After a fairly exhausting (emotionally, mentally, physically – all the good stuff) arrival into Santiago de Compostela I was apprehensive to linger. And truly it was an apprehension built on fear – fear of stopping, fear of letting go, the fear of ending – compelling me to continue. I had four days up my sleeve and I was not interested in resting. Maybe I should keep walking? Thoughts of the Camino Fisterra and Muxia crept in.
Try as I might I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d made it all that way, a type of surrealism that crept up on me, disillusioned that each day I was getting closer and closer, nearer the finish line. And yet, I felt unsettled. Incomplete. Like this wasn’t supposed to be the end. And so without much thought or logic, I swiftly apologised to my feet that the rest day I had assured them was coming, was in fact another five days away. Four more days of walking sounded like a remedy rather than a reprimand. Besides, the ocean was calling.
And so off I went, I checked out of the pension, a real treat after many a night sleeping in bunk beds inches from newly acquainted walking companions. The twelve o-clock pilgrim mass was a must and something I felt my camino needed for perspective purposes. It was. A few goodbyes later, I turn my back on the cathedral and I’m making the journey towards Fisterra (literal translation: The End of the World).
Most people walk the Camino Fisterra in three days
And there are no hard and fast rules on where you should stop to break it up. I had no idea, just that day one would be short and the final two would be long. Well, that was the plan anyway.
Those of you who have remained devout will have already read my previous blog’s following the Camino del Norte & the Camino Primitivo and the day by day count continues on from here. If you’re time poor, all you need to know is that I started walking in San Sebastian on the north east of Spain with the intention to walk all the way to Santiago de Compostela, some eight hundred kilometers (and a few million steps) to the far west of Spain.
Did you walk alone? Sometimes, but not always.
Were you ever without food and water? Sure, but not for long.
Did you get blisters? Were you injured? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get blisters, but no I was lucky elsewhere.
Did you use a guidebook? Yes, but it really wasn’t necessary
What did you pack? Read it here!
What did you miss most from home? My family and Moo!
Would you recommend I walk the camino? Without question.
Here we go…
Day 29, Word of the day: Emotional
Distance: 22km From: Santiago de Compostela To: Negreira
Day 30, Word of the day: Loved
Distance: 57km From: Negreira To: Cee (Taxi to Fisterra)
Day 31, Word of the day: Zero
Distance: 15km From: Fisterra (Taxi to Cee) To: Fisterra
Yep, you’ve read correctly – I technically cheated, then I technically undid the cheating by completing the journey properly. Why? Because two very special friends who double dared me to join them in Fisterra on Day 30. And, I guess other than not wanting to spend my last few nights alone, yolo. Did fifty seven kilometers feel worth it in the end? Yep, wouldn’t change it. Would have walked seventy three looking back, if only I had just a few extra hours up my sleeve.
Arriving at Fisterra and seeing that zero kilometer mark felt like home to me. Feeling my lunges consume potent ocean breeze felt like breathing for the first time. A sense of awe inspiring peace washed over me and lingered just long enough for me to feel the effects of this one ‘hellofa walk.
The Camino Muxia
After arriving at Fisterra, everything (most things) was put into perspective and perhaps if I weren’t alone I would have simply stayed put but alas, I continued the last thirty odd kilometers to reach Muxia (moo-shia). Indifferent to whether the film The Way ended here, I decided just one more coastal walk should fill me with enough joy to last that twenty four hour flight back to a wintery Australia.
Overall, it was pleasant but not overwhelmingly beautiful. I was misinformed to thinking it was a coastal walk the entire way, when in fact it was really the last few kilometers.
Day 32, Word of the day: Fin
Distance: 33km From: Fisterra To: Muxia
Along the way I met eleven Catholic priests all walking together, now if that isn’t a good omen on a Catholic pilgrimage, I don’t know what is. They were kind to no end and feeling the warmth of complete strangers was the cherry on top of one beautiful experience.
The following morning they invited me to join their convoy back to Santiago to which I obliged and said one of the many goodbyes of the journey. Upon arriving back in Santiago de Compostela, it looked the same and sounded the same, but it absolutely felt different. No more emotions, nor more fear, no more uncertainty. I was finished. Done. Completo. Fin.
So there you have it. My camino.
Hope you enjoyed.