I stayed in Camino del Perdon in Uterga. it is on the left, with a very recognisable front patio where pilgrims already seated cheer you on, or welcome you to join them. It is easy to find them if you search on your preferred web search engine.
I am a lot younger than you,
, well, 7 years, but as you know well, there is no one size fits all.
Last time I walked that was maybe before Covid, I don't remember. Going up, I took my time and took in the scenery when at the top.
Yes, nowadays there is a kind of food van for those who want to take advantage of it.
I always use walking poles. Going up, they pull me along. Going down, they steady me and distribute the weight so my knees do not complain so much.
I cannot advise on taking alternate descents as I have taken the rocky path each time. Slow, and slower. no chat with anyone, just focus on the stones and testing each step.
It does come to an end.
Let the recommendations posted above help you to decide once you are up there at the top.
Go gently and carefully.