Any thoughts or questions about the grieving woman were soon put behind me as we started our ascent. It’s not that I’m cold hearted, I just feel that she was in a place of her choosing to deal with whatever it was that had shaken her. I also had to concentrate as the path to Ermita Santa Eulalia was strewn with rocks and loose stones. Ankles could twist easily here.
It was hot and getting increasingly hotter as we moved up the mountain and although overgrown gullies offered us some temporary shelter I was keen to get to the top. I had no idea what the land ahead was like and it was already late afternoon. We had to beat the darkness.
The climb was steady and we met several small groups on their way back down. Sweep was in his hairy element; skipping elegantly from rock to rock as if they were nothing, the rest of us having to involve hands and laboured lifts of booted feet. Four points of contact and a low centre of gravity do have their advantages.
We came upon an arch in the rock which looked completely natural. I was amazed by it and stopped to fire off a volley of photos. We took the opportunity to have a drink and rest for five minutes as I felt completely out of shape.
It was while resting that I noticed an almost hidden path behind us and a green arrow crudely chalked on a nearby rock. I must be part cat.
The little deviation took me into a cave of sorts; a red rock arch with the most unusual impressions in its walls and ceiling, like the bones of some ancient alien race gone to the mountains in their dying moment. It was cool inside and I marvelled at the formations. I have no idea how they came to be but I enjoyed my moment in the bizarre and beautiful cave.
Back on the main path we followed its twists, rises and turns through more narrow gullies and over protruding rocks that wound up to a clearing in the forest. Logs lay about making benches and we stayed here for another breather before the final leg of the climb up to Ermita Santa Eulalia.
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