Day 31 Finisterre – Muxia 28.5km THE END of my Camino TOTAL 914.5km
I woke at 6:30am and left alone. I knew Jess was heading back home to Santiago today and I knew that if I wanted to get the bus back to Santiago I needed to get to Muxia by 2pm. So off I went. I must say that my head hurt as I’d drunk a little too much wine the night before and didn’t get enough sleep.
It was so dark at 7am. I was the most scared I had been the entire trip. There was no one in sight. I passed San Martino De Duio. It was very scary walking past a grave yard in the pitch dark. Soon after I freaked out when I saw a man in the bush cropping corn. What the? Such an odd time. It scared the crap out of me. I sent a text message to home just so someone knew that I was alone and so that they had somewhere to start searching if something did happen to me! Crazy really… Totally freaking myself out for no reason.
It didn’t help that the arrows were hard to find too. They were faded and almost impossible to see in the dark. I got lost at one point and wasted a good 30 minutes going back and forth searching for an arrow. I finally found one. I had my walking stick ready to use for defense if needed and I kept telling myself to breathe, that it was okay, to let go of the fear and trust that I was safe.
Needless to say, I felt relieved when the sun started to come up. In fact, I felt AMAZING. I loved being alone with no one in sight, the sun beaming on my face with the ocean in view. It was so pretty looking back towards Finisterre. Part of me was sad that I was missing the sunrise there but I knew Muxia was calling me.
As I walked along there were a few different arrows and I took a wrong turn. I went through Barbullas by mistake. Grrrr. I nearly cried when I realised I had stuffed up. I trusted though that people would show up. I continued walking until I came to a street with houses. I approached a couple of men who were working on trackers. “Muxia?” I asked and they kindly pointed me in the right direction. I’d easily done an additional 5km. I felt frustrated and alone and stupid for making the wrong turn. I quickly pulled myself on these thoughts and trusted that I was meant to go that way. Finally I saw my first pilgrim for the day walking in the opposite direction. We greeted each other and exchanged positive vibes as we both continued on our way. I was surprised that I hadn’t seen Dave as I knew he too was walking to Muxia. The fact that I hadn’t run into anyone made me think that I must have been the first to set off today.
Later I walked through a little town. I only had the 700ml water bottle and I was feeling pretty thirsty. A beautiful old man appeared and started talking to me in Spanish. I replied in English but unfortunately he could not understand me. I said, “Gracias” and he gave me a fresh apple. It was like gold to me. I felt frustrated and disappointed that I couldn’t speak the language and talk with him. He seemed like such a cute, old man.
As I got closer and closer to Muxia I realised that I’d still have enough time to make the bus if I wanted to. Then when I saw Muxia I cried. Not just a little tear… I cried my eyes out! I was so overwhelmed with joy, it was so beautiful. I felt so happy. I couldn’t believe that I had walked 914.5km!! WOW! Even though I had met many people along the way, I loved that I had been able to walk solo today and arrive at my destination on my own. I felt at peace, so much more relaxed than when I had started the Camino. I didn’t care what was happening next, I just felt so content in the moment.
Muxia is a coastal district in la Coruna and it is the most westerly point of mainland Europe. It was such a beautiful place that I decided to stay the night. I’d only just made it there by 2pm and I really didn’t feel like rushing off back on the bus. I chose to stay in the albergue Bella Muxia Hostel for the night. The owner of the hostel was lovely. After I settled in, I searched for a swimming beach and enjoyed a swim, not caring that the water was cold. I wrote in the sand and felt what I needed to feel. The swim made me feel WOW, so alive, so excited.
Later, as I made my way back to the hostel, I met an Aussie woman Simone whom I chatted to briefly. She shared the history of Muxia, telling me of the feminine energy that was here and how people from all over the world come to visit the fertility rock. I was amazed that I could feel the energy.
I went and handed in my passport to receive my certificate, now very excited to have one for Santiago, Finisterre & Muxia.
I decided to check out the fertility rock that Simone spoke of. It turned out to be one of the main tourist attractions of Muxia. It is an oddly shaped stone that sits on an outcrop of rock, sandwiched between an old church and the ocean. It is claimed that the stone has everything from healing powers (relieving kidney pain) to assisting in the conception of children, and all achieved by simply standing or crouching beneath it. The shape and position of the stone allow you to stand quite easily beneath it.
I sat on the rocks next to the church to watch the sunset. I couldn’t believe just how beautiful it was. I sat there by myself and wrote in my diary. As I watched the sun go down I could not keep the smile off my face. I felt so content in this moment, so grateful. I realised from my experiences with others along the way how positive, loving, caring, motivating and fun I am to be around. I realised how happy I was in myself and that I can love myself. I let go of my judgments of others and the need to control the uncontrollable. I made a promise to myself to work on being more flexible, to only use my bossiness in a positive way and to accept things as they are. The biggest goal I’d had on the Camino was to feel happy in the moment. I had the biggest shift sitting on the rocks, taking in every emotion and thought and feeling content in the moment.
I’d been searching for clarity on a number of things and I’d made a number of decisions about these. Firstly, although I had gotten a two year UK work visa before I left, with the possibility of staying on longer than the eight weeks, I decided to go back home. I wasn’t ready to let go of my business that I’d worked so hard for. I couldn’t imagine selling my home and getting my family to look after my dogs. I didn’t want to run away from people that had hurt me. I knew that I loved travelling but I also knew just how much I love the Sunshine Coast and doing what I do. I felt inspired to go home and make my business bigger and better than ever before.
On a personal level, I felt content on following my heart back home. Without expectations. I knew in my heart that I could easily get hurt or be let down again but I was okay with that. The risk didn’t scare me… I trusted that I knew what I needed to do for me, to be true to myself. The Camino had opened up my heart, my mind, my life. I was filled with immense gratitude for the experience.
As I was finishing up on the rocks, I saw a few other pilgrims arriving. I ran into Dave and gave him a big hug. I felt so happy to see him and he was just as emotional as me. As I left him to have his moment. I knew that I might never see him again and that was okay. I would be forever grateful for his friendship and his gift of kindness.
After going out to dinner with Simone, I headed back to the hostel. This would be my last night in an albergue. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about bed bugs for a while.
I was so excited about having finished the walk. I didn’t care about the next day would bring, or the one after. I had total trust that everything was exactly the way it was meant to be and that if anything changed it would be okay. I trusted in my journey. I trusted in my purpose.
I was ready to wake up and catch a bus, yep a BUS. It felt really weird not having to prepare for walking the next day. I had no idea where I was going to next or how I was getting there. And that was okay. All I knew was that I just had a return flight home on the 9th of November. I was excited about the unknown.
Awareness Gained Along The Way
The fear was a gift of staying present in the moment.
The solitude was a gift to process who I am.
I was reminded of how my lack of preparation in learning the language and caused me to miss opportunities to communicate with the locals.
The arrival into Muxia made my heart feel complete. It had known from day one that my Camino journey would end here.
The swim was like a re-birthing. I let go of anything that wasn’t serving me.
During my moment at the rocks, I felt like I’d been stripped down to total rawness. I had been at my most vulnerable self the entire trip. I had been challenged emotionally, physically and mentally. Although I felt completely exhausted and sore, and although I was alone, dressed in my daggiest clothes and with no makeup, I felt the most beautiful I had in my whole life.
I found the meaning of being content in the moment and that is the gift of happiness.
I loved my own company and had arrived at a place of self-love.
Day 30 Cee – Finisterre 16km
I slept in until 9am, feeling tired but happy and excited. We made a start by 10am. While Jess and I were off with the fairies with excitement, Dave was in his own world again.
The beautiful view of the ocean and rain made it the most amazing walk today. Knowing that it would be shortest day I had done on the entire Camino journey felt bazaar.
We got a little confused at the town before Finisterre. We thought we could walk along the water but ended up getting a little lost. We had to back track which was funny and frustrating at the same time. The anticipation was huge. We couldn’t find any public toliets yet we came across some exercise equipment which Jess had a go of.
When arrived in Finisterre, we took our shoes off and enjoyed a walk along the beach. The sand felt amazing on our feet. So many other pilgrims were doing the same thing. We had so much fun collecting shells. I couldn’t believe how many clam shells there were. I picked out some of the more beautiful ones to take home to my special people as gifts.
Finisterre is on the coast of Costa da Morte, also known as the “Coast of Death” because of the many shipwrecks along the shores. It is a magical location. It is an ancient fishing village and port with an amazing lighthouse at the tip of Cape Finisterre overlooking the Atlantic. It is a ritual to watch the sunset at the lighthouse and burn any clothes worn on the walk. It was raining but we still wanted to go up there.
Jess and I decided to live it up and get a hotel room with an ocean view. It was so cheap – only 20Euro. Compared to 10Euro, the cost of a typical albergue, it was a bargain!
We had the most fun expereince. As we were enjoying a wine at a bar, a charming Spanish man named Alex started talking to us. He was so interesting. He was an actor and showed us some of his work. After many laughs it was time to go watch the sunset. As we were running out of time, Alex drove us to the lighthouse in his convertable. It was so unexpected, so bazaar and fun. We couldn’t stop laughing.
At the top of the hill where the lighthouse stood, we took some time to have a moment alone. I took the opportunity to throw a heart-shaped stone that I’d carried with me all the way from home. I read a letter with it sending my love and happiness to all the special people in my life, including the people who had hurt me. I felt so much gratitude and love for the all. I’d let so much go on my trip. I felt lighter, I felt more love. I was feeling very happy and content.
We ended the night with more wine and I enjoyed a very expensive but delicious scallop.
This was the end of the walk for many which was ironic considering that Finisterre was known as the “end of the world” until Columbus proved otherwise in 1492. Imagine what that would have felt like! Although I’d thought I’d finish my journey here too, my heart was urging me to continue to Muxia. I wanted to see the sunset there and I felt like I had more to go. Knowing that I would make my way to Muxia the next day, I decided to get a good sleep.
Awareness Gained Along The Way
I felt at peace with so many things. To be able to forgive certain people and send them my love was a huge thing for me.
I felt excited about being able to collect shells and to be able to share the feeling of my way with the people that were special to me back home.
Even though my feet hurt like hell, the ocean and the feeling of having nearly completed my journey was just amazing.
I felt lighter for being spontaneous and living in the moment. I felt content with trusting my gut, trusting my feelings about other people’s intentions.