A slow weekend that began with breakfast and a book on the patio suddenly twisted into a happening hiking one. The beautiful Perlacher Forst is just half a kilometer away from home and right before that comes a small garden called Ost Park. Kumar suggested an easier ‘let’s take reading the book session from patio to the park’ and I whined, ‘will we never see the really good part of that forest?’. He gave in. Before he could change his mind, I packed a backpack with apples, energy bars, water and a picnic mat and off we were.

The target was this place called the Mugl (ironically I had Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone in the backpack) placed right in the middle of the forest. Now we were totally smug, brave, equipped with a good GPS map and high on life when we entered. Slowly after miss reading some signs, we ended up two kilometers away from our destination. After coming back those two kilometers, we discovered that we were on the right track earlier. Eventually we reached the Mugl. And it didn’t surprise us that it was just a clearing with knee high grass and lots of flies and bumblebees. There was no place to sit and we decided to skip a muddy pathway. eventually we encountered a dead end. We had reached the end of the road. Our road had run out.
The forest was no friend of ours. It was as if someone had blindfolded us, led us in the woods, twirled and left. Oh..wait.. I was that someone. At one point I swear I saw a woman with an iPad sitting on the only bench we had seen for miles. And then we saw a boy and tried to follow him from a distance who seemed to know where he was heading but we lost him soon. I still have doubts if we hallucinated him, after all 33 degrees in the middle of the day in Germany is almost like 50 degrees in India.
But all was not lost yet. We decided we shall quickly go back to the beginning, find a shade in the Ost park and have some feel of ‘picnic’. And it had all been a good exercise. Ironically, while all the walking and panting and blaming each other for wrong turns we kept seeing old women passing us by jauntily on their bicycles aware of all roads and as if mocking us.
We kept looking for the sign that would lead us out but eventually we had taken a different road back. And when a sign appeared finally, it was pointing in the opposite direction again. Which meant we had to go back to the wrong turn, take right and walk 3 more kilometers.
There were no serpents or lions or even deers or hares but still the gorgeous forest seemed somehow alive and conspiring in making us lose our way. Even though there was no will, we found a way back home. There was no point counting the total kilometers we walked in more than four hours without sitting anywhere.

And that Mugl we so enthusiastically searched and nearly reached, turned out to be a really special place where we would have reached if we had taken that skipped muddy path. A wikipedia entry that was opened ironically after the trip informed that the Mugl (meaning a small hill) set in the Perlacher Forst gives a panorama view of the forest (as if we haven’t seen enough of it now) and has a red house, some bunker connected to World War II and all that. We may have missed it but we still had fun, I don’t see us attempting to find it any time soon, but you never know, perhaps the Mugl will find us first…
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