The perfect last day of camino walking. Up, packed, at the cafe downing the first cup of cafe con leche at about 7:15, to breakfast with Beate and a couple, Bert and Sonia, who had also been with us that first night in Orisson. Very good fresh squeezed orange juice. Fantastic view of harbor and lights on the fishing boats as they prepped and left. Lovely sunrise. Fog, mist gone. Weather map promised sun and temperatures of 26 C. One last moment of conversation with Daniel, the Swedish photographer met on the meseta before he was gone.
Beate & I left about 8:30. Her plan was to walk a couple of hours with me towards Muxía, then cut across along roads to Corcubión to meet her friend Brian, who I had met in El Ganso.
Felt great to be walking, even without having found a suitable lace for my shoe. Off the main road and through the countryside in only a few minutes, though away from the ocean. At the beginning from high spots you could look across the peninsula to see it it both directions, but soon it was gone.
Watched field-hands harvesting the dried corn cobs from the dead cornstalks – bend, twist and tie the stalk down to about 12 inches, all by hand. Passed several open hórreos where you could see the bright yellow dried corn cobs neatly stacked.
Realized that in all this time Beate and I had never actually walked together or even talked together much except over dinner or tapas! but talking and walking was comfortable and good. Like so many other persons I have met connected to this walk my sense of her presence was very little diminished by the fact that she was days and many miles away from me, and I might never see her again.
The way was marked by the pillars with the coquille tiles, but marked for both directions, Fisterra-Muxía and Muxía-Fisterra. Pillar markings further apart, fewer intervening yellow arrows. At one point it joined another path: ruta praia do rostro, we ended up following it until it dead-ended at the praia – some wonderful dunes and a bay with a sandy beach. Off with the shoes, tucked up my skirt. Into the swirling water. Celebrating the autumn of life. Beate shared her 3 philosophies of the camino : there is no need to suffer, be in the here and now (and I think the 3rd was be happy with what is around you, I remember only that she saw it as related to the first & I saw it as related to the 2nd). I thought of and shared Michel’s rules from the 1st day. 1 always walk in your own rhythm never faster never slower, 2 never walk on the tarmac if you can walk on the side of the road 3 never pick the fruit on the farmers side of the fence, 4 drink a sip of water every 15 minutes whether you need it or not. (Also thought of the ten rules of a good pilgrim given to Peter by his daughter.) In the end, everyone’s rules seem to boil down to having a mindfulness of yourself, others and the amazing universe around us, and by doing so living in the moment to its fullest.
Lunch of bread, tuna, salami, cheese, pear, banana, plums – essentially everything we had left. Dried our feet & legs in the sun while eating.
After lunch we walked as far as possible along the beach then up a road through pine forests back to the marked path. Shortly before Lireos we parted as Beate turned right and I kept straight. At Lireos I was informed by every local I met that the river was too high to safely cross alone, so I took the detour following the two Hungarian girls, Katie and Yiti, met a couple of days ago at the bus stop in Cee. Katie had wisely downloaded and printed explicit directions for the detour, as the locals kept just pointing us to the tarmac instead of the dirt and gravel way-marked path. Was very happy when we finally refound the coquille tiles on the side of a house, putting us back on a much more foot-friendly way. Walked another few hours by myself through farms and forests until just before sunset I arrived at the beach south of Muxía. It felt totally right to be walking these last few kilometers alone. Beautiful walk along the beach, some how I missed the path over the hill before town and did not arrive where I expected. Pretty little town. I liked it immediately. Just trying to orient myself when Norberto hailed me. He was heading toward the Sanctuario at the tip of the Peninsula.
One of the rules of Peter’s daughter is to daily find and sit in a church (not so easy since they are all closed and locked) and I hadn’t yet done that, so I asked if I could join him. He had to buy some things but directed me to the church. I had no idea how far out on the peninsula it would be, and was exhausted by the time I arrived and disappointed that the door was locked. But the church is also in a magical setting, on the edge of the rocks overlooking the ocean. The sun was setting over the ocean. I sat down on the surrounding wall, between the sea and church, took off my pack and shoes and had begun to perk up by the time Norberto and Karin arrived with wine and apple tarts. He had a mug, I pulled out my trusty blue British Air cup, Karin modified an empty water bottle into a cup. With the wine we toasted the camino, good company. I said this was my last day on the camino, and I spoke of the dinner in Larrasoaña where I met Norberto & Eduardo & Diana & Jesus. He told some stories about meeting Diana, and said my Spanish was much better now and laughed at how everyone had looked to Eduardo to translate. And how it took days for me to get the first R (here he rolled his r’s) in Norberto. I should mention that he was now talking at about one 20th the speed, which surely helped my Spanish comprehension. The wine gone we walked back through town on the port side of the peninsula. Talking the whole way until Norberto pointed me to the albergue.
The end of My Camino Francés de Santiago de Compostella.
How I have been blessed!
28 Oct 2009