So, thinking it’s going to be a really short day, I take off much later than normal. I plan on stopping at the Westmalle Abbey to try some genuine Trappist monk beer made on the premises. Unfortunately the place was closed when I got there. There was a chain hanging by the door with a sign saying “BEL”. I pulled it a couple of times but nothing happened.
I had planned on seeing if I could spend the night at the abbey. When that didn’t work out I walked on to a hostel about 3.5 km down the trail.
When I got to the hostel, there was an older couple cleaning up and ready to lockup. Evidently the hostel is only open Fri and Sat thru May. So, I was either a day too late or a couple of weeks too early.
They were volunteers and not from the area.l, so, no idea about hotels closely. However, he started calling around and found a hotel about 3 km off the trail. I hate going so far of the trail but didn’t have much of a choice.
We talked for a little while and then I took off. A few minutes later, their car pulled over and she hopped out with a bag. She offered me the bag which included bottles of water, chocolates and some other stuff to eat. As I took the bag, the only thing I wax thinking was – shit, this is heavy. I just couldn’t do it. I explained to her about the weight. She seemed so crestfallen that I did take the box of chocolates.
I felt like a heel but here’s the moral of the story. Do not proffer more stuff to carry on a long distance hiker, at the end of the day. And that goes double if he/she is going 6 km (round trip) off the trail. Because it’s all about the weight