In the morning we had a little hard times getting up early, but we wanted to get out as soon as we could to go on an about 30km hike that day.

Despite full research we couldn’t find any hikes through the national park Bory Tucholsky, but only bike tours (which are way longer than what you can do on foot). We decided to develop an own route and put it in our hiking app. Looking at the park’s web page, everything seemed quite strict: dogs absolutely have to be on a leash, no way to go off the path, and you’re not allowed in without a valid ticket.

Alica was thinking: if they have such regulations, they better have a place to eat there too. So she mainly took care of the amount of water we would be bringing.

The path is the destination

Our camp ground was close to the park, so we got there after a 20min walk.

Immediately we realized that our plan to use park maps on our cellphones, wasn’t a great idea: the majority of paths which we saw on the cellphone didn’t exist in real life, and the paths we saw in real life were not existing on our maps. On top of that, many paths were obstructed by large piles of logs.

Anyways we went on following our intuition and a compass. Other than that, we were looking at only one thing: pine trees. Every direction, every corner – pine trees.

Alica said that the description she read about the park would unveil more variation soon – we would see lakes, prairie, and most of all some birch forest, which she loves. However, even a couple hours later we saw: PINE TREES. Everywhere. The following picture represents our mental state in which we were after many hours of hiking through nothing but pines.

Nevertheless we liked the wonderful moss beneath the trees.

Many hours later

With our cellphone maps and a rough cardinal directions we found a lake, and Leni and Dràgàm could take a bath.

We had a long ways to go still, so we went on. As we rarely met other people and saw nothing but pines, walking became quite a meditative.

Avoiding people

When we got to the central part of the park, we suddenly found a couple wide roads and cyclists. We knew we had to get off that road, we didn’t want to continue in between all those people. So we checked out all the small paths that crossed our way, sometimes being not sure whether we were actually allowed to walk here, as some of them suddenly ended or had tree crosses in them like saying “don’t go on here”.

But, we also found official paths that were empty and out-of-the-way.

Everywhere we saw dragonflies, and while the dogs took a rest, we took pictures of dragonflies.

A crisis

At about 22km into our hike Alica started to become impatient. WHERE IS MY BIRCH FOREST! With some effort, we found a couple single birch trees for Alica. Her mood got a bit better. Maybe we would even find a little prairie for Josi.

Soon though we had different thoughts going on. We got hungry. By now Alica gave up hope for her food kiosk. Luckily we had packed Muesli and a little milk powder. We took a break and soon discovered neither of us had brought a spoon. So we had lunch with a stick.

The way back

Full of muesli energy we started our way back, or at least tried to head towards where we came from, roughly. The landscape still didn’t change: pine trees. Alica was happy when we found a couple more birch trees and Josi made it look like a forest for the picture.

For the remaining part of the route we were wondering, why exactly this is a national park and even an UNESCO biosphere reservation, if there’s really nothing but pine trees and a little lake. The explanation we found afterwards on Wikipedia .

Surprise

Getting towards the end of our hike, we found a little interesting path, which seemed not allowed to be walked on though.

Translating it, we found it said “Please note: cage is closed due to bad shape because of cancellation. No trespassing”. As we thought the path was looking really nice though, we decided to walk in anyways. If anybody would catch us, we’d say we are germans and didn’t understand the sign. A good decision, as the wooden path turned out to be very nice.

It really wasn’t in bad shape, only a couple wooden pieces were broke, no problem to walk around it though.

Home sweet home

Getting back to the campground from here was quite fast then. We saw on our tracking app that we had walked 34 km. Here’s our  Route. We are not sure through, how many of the paths we took were “official” hiking paths. And always take sturdy boots.

Finally food!

Back at our tent we first fed the dogs a big meal. Then we wanted to cook dinner for us. It was quite windy and so our stove didn’t stay on for long.

Of course we forgot our aluminum cooking windshield at home. So we built a wall with all the bags we could find. We cooked delicious beet noodles.

Alica loved the pink color of our beet pasta.

Around 9pm we got into our tent – everybody exhausted. Dràgàm was so tired, he didn’t even mind Alica abusing him as a pillow.

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