30/05/12. Day 41. Muxia. Last Day.

We had a really lovely breakfast in the hotel this morning and afterwards we walked to the Little church of the Virgin of the Boat outside the town at a beautiful headland.

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Santuario da Virxe da Barca.

The day is just beautiful and a great day to finish our Camino. I could stay walking, it’s a simple life, but I miss Jane, the boys and the grand-kids so its time to call a halt and head home. We spent some time at the headland on our own enjoying the moment and thinking our own thoughts.

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    We checked out of our hotel, said goodbye to Lolo 🙂  then headed to the port area and had a lovely lunch. The bus that takes us back to Santiago leaves from here.

After Santiago we take a train to Alicante to spend a few days R&R with our brother Lawrence who lives near there. Jane will meet us there as well.

What a fantastic adventure this was. Thanks to Iggy who put the gun to my head back in February to do this Camino, otherwise I might be still talking about it. We talked a lot on the journey, we became famous for it, we missed turn off’s and arrows because of it, people said to us you are the two Irish guys who are always talking, we heard about you. It was great. Can’t wait to do it again.

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Buen Camino.

P.S.

Jane and I walked from Sarria in September 2014, I didn’t keep any notes for this Camino but I put a little slide show together. It can be seen here.  http://youtu.be/PZQgWpdc988

Enjoy.

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29/05/12. Day 40. Finistera – Muxia. 30Km

Bad headache this morning, a mixture of yesterdays sun and last nights wine, although the sun might be innocent in this case. We were on the road out of Finistera at 08.00 and on the way to Lires, fifteen km away. We had breakfast at a local café just before we left.

Mixed walking today, some on roads and more through woodland. We lost the arrows at one point but a local woman pointed us in the right direction.

We met a woman we knew slightly coming against us on the trail in the woods, she was so pleased to see us she hugged us both, I think she may have been worried about being lost and we were a welcome sight.

When we arrived at Lires it was still before noon and even though it was sunny it was very cold, not really suitable to visit the beach there.

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We had lunch in the albergue/café but held off on checking in. After a lunchtime powwow we decided to press on to Muxia. This turned out to be a good decision as we found out later that there were only two buses from Muxia to Santiago, one at 06.45 and the last one at 14.30. This would have given us very little time to explore Muxia if we were walking from Lires the next day.

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Muxia.

When we arrived in Muxia we walked through the town then stopped and had a great lunch at a new hotel. We then walked to the albergue to collect our Muxia Compostela. The albergue was full but we weren’t going to stay there anyway.

We walked back to the hotel where we had lunch, and booked in there, €50.00 for a big double room with a huge balcony and lounger chairs. As it was too cold to lounge out there so we hung the washing on the chairs instead. Nel and a friend of hers booked in here as well.

We had a funny incident in the room where we were staying. Iggy was in the bathroom having his shower and shave, I was lying on my bed writing up my notes for the day when I heard him say stop it, I didn’t pay much heed, after another minute I heard him say sod off, again I didn’t pay much heed. When he came out a few minutes later he asked if I had been in the bathroom while he was shaving, I assured him I had not, then he told me that after he came out of the shower and was drying off someone smacked him on the butt, that was the stop, a short while later it happened again, that was the sod off. I had a good laugh about this until we found out that the hotel was built on the site of a local woman’s house, Lolo, who was supposed to be a great character in the area, they even named the hotel after her. That’s my brother, he can charm old Texans and ghosts.

Nel, her German friend, who was a really nice guy and a great laugh, and ourselves had a lovely meal out in the port area that night, no pilgrim meal this time, we pushed the boat out, pardon the pun, as it was our last night on the Camino, we are officially finished tomorrow. Nell is heading for Finistera in the morning, she is walking the reverse of our route. Full of good food and wine we fell fast asleep without giving Lolo another thought.

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28/05/12. Day 39. Logoso – Finistera. 28Km

We were up and dressed in our damp but bed warmed clothes  by 07.00. We headed down for breakfast only to find the place in darkness and the kitchen locked, after waiting about fifteen minutes or so we decided to leave and have breakfast on the road. This plan came adrift when we found the front door also locked, the family obviously lived elsewhere. This is a completely crazy thing to do if there was a fire or any other emergency during the night. The son arrived at about 07.30 and opened up and was not a bit put out when we let him know that we were not happy about being locked in as well as him being late for breakfast. They really have a lot to learn about running a business.

We walked another 3kms to Hospital and had a great breakfast there with a lovely woman who ran the only café we could find. She told us that this was the last place to eat or drink for the next 15 kms so we packed the grub in.

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300 mts after this café the route splits, left to Finistera and right to Muxia. We went left.

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The day heated up which was a welcome change after all the rain yesterday. The trail today was mainly through woodland and open heath land.

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We finally crested a hill and saw Finistera away in the distance. I text Jane to let her know where we were.

Walking down from Alto Pedro was very steep but with beautiful views. We met four Irish guys coming up against us. They had walked to Muxia, then to Finistera and were walking back to Santiago. Pretty much the reverse of our walk. At the bottom of the hill we came to the town of Cee, a beautiful town with lovely beaches. We walked through and stopped at the next village, Corcubion, for lunch and beer at a café overlooking the beach.

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We finaly arrived in Finistera in the early afternoon and booked into the first place we saw which was out of town but overlooked the beach.

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Showered, shaved, did laundry, changed into clean clothes and headed into town for second lunch and to pick up our Finistera Compostela which is available at one of the albergues in town.

We met a few people we knew as we walked around. Finistera is a typical seaside town, full of shops selling beach paraphernalia, a bit like Tramore or Bundoran.

After lunch we headed back to our room, sorted the laundry and had a nap. Later in the evening we walked to the lighthouse to see the sunset which is a Camino tradition.

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On the way to the lighthouse we passed the Kilometre Zero Waymarker, this is the official end to this section of the Camino.

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It was cool and breezy at the lighthouse and again we met some more people we had met along the way. Some were burning items of clothing which is also a tradition, it is supposed to symbolise the burning of the old life and the starting of the new. In practice it was probably because pilgrims of old burned items of their clothing that were tattered and lice ridden after the long walk.

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Almost sunset at Finistera.

The Germans who had moved my washing in Las Herrerias were there as well drinking wine but we ignored each other. As the evening wore on they got louder and louder and very annoying. Eventually we got a bit peeved and decided to leave and head back to town, there was still an hour left ‘till sunset but it was going to be a long hour.

We had a lovely meal at the docks area on the way back, this was accompanied by copious amounts of wine and topped off with coffee and dessert.

The price will be paid tomorrow but that is tomorrow.

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27/05/12. Day 38. Vilaserio – Logoso . 24Km

We had breakfast at 08.00 this morning and hit the trail by 08.30. It was really wet today, as wet as any day we spent on the Camino and then some. We were quickly soaked inside and out but we had no choice but to keep going. After seeing an advertisement for a new hostal  posted along the trail I rang ahead and booked a double room for us, this was about 3 kms further on from Olveiroa where we had planned to stay.

All was well when we arrived, the girl asked us if we minded sharing a bathroom with the next room, no problem. Then everything went pear shaped, four German pilgrims arrived and after a conversation with the girl, they spoke good Spanish, she told us someone had double booked and our room was going to the Germans.

There was then a major argument between the girl, her father and his wife, the upshot being they prepared a room for us in the unfinished section of the hostal, there was still sawdust on the floors but at this stage we didn’t care. They still charged full price though.

Dinner was OK but the service was slow and sullen, the girl told us that this was a new venture for the family but she and her mother were left to do all the work while the father talked to the guests who could speak Spanish and the son just drank with his friends in the bar. I wonder how long that venture will last. We were told breakfast would be at 07.00 sharp.

It was impossible to dry our clothes because the heating was not switched on in the new section so we just took them to bed with us and hoped for the best.

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26/05/12. Day 37. Santiago – Vilaserio. 35Km

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Photocall outside the Parador. (Not our hotel.)

 

It rained heavily all night but had lightened off by morning. We had breakfast at the hotel, put on our wet gear and walked down to the Cathedral Plaza. We said our goodbyes to Jane and started walking to Finistera.

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And we’re off again.

It was showery and humid all day, we had the wet gear on and off several times. We seemed to be climbing all day but I think we were just getting back into the rhythm again after the rest days.

We reached Negreira, 22kms out, early afternoon but after a stop for lunch we decided to keep going for another bit to shorten tomorrows walk.

We met very few pilgrims on the trail today, a big change from the main Camino, those we met were not overly friendly, mostly German pilgrims from what we could tell.

We arrived in Vilaserio at 18.15 well and truly knackered. The albergue had no private rooms, just open dorms with bunks, nice and clean. We got back into the old routine, shower, shave, laundry, nap and then dinner. Dinner consisted of  bacon, eggs and chips with wine or beer. We each got nine slices of bacon, two eggs and a huge portion of chips, they don’t stint on the bacon or eggs in Spain. We had a few beers after and hit the bunks at about 21.00.

A few French pilgrims who were at the bar earlier rolled in drunk around 23.00 and woke everyone, again a big change from the main Camino.

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25/05/12. Day 36. Rest Day, Santiago. 0.0Km

We had a sleep in until about 08.30 then headed out after breakfast. We plan to go to the 12.00 Mass at the Cathedral and see the Botafumeiro being swung. The Cathedral was really busy so went in at 10.50, the earliest I have ever been for mass in my life.

We saw Ana in the crowd but lost her again, we also met Nell, the Norwegians, Mary from Texas and several more we had met on the walk. Iggy got a big hug from Texas Mary, I had to make do with a handshake. It was a lovely mass and we saw the Botafumeiro being swung, something that doesn’t happen every day. Iggy was delighted as he wanted to see this before we left Santiago.

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We finally caught up with Ana after mass and we all had lunch together, she gave me a guide for the walk to Finistera and Muxia as she has decided not to walk it herself. We all went back to Janes “garden” again for a few drinks after lunch. Ana and Jane plan to take an early morning bus out to Finistera to see the lighthouse, then Ana returns to London to look for work and Jane is getting the train to Valencia to visit Oisin and Laura. We start on our walk to the coast.

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Jane at Finistera Lighthouse.

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24/05/12. Day 35. Vilamaior – Santiago. 9Km

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Monto de Gozo.

There was no breakfast available at the hostal so we were on the road by 07.30. We had flask coffee and a cake at a kiosk near the Pope John Paul 2nd monument at Monte de Gozo above Santiago. It was downhill pretty much all the way into Santiago after that.

We saw very few pilgrims this morning which was surprising, I thought this section would be packed. We met MJ and Dewey as we passed near to the airport but they stopped for a rest and we kept going.

We had a proper breakfast in the outskirts of Santiago. With all the talking this morning we went off course but a local pointed us in the right direction.

As we walked down the last section towards the Cathedral we met Jane who had walked out to meet us. She had paid the piper who plays at the archway to play O’Carollans Concerto but in all the excitement of arriving and meeting we never even heard it. The three of us walked into the Plaza together and enjoyed the moment, took some photos, met some friends we had met along the way.

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Arriving in Santiago.

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MJ, Dewey, Iggy and myself.

We went into the Cathedral then and had a look around, hugged St. James, said a prayer for a few people then off to the Pilgrim Office to collect our Compostela.

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Looking a bit shell-shocked in the Cathedral.

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Back to the Hotel after this, which Jane had booked for us, Had a glorious shower, changed into some fresh clean clothes and back to the Cathedral for 12.00 Mass.

We met MJ and Dewey again after Mass and we all had lunch together, bacon, eggs, fries and beer. Jane then took us to her “secret garden”, a little place she had found the day before, for coffee and a chat. After this we rambled around the town for a while then returned to the hotel for a nap. We couldn’t sleep so we headed out again to do some more sightseeing.

We had our evening meal at the hotel that night, a ramble around and then bed. I slept like a log.

A happy and sad day. Happy to be finished but sad its over.

The main Camino is over but Iggy and I plan to keep going to the coast, on to Finistera and then to Muxia after our break in Santiago.

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Santiago from our hotel window.

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