mountains, mushrooms & a druid

I slept amazingly & suprisingly well, the earth was loose and soft. Nevertheless, I woke up uncomfortable, my knee was clearly swollen, the contact with the floor painful.

A few cars had already driven down the steep path next to me, but I was still too tired to get up. Soon there was a woman with a dog standing near me, almost overstraining my waking brain by simply speaking french.

However, I understood so much that it was way too cold and that I could happily go into the barn for shelter. I managed to say that it was okay with my good sleeping bag, but that I´d love to have a coffee.

Limping I packed my things while she made our coffee. When I got to the terrace, not only was there a coffee, but also bread and sweet spreads! In addition, 3 large barking dogs, but they all made a good-hearted impression and they turned out to be 🙂

From a short exchange between Iris & dog Tacco, I learned that her mother tongue is German, and our conversation took off.

It was a Sunday morning and she was soon going to church. I was happy to accompany her and her husband, as I am always interested in finding out what shapes people and why they are the way they are. We had some good conversation and then prepared lunch together, which we enjoyed with a great view of the lake and its surrounding mountains.

I said goodbye after we exchanged contacts and continued to see Julian.

Funnily enough, the steep climb ended only about 25 meters after Iris house, and after less than 10 minutes I was there.

I knew about Julian’s camper, sprayed with graffiti, and recognized him on a small plot of land next to a little house, a hut more likely.

Bamba, Julian’s lively dog lady, saw me first. Her owner noticed me, too, when he heard her barking joyfully. Julian came quickly to the gate, it was a happy reunion. Although we hadn’t seen each other often in life, we were united by a deep loyalty and good friendship. He is the allready mentioned druid, whom I respect very much not only for his deep knowledge of the plant world.

In addition, there were 2 Spaniards on the property who had settled in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, north of Lake Geneva. I was warmly welcomed and very lucky to have arrived at a squad-like structure because my knee had become like a heater and was clearly red, swollen and restricted in its movement.

For the next few days I stored it up; alternately cooled it with ice packs from the freezer; made some simple work in the collective and was able to shorten my (waiting-) time with binge watching Vikings on Netflix. I almost never do this anymore, but when the circumstances allow, it happens about 1 time year.

And yet it got no better. Luck came to me again in form of a Spanish woman, who had visited us before on two evenings and gave me a cream consisting of over 30 herbs that slowly brought me relief.

Julian was busy. Most of the time he was repairing a car he had bought for just 400 francs, and sometimes he had gone to the mountains to collect hallucinogenic mushrooms and herbs. It was difficult for me, but I stayed at home these days.

Finally, on the fifth day, I had enough and wanted to experience mountains again! And so we went to the mountains in the morning…

It was the day my soul had been craving for.

The physical challenge of the mountains, the rapidly changing weather, my guide who was well versed in this area and the experience of discovering the consciousness-expanding mushrooms in their natural environment for the first time in my life, the wonderful mountains and the joy of being with Julian & Bamba created a day that I will never forget.

My knee had hardly bothered me. I felt it clearly in the evening, but after all we had hiked steeply up and down for several hours.

I made up my mind to visit Iris again the next day and continue traveling the following day. Julian hopes to find a suitable piece of land soon to live up to his permaculture ambitions, and we agreed to see each other in Sisteron in about 2 weeks.

Oh yes, I almost forgot something!

The days when I wasn’t very active because of my knee also had their productive side.

I had a basket attached to the handlebar that you can click on and off – I got it from my grandma along with her old bike 🙂

Inside was a rucksack with many compartments that I found in Switzerland and which I appreciate because of its many organizational options.

I wanted to combine the mechanism for attaching the basket with the rucksack – and after some effort I succeeded and I had created a great front pocket that has its center of gravity exactly on the axle of the front wheel and thus has nothing of the maneuverability of my bike takes.

Pictures will follow!


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