Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Last Days Back to Santiago

 Our walk to the ocean at Muxia took 3 nights and 4 days. All together we have been on the Camino since September 6th. We have walked more or less 460 miles. Not total if you count the times we got lost and had to backtrack (not too many) and all the towns we walked around in to find a super mercado or a restaurant. Yes we will miss our friend, that yellow arrow.  Always a comfort along the way.

As John describes it, foraging for a place to stay each night as well as for what and how we are going to manage to eat, can be almost more exhausting than the walking.  Sometimes the walking feels more relaxing.  That's all that has to be done for now. Maybe it's a matter of the known vs the unknown and what type of energy each takes. Something to contemplate. While John agrees with this,  I find he is the more intrepid traveler. More comfortable than I am flying by the seats of our pants. That said,  I have learned that getting outside your comfort zone is where the memories are made and when the knowledge of self reveals itself more readily. Really everything works out if you let it. If you trust. I know being this way is easier for some than for others.
 This woman walking her sheep with one of their front legs tied to the corresponding back leg (don't know why ),  screaming at her chapeau donning husband to shut the door, him complying sheepishly. Hahaha  pun intended.
John at the end! !!!
Just one of the beautiful sunrises we experienced.  We were amazed at how amiable the weather has been this trip! Although I won't soon forget the heat wave we had the first week.
I miss my Granddoggy.  There were so many watch dogs thankfully behind fences. I was scared to the point of heart attack by their sudden barking a foot away more than once! Pit bull and beagle breeds were always the most friendly and least intimidating. Many friendly cats and some feral barn cats too. No stray dogs that I could see.
Trish from Canada and Stephanie from New Zealand.  Just two of the awesome pilgrims we met. Most people we met are adventure type travelers obviously.  Their stories are nothing less than amazing if you care to stop a moment and listen and maybe ask them a question. The young dark haired, dark eyed, Italian kid, Alesio (Alex in English) our sons' age who invited us to share his pasta in the alburgue one night. We offered to share our wine, which he refused saying "Crazy, I know. I am Italiano and I don't like wine!" About whose dreams we learned of owning a motorcycle shop in Sardinia where he lives. How he was in a horrible moto accident and severely broke his leg yet walks the Camino at sometimes 50ks a day! How he is a diabetic who has to inject himself with insulin everyday. Inadvertently teaching this mom not to worry too much about her own children. Because they have lives to live no matter what. The kindly hospitelero at the alburgue in Muxia who wanted us to feel so cared for and so special. She had two pots of soup on the stove and dessert made with Galician apples, "gratis"! (free!) The melding of so many different nationalities, languages being spoken, customs being observed and practiced. You cannot buy that. All part of Camino magic I suppose. Most people were at crossroads.  Divorce, death,  life changes. Others just here for the challenge of it. Everyone walking for insight,  awakening or perhaps to avoid those things. I do know that none of us will ever be the same for it.
Such beauty found in the decrepit. Ancient things intrigue me. They are unwitting masterpieces of art. There is a sadness in them. For things ending,  past their former glories. But also a richness, their unseen wisdom for all the time passed by them. Do you believe that there can be wisdom in a 'thing'?
Last time we were here it was hell to pay weather wise. I was glad not to have experienced that again. We would also not be walking on the Finesterre path to Cee. We were on our way to Muxia by way of Dumbria that night.
We go there.  Beckoning. ....... invitation to contemplation,  to meditation perhaps.  Sometimes I listened to my iPod, usually at times when the walking was particularly hard or my body was hurting worse than other days.  The music added depth and emotion to my experience.  I know it was the same for John.  "In restless dreams I walk alone, narrow streets of cobblestone. ~Sounds of Silence,  Simon and Garfunkel

"Leaves are falling all around, It's time I was on my way.
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay.
But now it's time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way.
For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it's headed my way.
Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know I've got one thing I got to do... " Ramble On ~Led Zeppelin  somewhere in Spain
Crumbling church at sunrise. The many many churches or Iglesias,  basilicas, cathedrals and Monasteries,  never ceased to simply astound me. To me they are definitely holy places.  Not because of their grandeur or the materials with which they were built or the guilding of gold and art work with which they are adorned. Not because of the magnificence of their sizes. To me, the holy energy came from the silence that was observed whenever we entered these cavernous places. It came from the nuns singing their daily vespers. It came from the single person sitting or kneeling in the pew, deep in prayer. Someone bowing on one knee and crossing themselves before sitting down. Such reverence. Just knowing how little we know about anyone's life but also knowing that we all want basically the same things. That's holy ground. ~Bom Caminho /Buen Camino

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