And this is where the lessons came in. The day started steeply through forest and mist keeping us cool, followed by some flatter sections and then some pretty incessant climbing for pretty much the rest of the day. For the first 4 hours or so all was well. We stopped for a good lunch break, carried on and then after around 5 hours of total walking Esther's energy took a plunge. In the past this would almost certainly have led to friction building, finger pointing and sometimes shouting....none of which ever helped. But today we were able to put into practice some of the great techniques we have learned from the books by John Gray, author of Mars and Venus. For my part I did my utmost not to become Mr Fix it and downplay Esther's struggle. For her part Esther encouraged me and reassured me I wasn't doing anything wrong, she'd tell me if she needed my help. Then because of being able to stay present and in harmony we even managed to draw out lessons about thru-hiking, what we liked, what we'd change, what we both really want. It was a very beautiful application of things we have been learning lately.
Finally, it also helped to consider what we were most grateful for today. For example, as luck would have it, the higher we climbed all day the higher the mist hanging over the region just retreated. When we reached 1000m the mist was at 1200m. When we reached 1200m, it was higher still. Even when we rounded a col at 1935m toward the end of the day the dark threatening clouds remained over adjacent peaks but never overhead. It is only now writing this in the tent that the rain has finally arrived. We have been very blessed with the weather. It was also a treat to see Chamois at almost 2000m altitude hopping across rocks and, of course, the staggering views we have enjoyed.