The South Tyrolean farmers created the so-called "Waale" centuries ago to irrigate their fields and meadows in dry times. The water is diverted by means of the shallow "Waale" from the streams of higher valleys - sometimes even from far above the timberline - and transported over long distances along the slopes. Depending on the terrain, the water flowed in dug earth channels cut into the rock or in wooden channels ("Kandeln"). Water rights are used to distribute the water precisely to the various landowners, whose withdrawal is regulated by valves and gates. The clattering of the "Waalschelle", which was driven by a water wheel, indicated the steady flow of water to the "Waaler" on duty. If branches or other rubbish got caught, the "Waaler" had to clean the watercourse and repair it if necessary. For this purpose, easily accessible paths had been laid out along the Waale. Around Naturns and Meran, one of the areas of the Alps with the least rainfall, a wide network of irrigation channels developed, some of which are still in use. Today these beautiful old paths have become popular hiking trails without too many ascents.
The highest point of this tour is the imposing Juval Castle, built on a rock, which the extreme mountaineer Reinhold Messner acquired in 1983 and turned into his residence. The castle complex, whose origins date back to prehistoric times, was built by Hugo von Montalban around 1278 and, after a turbulent history, fell into serious disrepair before it was acquired and renovated by the Dutch colonialist William Rowland in 1913. Reinhold Messner has housed a collection of Tibetan art, masks from all continents and a collection of mountain paintings in the castle. However, the visit is also worthwhile above all because of the impressive castle grounds.