The girl warmed up to them as they continued to talk. She even tried to talk with Anneli but Anneli was too cautious to speak freely. Eventually they came to a sign that stood on the side of the path. The sign had ribbon tied around it as well as names and phrases carved into the wood. There were in different languages and different alphabets and some had been worn out from rain or vandalized over.
“I’m going to go back to the village, if you stay on the path you will reach the next rest stop after awhile and the top of the mountain is another couple hour’s climb.”
Anneli and Castor thanked her and she turned and walked down the mountain with her goats hopping around her.
“I’m sorry that we got so side tracked.”
“No,” said Anneli, “it is actually nice. I have not been to the top of the mountain in a long time.”
The girl, now several yards away from they yelled back at Anneli and Castor.
“COME TO MY PLACE WHEN YOU COME DOWN IF YOU LIKE! MY HOUSE IS THE ONE WITH THE BLUE WINDOWS!”
Castor waved and the girl soon disappeared down the path. With the branch in hand and with Anneli by his side Castor climbed the mountain. Despite it being a waste of time and far off track he had already come this far so he was feeling a bit motivated to finish it.
“Have you ever wondered what sort of people actually take part in this pilgrimage?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, they must have some religious or cultural reason or ritual or something. Maybe they worship the god of the mountain or something.”