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Hiking with Ball – 40 km

A new experience – 40km hiking with ball without hand!

What the heck ? Why are we doing this ?

Logical choice… 2 guys loving football and challenges.
But in 2021 soccer as teamsport is not possible.
Thank you Corona! Asshole…

We plan to cover & break old and new targets.

First step: 40 km hiking as a base training.
But – stop- this we can do for sure. We did already do some stuff like Megamarsch or walking 100km uncoordinated around Düsseldorf.
Where is the challenge?
The idea was born: Let’s do hiking with Ball!

Hiking with Ball – what are rules??

There are no rules. Just…
Don’t fucking touch the ball with your hand!
Never! (correct, Flo?)

Where to go?

As we always target Düsseldorf as goal, we already know the Rhine hiking ways down coming from south – both, eastside and westside.
So we choose to start in Homberg, and coming from North to Düsseldorf, using the westside of the Rhine.

Check out our whole track here on Komoot – 40 km wandern mit Ball:

Checklist: What do you need for such a hike?

We wrote several whatsapp to align who is bringing what and started ~1:00 PM by car to get to our starting place. In our car we did a final check.

  • Drohne for cool videos – check
  • Starting Beer to survive the first kilometers – check
  • Backpag with some extra clothes (very cold…) – check
  • Medical stuff – check
  • Basic things to eat like Banana – check

wait, there is something missing… but we don’t know what…

When we arrived at our destination Flo remembered:
First challenge: try to get a ball in Duisburg-Homberg at 1:35 in Corona times on a saturday

Thanks to google maps and some calls, we got a ball at Frütel Sport und Spiel Shop (Ofor 35 Euros and were more than happy.

The story of the ball-hike

Down some stairs to the river – and the ball jumps higher and higher… and nearly was lost. On “Meter 1”. Puh!

Starting in Homberg gives us some impression of the Rhein riverside there. It feels a bit stony not as charming as we used to know our river. But after passing the Highwaybridge the scenery changes – wide meadows and a lot of space to walk, to play and to enjoy.

40km hiking with ball - Nice ways to walk
40km hiking with ball – Wide grassland

So we can walk, play with our new drohne and play with the ball. Little challenges like hitting certain signs are of course part of the game. It could be almost perfect, the only thing that we perceived as not too cool in this part: Sooooo many free running dogs.

But besides that the scenery remains beautiful.
Not crowded, nature, free space – perfect ground for hiking!

40km hiking with ball - Long shadows
40km hiking with ball – Long shadows

After a bit more than 10 kilometers we pass by a kind of airport for “gaming planes” – very noisy. but nice to watch awesome stunt manovers in the air. Must have been experienced UVA pilots.

We passed to another bridge and had to go up some way, away from the river as there was no more way for us. On our way we had an obstacle, a hedge with a lot of thorns. And, yes, of course it happens. The ball falls down in the middle of the hedge with thorns. Impossible to get it out. It is wet, the thornes are thick… really no chance.

But Flo manages it bravely, big Respect! That’s the right performance!

Only downpart: Flo’s shoe was open by one of the thornes – happens.
It needs to be closed. While Flo ties a new bow, Jens plays with the balls.

And then it happens out of nowhere: Jens passes the ball to Flo who is still working on his bow. For an – not explainable reason- Flo stops the ball with his hand… That was cruel! And the first real “miss”, Jens is leading now the “Do not touch with hand” challenge.

Shortly after this event, we were walking on a street and the ball became shortly uncontrollable. As we heard a car, Flo rescued it…. with a hand again.

So in a short time, 2 faults – 0:2.

Round about 16 km we hiked and then realize: The sun is already going down :-(.

40km hiking with ball - Not every sunset is beautiful
40km hiking with ball – Not every sunset is beautiful
40km hiking with ball - It is getting dark
40km hiking with ball – It is getting dark

When we are leaving with the last “good light” an area with some smaller trees, we were actually consuming the last power of our flying friend, the Drohne.
Now it is not always easy to manage as you can see:

There you can witness how our Drohne was being destroyed for the day. (Spoiler: 2 days after “Drohnie” was repaired again – there was no real damage.

We are close to Uerdingen and were so excited that we even missed to listen to Bundesliga as we usually do. It is a good hike with a lot of conversations about the past, the future and the present.

Good thing in Uerdingen: New beer and Pizza!!
Bad thing in Uerdingen: South of Uerdingen you do not return to the Rhine, there is a looooooooong street that you have to walk. And it is getting darker and darker. We see trucks with an amazing speed racing down this street…. not nice. I think they did not see us.

But they only appear every 5 minutes, if they are not there, then the street belongs to us. Here we could highlight our “Übersteigerchallenge” that ended in a classical 41 to 41 Übersteiger. We stopped it cause the more beer and the more dark it is getting, the more dangerous it became to get injured 😉

Some grassland appeared again. The temperature in the meantimes is getting close to ZERO, but we were prepared. Jens with 2x Pullovers and a fleece Jacket, Flo with a windbreaker. We both tried to avoid a big bulky jacket.
It was again an easy walk.

More hard: We passed by Nierst and Langst-Kierst. Our Feet and legs start to hurt a bit and we needed new medicine – but our beer is getting empty. We counted on getting some more beer in this area, all closed. Sad.
So we are with complete darkness, a ball that we cannot touch with hand, getting tired and no beer =(.

We entertained ourselve with listening to “El German Classico” and calling a friend from the US who was supporting us a bit here. Facetime is helpful and motivating!

Close to the “Airport bridge” we release our last Joker – Stephie, girlfriend of Flo. She was so kind to come to us by car car and…. no she did not take us back by car but she delivered us some beer and hiked the remaining way back with us. Thank you 🙂

40 km Hiking with ball - close to the end, the traditional Beuys Büste
40 km Hiking with ball – close to the end, visiting the traditional Beuys Büste

Finally without any further accidents we reached Düsseldorf again and finished our “40km hiking with Ball” tour.

On the final following foto you see Flo touching the ball with hand. It did not matter anymore, we finished, he touched it more often than me (2-0) and everyone cna judge if it was a success with just 2 touches or if we should redo this again 😀

40 km hiking with ball - final picture
40 km hiking with ball – final picture

If you plan to do something similiar, please see our checklist of items that you need to consider when doing such an event:

  • Ball

Thank you for any comments if you like 🙂

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