …) about 50 vertical feet. Fittingly, there were markers along the way for the Stations of the Cross. And at the top was a tiny chapel dedicated to St Ann.
Fortunately the rest of the afternoon was very gently downhill and I did not have more rain. This is the longest day I have walked this trip so far; 6 hours door to door including the hour-long noon halt. That is pretty good for me. I feel I am beginning to recover my stamina.
One might think that when the operator of the village gasthaus is also the village baker, and that when arriving guest inquires when is the evening meal, and the response is, “whenever you like”, that one might actually get an evening meal. One would be wrong. Good thing I have the last of the Czech brown bread and butter, and some nuts, squirreled away in the pack.