Camino Diary Entry #41
#41 July 1st Muxia
Muxia was a last minute decision! We had entertained ideas of trying to get to Finisterre just like the books say but then learned that apart from a lighthouse there was nothing to see.
Martin Sheen finished his scene in The Way, standing on the rocks at Muxia and scattering ashes into the Atlantic. Either way, it seemed a fine thing to be making that last bit of effort to get to at least one of the places the die-hard Pilgrims had reached.
The scallop shell emblem originated from early pilgrims returning to their homes on the continent with a shell as proof of having made it to the end of the world!
So Muxia it was! Frances organized the taxi and we piled in along with Catherine for the hour and a half trip. The very nice driver wanted to ‘make present for us’ (not unreasonable, given the cost!) and took us on a detour to Ponto Majeira where we had the privilege of a personal tour on the 2000 year old bridge, photographed the beautiful waterfall and went into the little shed that housed the water wheels and had a lot to do with making something go around that helped in providing bread for the inhabitants of the adjoining castle.
Thank goodness for the very old bridge stop! There wasn’t a lot more at Muxia! A lovely little church (locked again on a Sunday!), a hill to climb to the top of (goodie!) and rocks to scramble on to at the edge of the Atlantic – now that was quite special.
The weather was perfect, sunny and a lovely sea breeze.
No matter where you are in the world and what you have been doing there is always something thought provoking about the sea. We ambled at our own pace for an hour lost in our own thoughts of the Camino.
Returning to Santiago the car chatter seemed a little less. Maybe we are all tired of thinking! Maybe we are all just tired!
With little or no time to get refreshed it was back out the door to meet Frances and Catherine and a couple of their friends for dinner. We never thought we could ever adjust to such late dining here but despite our best efforts of meeting at 8 pm it took us until 9 to find a restaurant! Football fever was running high downtown and while some restaurants failed to open at all, we also needed one with a tv screen.
A recommended venue was finally located after winding up and around a number of narrow cobbled lanes. The upstairs dining room was closed, but on eyeing up half a dozen hungry looking pilgrims who were clearly supporting Spain, we were escorted up, seated, tv on and had our own private farewell dinner while we cheered for Spain. All in all a great way to finish.
This morning we still had to schedule a very early start to ensure there was time for a last morsel of 5 star breakfast! It was such a contrast to the many €10 pilgrim meals (wine included) where after the starter they clear your plates but make you sit there holding your knife and fork while you wait for the main.
Our bags are packed, we’re ready to go ….. Herbert is thrilled with his surprise Camino badges and Donald still has some wave left in his Spanish flag.
We are now on board and floating our way above the clouds across Spain bound for Barcelona and Sitges.
It has been a ‘bit of a hike’. I wonder when any pilgrim got time to think of their future. We could scarcely think more than a couple of hours ahead at any given time. What we did both find was that in all those steps when we had lost the energy to speak, our thoughts turned backwards. Weird stuff, good and bad, banished for years from the memory, people we thought we had forgotten we once knew, where we had childhood picnics, our own children, things our mothers used to say to us…
Walking the Camino isn’t for everyone. We are glad we did it, we are even proud of our achievement. We were surprised to hear ourselves saying after a week or so “only 21 kms today – phew! We’ll be there in 6 or 7 hours”
Was it a laugh a minute? I think not! We frequently reminded each other that ” well! We’ve had worse moments than this!”” (occasionally we struggled to think of just when that worse moment might have been!)
Time will tell if it changes us. Right now I think a few days lying on the beach will be a good time and place to really start to process what it was all about for each of us. In reality this could take months!
Thank you for coming on the journey with us, it made it more fun to be sharing it with you all and as you probably gathered from the updates, it wasn’t really about putting one foot in front of the other, it was about the experiences, the challenges, the people and the events along the way that made it such an unforgettable expedition.
Adios! Buen Camino!
Katey, Gwyneth, Donald and Herbert