little screams

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This post is about a 14km walk from Kemating to the Inn riverside. I wake up in a field, visit an abbey, and sleep next to the river.

The night before, as I was looking for a place to sleep, I ran into Sepp I. He was an outdoor enthusiast about to go into retirement, and he was riding his bike around for fun.

the Sepps

It turned out that he knew everybody in the area. He even knew Sepp II, a dairy farmer who owned a bunch of land next to where we were standing.

And so this morning I woke up in my tent on Sepp II’s land. I dried my stuff, did my exercises, ate a banana, and packed up. That’s when I saw Sepp riding his bike up the road. He had come to give me some apples from his yard and two granola bars, and to see me off.


I walked on a road through the hills for about a half hour until I reached the Franciscan Abby Au am Inn. It had a church that looked unassuming from the outside but spectacularly baroque from within. There were large religious paintings, there were relics, and there were weird little piles of skulls and bones.

I remembered some friends in Iran telling me that they had visited churches and found them a bit creepy, and it suddenly made sense.

the kids

When I entered the courtyard, I ran into Alain, the caretaker. He told me that there were ten nuns left in the abbey, and that parts of the building had been converted into a kindergarten and a school for special needs kids.

One time a lady went into the gate and came out with a boy of about 10 years of age. He seemed to have an issue that caused him to scream at short intervals. They weren’t very loud screams, and both he and his mom seemed to be used to them, but they were screams.

I watched them cross the road together, him, screaming and holding his mom’s hand, and her, leading the way. And I had to think of the unspeakable things that had happened at Hartheim.

the way to the river

I took a path through the woods and the fields after this. In the late afternoon I reached Gars am Inn, got some food, crossed the river, and walked along its riverbanks for a while.

I hardly saw any people. Sometimes there was a cyclist, and two or three times I saw guys with fishing rods and buckets on their way home.

When I reached a place with on the riverbank that had a nice view, I mounted the camera on the tripod and sat down with the typical The Longest Way dinner menu: beans and bread, and today there were pickles. And then, as the evening was slowly descending upon the river and the forest, I thought to myself: fuck it, let’s just camp here.


the walk from Kemating to the Inn riverside:

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