October 1: 21k
The last day of our 20 day walk on the Camino. Although I'm sad, but we're sorely in need of a rest day. This year we did 19 days of walking, and one rest day, just under half of last year's Camino Frances. I had forgotten how much work it was. Not just the walking, but the daily organizing.
The Santiago to Fisterra/Muxia routes are quite hilly and somewhat strenuous at times, but it is a peaceful pilgrimage. If you wanted to experience "Camino light," a four day pilgrimage, it would be perfect.
We started out on a morning so cool we could see our breath. What a difference from a couple of days ago. It was still early enough for long shadows.
The morning was ideal for walking, sunny and cool. Not a pilgrim, but a local woman who gave me a warm greeting:
We started in the woods, then on to the farms and old towns, and back into eucalyptus forest.
We stayed a few steps ahead of developing thunder storms.
The latter half of the day was a succession of steep hills. The first glimpse of water happened at 8k to go.
Once at the bottom of what we thought was the last hill, we found the Camino wasn't yet done with us. The last 6k were steep ups and downs. For the final 3k we were serenaded with amplified music from a festival in town. We made our way down a difficult decline to the tune of Strauss waltzes and the Nutcracker Suite. It was a bit weird.
Landing in town, with 1k to go, having hiked 20k with only morning coffee and noon ice cream breaks, we were ready for a meal. The area is famous for fresh seafood, so we indulged in clams and sole before heading to our Alburgue.
Upon entering the restaurant I was greeted effusively by a man who declared in Spanish "Peregrina! (female pilgrim) This is the end, you can stop now!" I gave him a hug wondering if this was typical. Nope, it was an enthusiastic customer under the influence of more than this dedicated weary peregrina.
We headed to our alburgue at the ancient end of the earth where they issued our compestelas (certificates) for the Muxia route.
Once Again, we are in peak condition and it's a little disconcerting to think that we won't be able to keep it at this level. C says I said the same thing last year. I wonder where our next pilgrimage will take us?
I was thinking about a woman we met from the Netherlands, a lawyer between jobs. One of her work benefits was pilgrimage support. If you decided to use vacation time to walk the Camino you were subsidized at 25e per day plus provided with pre and post pilgrimage coaching. What an interesting benefit to support the work/life balance.
Stay tuned as we complete our walk tomorrow, as the post Camino ritual requires us to go a little bit farther.