I recall one rainy evening I walked the steepest hill, not as steep as the final hill to Alto de Poilo, but steep. I passed some American who were sitting on big rocks. I could see the long winding path ahead of me and was so tired at this point that I couldn’t think about the difficulty I faced. I was ready to rest as soon as I made it to an alberique. “Let us know how hard it is, will you?” asked the man. I grinned and walked on.
Yes, that climb was hard. I guess the long walk that day had deadened me to the pain. I stopped occasionally to rest before tackling the trail again. I remembered how an Australian couple told me that they never stop on hills because they lose momentum and it takes too much energy to get started again. I never found that to be the case for me.
I passed a long fence with little crosses on it, woven into the fence. I didn’t take time to make a cross. I could see the highway in the distance. I kept on and then the rain started. I walked faster. Finally I made it to a town. It was like I popped over a hill and there it was! I decided to go to the first alberique I saw.
A young man welcomed me and said I was only the second person to get a bed. I tried to get a coffee to warm me but the machine took my money but gave no coffee. So the lovely young hospitalero ran across the street and got me a coffee. I could have refused , thinking I don’t really know where it came from and if it was drugged. But I trusted the kind looking guy and drank it down quickly. I rushed into the sleeping area, got unpacked and settled in for a nice warm nap.
Later that night I borrowed a fleecey which was hung near the desk. The next morning I gave the young man a tip for the use of his fleecey and for being so darn nice to an old pilgrim!