Deep in the forest a tractor is blocking our way. A log is chained to the front, and a man in dungarees darts out from behind a tree as we wonder how on earth we are going to get past. He puts down his chainsaw, to ask where we are heading. His name is Hans, he was born in a nearby village, and spent his childhood growing up with the trees. He tells us they were planted in the 50's when he was a boy. "People come here on holiday. But why would I ever need a holiday when I have all this? I am a lucky man." We gaze up at the tall trees, at the light bursting through the upper branches, and agree that Hans is indeed a lucky man. He is at home in this peaceful place. We are so transient, just passing through as we have done for the last thousand kilometres, like the Roman soldiers who marched this route.
Hans says he hopes we have sun. "But it's all the same to nature. Sun rain, the trees like it all." He places huge scuffed leather gloves down on my handlebars and together we gaze up the gravelled forest track at the hills that will fill our day. The gravel hills I normally hate, but recently mind less. Our encounters with the
Hans tells me he learnt his English in