Friday, May 16, 1650
Two miles further down the road, you come to a sign, with two arrows pointing. To the right, the wide road paved with blocks that you’ve been travelling, the sign reads ‘Ravensburg, Buchhorn.’
To the left is a narrower road made of cobblestones rather than blocks, where the trees come right up to the edge and haven’t been cut back. The sign that way reads, ‘Lindau.’
Jan indicates that this is the road. ‘We shall more easily gain passage there than in Buchhorn – in a day and a half we shall finally rest our weary feet, and make our way down the Rhine.’
Before continuing on, Jan stops to cast a spell. He announces that it will rain soon, and rain heavily ... “We will have to walk ten miles before we can find shelter.”
At that, he begins up the road. It is very little time before you learn that the road is quite steep in places, and that it rises and descends in stages – you will have climbed more than a thousand feet before the day is out.
Sure enough, the rain starts; by now you've guessed that Jan has a predict weather spell. It's pretty miserable; the rain makes trickles, then runs of water along the sides of the road, often sweeping across the road from one side to the other where the slope allows. Emmanuel is suffering a fair bit, as he has low soft boots, but he remains stoic and betrays it only in his expression, not in his voice.
The steady climb becomes less and less pleasant, but from time to time you're blessed with a fine view of the landscape, marked by hills covered with trees. Now and then you see a wild apple tree in bloom, and there are petals scattered on the soaked road in many places.
Jan points out a low stone post with a Roman numeral IV on it, claiming that it is four miles to a hostel at the high point of the road. Not long after, you come across the first other travellers you've seen on the road: a family whose cart has slipped off the road and is now stuck in the mud.
There's a father, about forty, and a boy about fourteen pushing at the back of the cart, while a boy of twelve is managing the reins on a sad-looking donkey, well along in years. A young girl, no more than six, sits in the back of the cart, covering herself from the rain with a dripping shawl.