We're soon heading off again as we still have a long way to go. The route takes us to Felseralm alp, where we encounter some rather unusual animals for this part of the world – alpacas! They normally live in the South American Andes, but these two creatures obviously feel at home with us. It's not just the children in our all-age group who have a lot of fun with the good-natured animals; the adults are quite taken with them too. We now head along the Hirschwandsteig trail through beautiful alpine pastures. The Hirschwandsteig takes its name from the rock face (the Hirschwand or "deer rock") beside the trail. Unfortunately, we do not spot any deer today.
You can still clearly hear the roar of the Johannes waterfall at some points and in some places even see it.
I bring up the rear of our group of hikers and make sure there are no stragglers. I love the mountains and spend a lot of time here, because hiking allows me to really switch off and leave everyday worries behind me. I am often in the hills on my own – which is all the more reason to enjoy the company and conversation today, and pace we have chosen is perfect for a sociable walk.
We take the odd break for a drink. Herbert tells us about the Alpine flowers, their uses and how they were used in the past, and which ones are poisonous and inedible to livestock.
Cow bells set the pace on this section of the route and the young cattle, who are spending a wonderful summer up on the alpine pastures, watch us curiously. The sun beams down and we glory in it and in the most magnificent view of the mountains you could possibly imagine.