Fork in the road – Finisterre or Muxia

Logoso is a cute little hamlet. I recommend you stay here. The albergue is quite squishy. But the little pension, at €5 extra pp, is affordable for that extra privacy. Son was happy to be away from the black mould and snoring man. He fancies himself a backpacker in the future. I look at him and think that I have trained him well for 5 star hotels.

We are reflective as we left that morning after breakfast in the little cafe. The only cafe in town. I didn’t Bob this morning. He had been our dinner companion (plus another whose name I can’t recall) last night, and together we shared many stories of our collective camino. Bob started walking from St Jean, the other chap from beyond, from Le Puy. He had quit his job and started walking but didn’t know what to do when he had to stop. I joked with him and said that there was always the Via Francigena. I think he started pondering about that one seriously.

Death, it seems, is on my mind, and death can follow you on the camino. Most pilgrims, if not all walk the camino with a weighted lightness – a holiday from life, a holiday from everything. During my camino, I was mindful that the American Chinese pilgrim was the missing, though I did not have good hopes for her when I started walking, it being about 2 weeks since she went missing.

And for Bob? Well, he had his new pilgrim friend die on the camino. It was his 60th year and his retirement, and he and his wife were walking in celebration of that epic milestone. And then one morning in Castrojeriz, he had a massive heart attack and died. The camino Angels had come running, supporting his wife as she struggled to deal with her husband’s body in a now foreign land whose language she did not understand for what she had to deal with. Her camino ended that morning. And her life as she knew it, as she travelled to Burgos for autopsy, cremation and returning home.

Tears welled up in my eyes as Bob told his story. As he neared the end to Finisterre, he received news that the family had just held a memorial. If his friend had been alive, they would have been close to the end. His wife planned to return to the camino next year, to complete the journey and to distribute his ashes along the way. Just like The Way, though The Way probably took the story from others who had done the same. Death on the Camino.

Close to the end. I suppose we are always close to the end, we just don’t know when. How quickly the cards turn, how suddenly the world can change, and you are left reeling. It made me appreciate the walk that day, feeling the cool breeze on my cheek, seeing the morning sky, grateful it was not wet, grateful it was not hot. Just grateful.

We passed Hospital, the last stop for food for about 14 km. Heed that stop, there truly is nothing from Hospital to Cee, and though the scenery is beautiful as we walked, the pangs of hunger and general heavy feet do take away from the experience. We stopped frequently to rest, it was beautifully quiet and we were alone. This road from Hospital through the hills to Cee was an old Royal road. Ancient. I wondered if the lives that had walked this route before. Me and my Son, we talked of everything and of nothing in particular. It was nice.

Son and I walked past an old way marker. This must have been another little hamlet along the way. But other than a church which may still serve a few farms, it was pretty remote. We decided to leave our own stone on that way marker. Maybe if we are ever back we will find it. Forever this will hold a special memory for me because we did it together.

In the mountains just before Cee, there was quite a lot of construction, and it wasn’t very nice to walk through. It looked like they were building a road. The views, as we walked down the steep pathetic was beautiful, the sight of the first bar welcome. They didn’t have much nice food, so we binged on coffee, crisps and a fizz drink.

Onwards to Cee. My goal was to try to get to Corcubion, though I was trying to look for a nice albergue. I had read a review of a little hotel just on the beach and this attracted me. How nice to walk up to the sound of beach waves.

Cee and Corcubion join up to be quite a big town. So it felt like we were doing urban walking for 2 hours. Maybe this isn’t such a long time for you but we were feeling tired already. So we walked and walked. It was close to end of lunch time and I really wanted to stop to eat. But we were at this point in the decision – stop and get all tired, keep going till we find our hotel?

Finally, as we were nearly out of Corcubion, we found our little hotel by the beach. Luck was with us, it started pouring with rain soon after. We lunched there, and then vegetated for the rest of the day, catching up on laundry, chilling and just doing nothing. I felt it was not more boring for Son, but for me it was good not to have to walk in the rain. Today was a pleasant walk.

Dinner was late. Very late. About 9 pm. I really don’t know how the Spanish cope.  We were starving at 7.30 pm. We wandered around hoping for some tapas, but not even the bar was open. It looked like a ghost hotel. Mental note, in November, eat early or eat very late. But lo, patience in the end paid off – or wore off.  People from around the area started filing in at about 8.30 pm and watched the football.  As Son and I entered at 9 pm, there’s nothing like the discomfort of the experience of being stared at as you walk in.  Guess we looked like quite the novelty.

Abandoned, yet beautiful.

Old royal road
Tiled seats overlooking the beaches in Cee
The beach views at our hotel in Corcubion