8 September 2016
Day one. Mönchengladbach to Bad Elster (by train)
Bad Elster station consists of a platform in the middle of a wood, poorly lit and no busses or taxis to take us on. Only a dark cobbled road led away from the station, so we followed that to a road which led to another poorly lit woodland road which led us to where we wanted to go.
At least our landlady was still up when we got there and so we were able to get into our room. The town, however, had shut for the night and so there was no welcome beer or warm meal to round off sitting for 12 hours in trains or railway stations. Alan had sustained himself with a couple of cups of coffee, one large orange juice and two railway station sandwiches! Not a good start for walking the next day!
When Alan cared for his father he found it a struggle to get his poor old dad to drink at least two litres a day. He said then, " this will not happen to me!" Famous last words. In the night after the forced march and little to eat or drink all day, Alan had a couple of attacks of cramp in his feet and calves. He drank a little and took some magnesium. However as we shall see this was not enough!!!