Rheinsteig Stage 6: Rengsdorf – Sayn 15km

Rheinsteig Stage 6: Rengsdorf – Sayn 15km

In this article I write about my sixth stage on the Rheinsteig from Rengsdorf to Sayn, past the Nonnenley vantage point and through many forests. The article is part of my Rheinsteig series, here it goes to the stage overview and here back to the fifth stage.

Day: 02. September 2017
Start: 09:00 am – Hotel Waldterasse in Rengsdorf
Goal: 01:00 pm – Sayn – Accommodation at a friend’s house
Distanz: 15 km / 9,32 Miles

Important notes for the 6th stage

Are there shopping facilities on the 6th stage of the Rheinsteig? No, there are no shopping facilities on the whole stage. Since the distance is comparatively short, you can buy new supplies in Sayn. Is it possible to refill water on the 6th stage of the Rheinsteig? No, on the whole stage there is no possibility to fill up with water. So you should take enough water with you. Where can I spend the night on the 6th stage of the Rheinsteig? In Sayn there are excellent guesthouses and holiday homes, which are however very expensive. Alternatively you can camp behind Sayn at the scout campsite Bexbachtal Campen. How is the marking of the route on the 6th stage of the Rheinsteig? The path is very well signposted and you can’t get lost. 

Map – From Rengsdorf to Sayn

May 31, 2018 11:08 pm
  • Distance 15 km
  • Time 3 h 50 min
  • Speed 4.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 76 m
  • Peak 325 m
  • Climb 674 m
  • Descent 903 m
  • Distance Instructions
Label

The Nonnenley Viewpoint

After a good night’s sleep and enjoying a mediocre breakfast in the Hotel Waldterrasse, I went directly into the forest behind Rengsdorf and to the Nonnenley viewpoint. Here, you have a fantastic view and there is the possibility to camp in case you can’t find an alternative accommodation in Rengsdorf.  Breathtaking, beautiful and completely fascinating I walk through the forest. Despite a very dry weather period, the forest creates its own climate. It is incredible how much water and moisture the forest holds for itself and its creatures.

It feels a bit like a greenhouse – high humidity, controlled temperatures and everywhere it’s teeming with life – I’m really impressed. The whole way to Sayn leads through the forest.

Arrival in Sayn – a mental challenge

After only 4 hours I reach Sayn and visit my old colleague Dennis, with whom I also spend the night. He tells me about an old colleague who died on vacation and how it was at the funeral. I shared a room with this colleague, and the whole story is really hitting me. It seems that death is the main theme on the Rheinsteig for me. On the fifth day I barely found a way to deal with the many commemorative plaques in the small villages on the Rheinsteig about the First and Second World War, now a message that affects me directly and gets the thought cycle going again. It’s hard for me to get positive thoughts. Dennis says that he has a football match in the afternoon and asks me if I want to join him. I accept gratefully and watch the soccer match of the Kreisligaspiel D. Not spectacular but still a change of pace.

How can you weep over a person who died? Those who have loved him and lost him are to be lamented. Helmuth of Moltke

Dennis asked me after the game if I would like to come to the castle festival in Sayn, but I refuse because I was totally exhausted. The last few days have been pretty hard to walk. In addition to the physical exertion, the loneliness and the news of the death of an old colleague hit me hard. I decide to go to sleep and have no regrets about this decision for a second.

Conclusion of the day: To have friends and family with which you can exchange yourself is very important – on a hike and in real life. Here it goes now directly to the seventh stage.


I hope with this article I could give you a little insight into the sixth stage of the Rheinsteig. If you like this article, I’m happy about a Like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I’m looking forward to your comments. Greetings, Martin

Rheinsteig Stage 5: Leutesdorf – Rengsdorf 18km

Rheinsteig Stage 5: Leutesdorf – Rengsdorf 18km

In this article I write about my fifth stage on the Rheinsteig from Leutesdorf to Rengsdorf on which many memorial plaques to the First and Second World Wars dominate my thoughts. This even went so far that I got lost and noticed this after more than an hour. The article is part of my Rheinsteig series, here it goes to the stage overview and here back to the fourth stage.

Day: September 1. 2017
Start: 09:00 am – campground Leutesdorf
Goal: 06:00 am – Rengsdorf
Distance: 18 km / 11,18 Miles

Important notes for the 5th stage

Are there shopping facilities on the 5th stage of the Rheinsteig?
In Leutesdorf and on the way to Rengsdorf there are as good as no shopping possibilities. Later on the way you’ll find in Feldkirchen the Rheingast service area, which is open to Rheinsteig hikers. Northern of Rengsdorf there is an Aldi Süd and a REWE.

Is it possible to refill water on the 5th stage of the Rheinsteig?
In Feldkirchen at the Rheingast and in the Steakhaus Altwied, you can refill your water bottles. 

Where can I spend the night on the 5th stage of the Rheinsteig?
In Rengsdorf you can stay overnight in the Hotel Waldterasse. Here, however, you should make a reservation, because the staff has hard times with spontaneous visits. Alternatively, you can camp at the Nonnenley vantage point in emergency cases, which is located just 300m behind the Hotel Waldterasse directly on the Rheinsteig.

How is the marking of the route on the 5th stage of the Rheinsteig?
I lost my way once that day because I was deeply lost in my thoughts and noticed this after an hour. I marked the spot on the map. 

Map – From Leutesdorf to Rengsdorf

May 31, 2018 10:58 pm
  • Distance 18 km
  • Time 4 h 38 min
  • Speed 4.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 78 m
  • Peak 319 m
  • Climb 920 m
  • Descent 783 m
  • Distance Instructions
Label

My breakfast in Leutesdorf

I’m trying to get up early again to make miles. My alarm clock goes off at 7:00 and I notice that I have a lot of condensate water in my tent. The fact that I cooked the evening before close to the tent has now turned out to be a small mistake. The water vapour collected in the tent and is condensed on the tent wall at night. Somehow it affects me, because my tent and some clothes are soaking wet. I need to get things dry during the day.

After I have taken down the tent, it goes directly to Leutesdorf. A small village without a bakery or shops. Since I haven’t had breakfast yet, I ask an older woman if I can have breakfast somewhere in Leutesdorf. The lady smiles at me and sends me straight to the Youth Hostel. There you can have breakfast until 09:00 am, she calls after me and I went directly to the modern and trendy youth hostel.

The buffet is really nice and I enjoy my breakfast. Later I talk to the chef of the youth hostel. He comes from Rengsdorf, which is my goal for today, and wishes me good luck on my way.

After breakfast I leave and decide to take another break shortly after Leutesdorf. The sun hits me and I see this as a chance to dry my tent, sleeping bag and clothes. A small refuge with a wooden couch is ideal for this.

Lost in Thoughts – Commemorative Plaques of the big Wars.

On the way to Altwied there are many remarkable memorial stones to the First and Second World Wars, which made me very thoughtful and brought tears to my eyes. In some villages the men and sons of the families were almost completely wiped out. In addition to the names of the martyrs, the commemorative plaques also contained words of encouragement for the bereaved.

“The high forest is a church
So go in there with devotion.
Little birds sing pious songs
I am alone with my God.
There are gates open to you at all times
To this cathedral in the silent grove
You can cry, pray in it and hope – 
You can also forget
Just step inside.”

Saying in the forest next to a commemorative plaque

A cloud lay over my mind and it is difficult for me to create other feelings or even to admit them. The question about the wars and why there is no learning from them built up a spiral of thoughts which I barely managed to escape from. It even gets so far that I miss a sign on the Rheinsteig and realize after an hour that I have lost my way.

Arrival in Rengsdorf

Arrived in Rengsdorf I go directly to the hotel Waldterasse. I needed a bed to sleep in and reflect on. In the evening I dine with 5 other hikers from Baden Württemberg, who walk a hiking trail that crosses the Rheinsteig. A funny round that takes my mind off things.

The insight of the day: It is hard to get out of a spiral of thoughts alone if you are not prepared for it. Here it goes directly to the sixth stage.


I hope with this article I could give you a little insight into the fifth stage of the Rheinsteig. If you like this article, I’m happy about a Like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I’m looking forward to your comments.

Greetings, Martin

Rheinsteig Stage 4: Linz – Leutesdorf 27km

Rheinsteig Stage 4: Linz – Leutesdorf 27km

In this article I write about my fourth stage on the Rheinsteig from Linz passing Arenfels Castle until Leutesdorf. This stage should not be taken too lightly as there are many ascents and descents. The article is part of my Rheinsteig series, here it goes to the stage overview and here back to the third stage.

Day:  August 31. 2017
Start: 07:00 pm – Hotel in Linz
Goal: 06:00 pm – Campground Leutesdorf
Distance:  27 km / 16.7 miles

Important notes for the 4th stage

Are there shopping facilities on the 4th stage of the Rheinsteig?
In Bad Hönningen (after approx. 11 km / 6.8 miles) there is an Aldi Süd and a REWE – but you have to leave the Rheinsteig. Those who want to camp on the camping site in Leutesdorf should stock up with food here again, as there is no shopping possibility in Leutesdorf and no food is offered on the campground (there is still a pizza delivery service in Leutesdorf, but I didn’t  try it).

Is it possible to refill water on the 4th stage of the Rheinsteig?
Fill up your water bottles again in Bad Hönningen, because there is no possibility to fill them on the last 10 km to Leutesdorf (unless you ring people’s bells in Hammerstein and ask for water – that’s how I did it).

Where can I spend the night on the 4th stage of the Rheinsteig?
In Leutesdorf there is a public campground and a youth hostel. If you want to check in at a hotel, you can visit the “Hotel Leyscher Hof” or the pension “Café Am Rheinsteig”. Both are very well rated.

How is the marking of the route on the 4th stage of the Rheinsteig?
The path is well signposted, so you can’t get lost.

Are there any further recommendations for the fourth stage of the Rheinsteig?
Yes, start the day well rested as there are many ascents and descents and the day can be very long and exhausting.

Map – From Linz to Leutesdorf

May 31, 2018 10:41 pm
  • Distance 27 km
  • Time 0 s
  • Speed 0.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 59 m
  • Peak 282 m
  • Climb 1398 m
  • Descent 1304 m
  • Distance Instructions
Label

The first ascent on the fourth stage

Fortunately, the announced thunderstorms and the storm warning from the previous day did not come true. After a very good breakfast in the Linzer Brauhaus I start the day with some rain. The city of Linz really has charm, is worth seeing and there are fantastic half-timbered houses.

Shortly after Linz the route goes steeply uphill and as a reward there are wonderful views of the Rhine. What I particularly notice on this route there are many shelters and places where you could camp wild or in emergency situations. A situation that didn’t show up in the first few days.

Passing Arenfels Castle

One of the first highlights of this day is the neo-Gothic castle Arenfels in Bad Hönningen, where you have a fantastic panoramic view. The castle Arenfels was built in the years 1258 – 59 under Gerlach von Isenburg and was rebuilt from the year 1848 under the patronage of Earl Westerholt Arenfels to a castle. Arenfels Castle has received the nickname “Castle of the Year” because of its 365 windows, 52 doors and 12 towers. 

While hiking I notice that my legs and feet are well moving and I barely feel no pain. Shortly before Bad Hönningen I take a short break and decide to walk to Leutesdorf. It’s 01:00 pm and I’ve covered the first 10 km / 6.2 Miles.

After Bad Hönningen, the route leads directly into a bird sanctuary with breathtaking natural scenery. After I have left the bird sanctuary, it goes again into the forest and to the small village of Hammerstein. As my water is running low I try to find a shop in Hammerstein, but there is none. A nice woman fills up my water bottle and wishes me a good way to Leutesdorf, which is about 5.5 km / 3,4 Miles from Hammerstein.

Camping in Leutesdorf

Shortly before Leutesdorf I see on my map that there is an official campground in Leutesdorf. As I want to camp again, I go directly to the local campground and set up my tent. On the campground there is almost nothing going on, except for a few permanent campers there is nobody there.

The campsite is located directly at the Rhine, which is why I take a short walk to the bank of the Rhine after setting up my tent and experience an unforgettable sunset. I enjoy the peace and quietness on the Rhine and in nature.

Like the stars in the sky:
Quiet and moving!

Friedrich Hölderlin

After the sun has set, I go back to the campsite and prepare my supper – ramen noodles with broccoli cheese mixture. I can’t believe how good this supper tastes to me. Then I slip into my sleeping bag and fall asleep. My last thought on this day: my feet feel better and my shoes become softer. A first glimmer of hope for a relaxed hike in the next few days.

Conclusion of the day: Because I prepared my food in the tent, I had a lot of condensate in it the next morning. My insight: Do not prepare hot food in the tent, otherwise you will have too much condensate in it. Here it goes directly to the fifth stage.


I hope with this article I could give you a little insight into the forth stage of the Rheinsteig. If you like this article, I’m happy about a Like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I’m looking forward to your comments.

Greetings, Martin

Rheinsteig Stage 3: Bad Honnef – Linz 17km

Rheinsteig Stage 3: Bad Honnef – Linz 17km

In this article I write about my third day on the Rheinsteig from Bad Honnef to Linz am Rhein. After I slept in the youth hostel of Bad Honnef and was able to treat my feet well, I went to Linz am Rhein today. The article is part of my Rheinsteig series, here it goes to the stage overview and here back to the 2nd stage.

Day:  August 30. 2017
Start: 08:00 pm – Youth Hostel Bad Honnef
Goal: 04:00 pm – Linz am Rhein
Distance: 17 km/ 10.5 miles

Important notes for the 3rd stage

Are there shopping facilities on the 3rd stage of the Rheinsteig? In Bad Honnef and in Linz am Rhein there are shopping facilities and restaurants. In the youth hostel Bad Honnef you can have an extra breakfast for a few euros. The breakfast buffet is not special, but it fills you up. After about 7 km (4.3 miles) you reach the Haanhof estate, where you will find a box with small drinks and snacks for hikers. Is it possible to refill water on the 3rd stage of the Rheinsteig? There is also water in the drinks and snack box for hikers at Gut Haanhof (approx. 7 km /4.3 miles behind Linz), otherwise just ask at Gut Haanhof. Where can I spend the night on the 3rd stage of the Rheinsteig? There are many rooms and hotels in Linz am Rhein, but they are expensive. However, one should always be able to find accommodation. One possibility for emergency/ wild camping is about 2 km behind Linz at a sports field (see map). How is the marking of the route on the 3rd stage of the Rheinsteig? The path is well signposted, so you can’t get lost.

Map – From Bad Honnef to Linz

May 31, 2018 10:33 pm
  • Distance 17 km
  • Time 4 h 28 min
  • Speed 4.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 68 m
  • Peak 335 m
  • Climb 842 m
  • Descent 898 m
  • Distance Instructions
Label

The Rheinsteig is not easy

It is the third day on the Rheinsteig and my blisters could recover well. After breakfast in the youth hostel I set off again. It goes straight into the forest and permanently up and down, which is damn hard. At this moment I also realize that the next two weeks will most likely go on in the same way.

Shortly before Unkel I take a first break on a meadow at Gut Haanhof. There is a box with snacks and drinks for hikers on the Rheinsteig. Perfect to recharge your batteries and take a deep breath. Afterwards it goes uphill and downhill again, through forests, over meadows and through small villages. 

Adaptation of the travelling budget

Actually, I have planned to sleep in my tent again for the coming night, but I receive a thunderstorm warning with strong thunderstorms from the German Weather Service. Since the storms in the last weeks have been very bad, I decide to take a room in Linz without further hesitation.

Everyone complains about the weather. But nobody can be found, who does something about it. Mark Twain

Here I also realize that the Rheinsteig is not a pilgrimage on the Way of St James, because the prices for rooms are very high. I pay 70€ for one night, which is pretty damn much for a hiking vacation. Compared to the Way of St. James you pay 5 – 15€ per night in the Albergues. To my satisfaction, however, I have to say that the room in Linz is damn good 😀

Before I go to the hotel, I make a visit to the St. Martin pharmacy in Linz to cover myself with new Compeed blister plasters. After I arrived at the hotel, I began to treat my feet. After three days on the Rheinsteig they look very catastrophic, but thanks to a good blister management I am able to treat my feet well.  Afterwards I go to the local Italian restaurant and order a pizza and a beer.

Summary of the third stage

As I sit in the restaurant, I feel really good and enjoy life to the fullest. I am tired and have pain, but the difficulties of the hike awaken something in me that deeply fulfills me. Tomorrow I try to reach the youth hostel in Leutesdorf. A 29 km stretch, with a good elevation profile. Even if that’s the plan, I don’t know if I can make that distance at the moment. I fall into my bed exhausted in the early evening and fall asleep quickly. The day’s insight: The Rheinstein is hard – damn hard! Here it goes directly to the 4th stage.


I hope with this article I could give you a little insight into the third stage of the Rheinsteig. If you like this article, I’m happy about a Like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I’m looking forward to your comments. Greetings, Martin