To make things short, I am having a fabulous time. The least exciting things first.
Thankfully not too many. The first two days my feet weren't quite sure what was happening, but they're starting to get the message.
Fields upon fields of grain dotted with windfarms and almost empty roads flanked by neat rows of equidistant trees for miles and miles, stunning views early in the morning. I will particularly remember the almost eerie silence in the Thümmlitzer Wald (a forest close to Grimma) and the castle in Leisnig.
What will stick with me most, though, is this overgrown country lane one hour outside of Dresden which my Google Maps printouts said I should take (fair play to you, Google). There's probably a message in there somewhere.
Extremely friendly and helpful all around. I keep getting offered lifts into town which I have to politely refuse (looks of puzzlement mixed with bemusement).
But the absolute highlight (apart from today) was Day 2. More experienced hikers might be used to this sort of thing but I was simply blown away.
After a long and very hot day with too many cars on the road, I just wanted a quiet place to lay my head. Walking up to a house behind a field with a few trees, I asked Helmut, the owner of the house and grower of vegetables and flowers, if he would mind me camping out in front of his house. He said the field was not his but would I not camp out in his garden? I would indeed, kind sir.
A short while later, my tent was pitched under a tree next to the chicken coop, I had had a bath and was sitting around the barbecue sipping beer and chatting away with Helmut, Petra, dog Gina and the fattest cat I've ever seen (Helmut swears it's just the fur).
After breakfast the next morning, I left with Helmut's moving note in my journal, a fresh cucumber and an impossibly generous donation to Fighting Blindness.
Pardon me for not being more eloquent but How. Cool. Is that.
Next update in Halle with our first guest piece.