She is tired already and decides to rest. Thinking about her birthday has made her feel sorry for herself, something she tries to avoid. She knows there is no point in dragging over the past but it is hard not to.
She sits on a boulder by the side of the path and looks about her. Ahead she can see the gleam of the river Erro, as it snakes its way through the valley towards the sea. The path twists and turns down the mountainside but, apart from a splash of red in the distance, probably the last of the pilgrims disappearing from sight, there is no-one about. Despite the sun, which by now is climbing steadily higher, she feels herself shiver. Even on the moors she has never felt as isolated as this.
She gets up. If she follows the path, it will take her to the river’s edge where she can fill her water bottle. Gingerly she makes her way down the scree-covered slopes until she reaches the bank. The river is fast-flowing and the water tumbles over the rocks, creating mini-waterfalls that sparkle in the sunshine; she crosses it carefully, hopping from one stepping-stone to another until she reaches the far side. The grassy river bank is dry and spotted with wild flowers. She sits down again, letting her rucksack slip from her shoulders onto the ground beside her. There is no-one about. A silence hangs in the air like a spell waiting to be broken."