My feet hurt! 67kms in two days, 350kms in 14 straight walking days and not one of those albergues had WiFi with better upload speed than my standard plan 4g!
I’ll let the photos do the ‘splainin but safe to say the last two days have been the most beautiful of the full 14.
Would I recommend the Portuguese camino? Actually, probably not. I prefer the scenery, structure and camaraderie to be found on the Frances and the walking is more varied and landscape more interesting on the Via de la Plata. I haven’t yet done the Norte, but, according to all sources, this route is also superior to the Portuguese but too long for a 2 week holiday. So the Portuguese sits flat bottom of my camino experiences so far.
There have been highlights though. Two fabulous albergues in the equally fabulous Camino towns of Tui and Padron but the best place I passed through was certainly Pontevedra with its amazing Franciscan Monesterio and Pilgrim mass – it also had a frozen yoghurt joint which I’ve missed so much since moving to London.
It was the right decision to walk to Muxia. By the time I’d arrived in Santiago I’d achieved my walking bod and so the pain was minimal – no blisters or thigh strains left. I met some really super people from the U.K, Canada and Germany who I enjoyed a final meal with last night and I have scored, 100% for sure, the best room in Muxia for two nights just above the best beach in the town.
I still have to make it to lighthouse and re-enact Martin Sheens final scene in ‘The Way’. Thankfully I don’t have any human ashes to scatter but I do have some left over bread from lunch which I can bash into crumbs and that will be just as theatrical and certainly more nutritious for the birds. I should also scale the hilltop here and watch the sun set at mainland Europe’s most westernly point tonight. All the pilgrims will be there so I hope to see a few familiar faces tonight, it will be nice to see people before I smell them.
Ive also had some funny moments. The cafe owner chasing me by car for the 2€ I owed her, scaling the walls of the Albergue to start a day at 6am, scaring a teenage German pilgrimess as I sat waiting outside a wood at 5.30am, directly underneath a street light all lit up like a creepy ghost and of course, meeting John Brierley on day 1 was super cool.
So, once again, it’s back to reality with a bump on Monday as I can see my work diary has already filled up with meetings that have no back story with people I don’t know… #sigh. Until then though, it’s two days in Muxia with a 7.30am bus ride to Santiago on the Sunday for the Ryanair flight that afternoon.
‘Miss Newton – you have the middle seat, would you like to change for 7€!’ – from Ryanair. No bitches, I would not! I will take both arm rests and use that 7€ to spend on one coffee with sachets of milk that will invariably explode out onto seats D and F and then they’ll WISH they had the middle seat. I already paid an extra 7€ to ensure my bag flies in the cabin with me. There are, by the way, no number of caminos you can walk that will make you indifferent to Ryanair. They are the devils work.
So my ambition for the rest of 2018 – pass driving test. No more caminos this year. So until 2019 then…