Day 39 / Danis-Val Medel

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A great place to have spent the night; Bettina and her partner are gradually turning the old hostel in Danis into a little paradise…

No rain, hooray! It was a dry day, but the clouds never cleared away as forecasted for the afternoon. Nonetheless, Switzerland remains very beautiful indeed, or at least the Vorderrhein valley, which today again I hiked up. The hike was sweetened by the myriad wild raspberries growing along the Rhine.

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Ever cloudy, yet ever picturesque

I continued following the Vorderrhein until at Disentis the Medel valley branched off to the south, which I followed in the afternoon towards the Lukmanier Pass. I’m camping about two thirds of the way up, at the treeline, by the little river in the Val Medel.

At this point I really must commend the Swiss for their hiking trails. Even in the valleys there is an excellently signposted and dense network of trails from village to village (whereas in Italy, for instance, you are simply free to use the highway, which sucks). It’s nice hiking here, and easy to cover distances, thanks to the good trails and the smaller likelihood of getting lost.

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Val Medel

I’ve said very little about the mission of this trek lately: in part, I guess, because the weather has kept me preoccupied, and in part because several very long days of hiking in a row kept me from writing any longer reflections. Just a brief thing I want to explain here: no borders, the slogan of this trek, is hardly meant as a concrete political programme which I claim to know how to put into practice. Open borders and absolutely free travel are an ideal – a wish, a utopia. But without ideals and utopia, no change for the better in the world would happen. I would rather live in a world without borders, or with open borders, than one divided by borders, walls and fences. That’s why I see my political mission as trying to find out what could change for the better if we did set our sights on the ideal of open borders; small steps in the tight direction would certainly change more than focusing on the impossibility of changing things.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step; a step in the right direction.

Phil

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