I’m sitting in a café overlooking the sea and the harbor in Muxía, my favorite place on the Camino and last stop for me on the Costa da Morte.
The breeze is gentle, umbrellas flap, gulls never stop their rants, the sunrise is long past.
A Camino desayuno, café con leche, zumo, tostada: perfecto.
On the Camino, among all the discoveries, I’ve learned that Café (with or without azucar) is good for me, along with chocolate, freshly squeezed orange juice, sea air.
I already know that friendship, with each of us slowly translating variations of Spanish, English, Italian, French, German and other languages, has always nourished the soul. Time loses its power as conversations go long into the night.
I walked the 16 Kms yesterday to Bela Muxía, our amazing Albergue in the End of the World seaside village of Muxía, with Jos, my scientist-philosopher friend from Belgium, time standing still and flying by all at once. Walking, talking, listening.
This is my third time in Muxía. I also stayed at the Albergue Bela Muxía in 2016 with my amiga, Darlene. We walked here from a little town, Carantoña, 22 kms away.
This time, thanks to another friend, Cathy, who shared her itinerary of this Santiago-Finisterre-Muxía Camino, I have stayed in private rooms in Albergues, which means I meet pilgrims from everywhere, and I have my own space, including baño. Heaven! Plus, this time, an incredible ocean view and the best shower and bed ever.
Bravo and gratitude for amigos, hospitaleros and proprietors!
The Camino Provides. And for the pilgrims, the hospitaleros and proprietors, and the people who live on the trail and those who administer the associations, are the Camino. Their kindness, generosity and hard work help make each location and accommodation a comfortable and safe respite from the rigors of the trail.
Last night my Camino amigos, from Italy and Belgium, and I walked up the hill to share the sunset and celebrate our friendship.
Now I have said addio to Milena and adieu to Jos. Short friendships that feel like we must have known each other in another life.
True to my good luck meeting new friends: right after my amigos left, I received a message: Marcella from Hospitalero training last February in Marin Headlands, was near Muxía and could we meet? Yes, yes!
I don’t want this Camino to end.
I Just returned from the Top of the World. I’ve been here before, but last night at dinner in the group dining room, I learned about the trail leading to the most amazing viewpoint, up a windy stone path to ancient rocks above the village, harbor, sea, church, monument, a 360 degree memory.
I carefully navigated the rocks and one couple just leaving offered to take my picture.
I stayed for more than 30 minutes, in awe and gratitude for finding this legendary rock, above the village.
Thanks to the pilgrim who shared her pictures and this path, yesterday. I’m grateful for the arrows and how we help each other, here and at home. So many hidden treasures.
As I walked down the trail, thinking I would again visit the Sanctuary of A Nosa Señora da Barca and the lighthouse, up trudged a group of tourists in flip flops and dressy clothes, to see the view. They stayed three minutes and walked back down, eventually to their waiting bus.
An hour before I had the entire view to myself, meditative and quiet and breathtaking. All about timing. And luck.
To learn more about the landmarks of Muxía and The Costa da Morte, check out my September 24, 2017 blog post.
Visiting natural and beautiful places on earth can be as exciting, impressive and fun as a trip to the Disneylands of the world. And as crowded. Yosemite is one of my first hand experiences of big crowds in protected national parks, demonstrating how much the public, and that includes me, wants to visit remote and natural areas, and learn about our environmental, historical and cultural connections.
Recently I watched a 24 minute video about the way tourism is affecting our planet, cities as well as wild places, produced by Responsible Travel, “Crowded Out”, The Story of OverTourism.
Not only does our carbon footprint cause environmental changes, but human interaction profoundly affects residents. Venice and Barcelona are highlighted in the video.
I’ve been thinking about another very present, modern day problem: how do I and all Pilgrims and the Camino impact the everyday life and future of local people and the environment? And all of our travel. Yours and mine. I know I’m part of the problem and the solution.
It’s an emotional and complicated topic, yet important to consider. So many challenges in our lives!
Tomorrow I’m leaving Muxía and in less than a week I’ll be home.
Thank you for walking stages of three different Ways with me: The Camino Portugues, Camino Francés and Camino Finisterre-Muxía, (my best Camino year yet!) and for your support and generous comments.
I have felt your spirit every step of my Way. And No blisters for you!
Buen Camino, mis amigos.