There was a long and exposed climb at the beginning of today’s iteanrry so I got up and started walking back to the trail a little after five am. Turned out to be an overcast and colder day so the climb was easy. It was foggy and slightly drizzling. When one sood still, distant birds could be heard. Further up the mountain the mist was condensing so extensively that it was actually raining locally by them.
Later in the day the weather cleared up and I got to the road leading to “Casa de Luna”, and lo and behold there was a guy waiting there to drive people the last two miles off trail to Casa de Luna. He had hiked the trail the last year. While waiting for the next hiker we talked about New York City where he currently lived and i had lived. He wanted to move to a small town along the trail that he had liked and he said the constantly wished he was back on trail and was somewhat jealous of us for being there. Made me wonder about how it will be to get back in normal life after this. The next guy dropping by was the Taiwanese guy I had met a couple of times.
When we got to Casa de Luna we each had to give the hostess a hug and put on a Hawaii shirt. There was an extensive labyrinthesque back garden with many short trees, walkways, camping spots, and small painted rocks. The latter had been made by hikers with all kinds of funny messages or motives. In the front porch, where people hanged out, there was much rejoicing 🙂 People were having beers and for dinner the hostesses made taco salad, which was very nice. I had a couple of beers. After dinner we each had to do a small dance for the hostess in order to get the “class of 2018 bandana”. These were bandanas with a map of the trail and 2018 on them and paid for by previous hikers. I had planned to stay up late, but unfortunately I got both extremely cold and sleepy and got to bed. Regardless, it was nice. I slept terrifically. The hostess said it was a bit like Groundhog Day, as it was new hikers every day and she made the same for dinner and breakfast every day. The host was taking a rest as he had recently had knee replacement.