Monday 1st August
Today was supposed to be dedicated to a good long hike in the Kitzbuhel region of Austria. Problem was, we woke up this morning with no plan at all, except for “go to Kitzbuhel and figure it out.” As we drove towards Kitzbuhel, the traffic jam leading into this “quaint mountain town” was a dead giveaway; this was another case of Austria in August being just too damn busy. The entire village was actually stationary with traffic, most of it probably just people looking for somewhere to park. Morgan ended up jumping out the car, running into the tourist office to grab a hiking map, and getting back into the car before the traffic had moved. It actually worked rather well, and meant we could hot-foot it out of town as fast as possible.
Morgan had specifically asked for maps of “hiking routes that have lots of shade,” it being far too hot to tackle one of the many meadow-based walks. Our chosen route featured forests filled with swimming lakes, and we figured we’d jump right into a lake after a good hot walk.
The forest walk was beautiful, with views of the mountains behind the lakes and trees.
However, our plans were scuppered when, halfway through our walk, it started to hail. Full on hail, with thunder rumbling overhead as the skies turned black.
We’d set off walking under cloudless skies, in 32-degree heat, which lulled us into a false sense of security. So much so, that we had only taken one umbrella with us! Fools! This poor decision making led to us huddling under one small umbrella two hours later, using the forest canopy as extra protection, but still each ending up with one arm and leg soaking wet.
Lex, of course, was happy to get wet and muddy. He also timed his shakes exceptionally well, splashing both of us with wet, muddy water each time he felt the urge to off-load a bit of water.
We dragged our wet selves back to the car, walking slowly as we continued to share the umbrella. It worked well for the most part, except when Morgan spotted a Pokemon gym and became distracted from effective umbrella holding. (Morgan’s currently enjoying a Pokemon Go revival phase, and informs me that in Austria, the yellow team are actually not terrible.)
The rain was finally letting up as we got back home to “the box”. I made a quick cup of tea on the camping stove, then sat in the backseat listening to Harry Potter, whilst Lex insisted on sitting right next to me, rubbing his wet fur all over my leggings.
Lex whined at me as I painstakingly inserted the “dog towel” between us, seemingly concerned that placing this barrier between us meant I didn’t love him anymore. It’s hard to be a dog.
The sun came out again as evening approached, so I took the opportunity to go back to the nearest lake for a swim. Morgan had discovered a free wifi network in the car park, and therefore was perfectly happy staying where he was. He’d also rediscovered his irrational dislike of water, and couldn’t understand why I wanted to swim.
“Didn’t you see all the ducks in that lake?” He called after me from the car. “You’re going to smell like duck poop!”
“Better than smelling unwashed!” I called back.
Despite Morgan’s dire warnings, the swimming was marvellous. The lake was pleasantly warm, almost like a bath, and floating in the middle of it, looking out over green meadows and grey mountains was divine.
I headed back to the car after swimming a couple of lengths of the lake.
“I smelt the duck poop before I even saw you” Morgan said by way of greeting. I’m sure he was lying. There were hardly any ducks in that lake.
“I smelt the wet dog from the other side of the car park,” I replied. This wasn’t entirely true either. Lex’s husky fur has remarkable self-cleaning properties, and he probably smelt the best out of all of us. Good job too, because between the heat waves and unexpected rain we were facing on a daily basis, we could well have been living with a serious case of hot-wet-dog smell. Or maybe we are, but we’ve become immune to it! We’ll have to find someone to do an independent test.
You might have noticed we’re actually back from our road trip now! But we’re still catching up with our backlog of posts that have been patiently waiting to be published.
Hit the Follow button to stay updated and find out exactly how all this ends, as well as hearing about our next big adventures!