So after 34 days I got home and have the Camino behind me.
Irun – Santiago – Fisterra – Muxia
talked with people from 23 countries
Many sunrises and sunsets, sunshine, rain, fog, wind, smoke, coast, hills, fields, cities, little villages, lots of slugs, cows, donkeys and other animals, lovely people, some shallow but many deep and mind opening conversations.
I guess I’ll need some time to make a proper summary of what happened and what I got from the Camino.
Until then, here are some more stats:
30.86 km per day average
55.57 km on the longest day
4.86 km/h average speed including breaks
carried 9-10 kg – depending on food and water
lost 2 kg – but also converted some fat to muscle 🙂
Either the dinner yesterday after the sunset was a bit too much or it was some excitement about getting home soon but I spent most of the night awake.
Around 6 I started to get ready as the bus left at 6:45.
My phone once again started being weird with the data connection not working and with flickering screen but it fixed itself shortly after the bus arrived to Santiago.
The bus took more than 2 hours and it was quite cold. On arrival it was only 4 degrees in Santiago.
I talked with a Lithuanian guy who did the French way. He just started a year long break with the Camino and planned to travel to East.
I wondered around Santiago looking for souvenirs and eating this and that 🙂 Finally I settled on the square next to the cathedral where the sun shined and one could see all the pilgrims arriving and meeting each other. In fact I met with la German guy who I last saw at least a week ago.
An Estonian girl asked me to take take her picture and as she was just going to go to Finisterra and Muxia I recommended her some places and helped her with the bus schedule.
After bumping into the Lithuanian guy again I went on to have lunch: I set my eyes on the market with some kiosks offering meals when I first got to Santiago so now I tried one of them. One with octopus.
I sat a little more in the sunshine then headed to the airport with the bus. Time to go home.
It took some self-encouragement to get up and get going after the fun the previous night as well listening to everyone talking about rest days in the last few days. The fact that most of the day was going to be uphill didn’t help either.
So I left around 8:30, just before the sunrise. It looked really nice and that gave some motivation.
Especially at the beginning the signs were way less frequent and helpful as on the way to Fisterra. This resulted in a few extra rounds here and there but either I managed to figure it out or even before that someone pointed me back on the way.
I had a super quick break in Buxan after 1:20 and 8km as there was a cute, donation based pilgrim rest and I took a stamp.
Not long after I met with Merek who was on his way to Fisterra. We recommended each other the hostels where we stayed the previous night and bid farewell.
As this route is basically two way I met a lot of people. The most surprising was a woman with a baby in a stroller. Not your typical setup for any part of the Camino.
Took another hour to get to Lires, the checkpoint between Fisterre and Muxia. I found the stamping station and at the end of the town I stopped for a break. I met there an old French woman who was kind enough to give me a pear.
From here on the slightly steeper uphill part started for 2 hours. Whenever I thought that I finally reached the top there was a little bit more just around the corner. Eventually though, around the 23k mark I got there.
After the way down to the coast there was a bit more roadside walking than it would’ve been nice but the sight of the ocean made up for it.
I went straight to the church at the end of the peninsula where the first glimpse of the bell towers actually triggered some weird emotions. By the time I walked there it dawn on me that this whole thing will end very soon.
I met two Irish guys and we helped each other with taking photos and also talked a bit. They told me about a Hungarian guy who walked the French Way and to Muxia to see the ocean for the first time in his life.
The low tide allowed me to sit on the huge rocks on the shore and watch the waves crushing on them. It was mesmerising. I sat there for more than an hour and left the little rock there as well that I carried from Irun.
I walked back across the town to go to the municipal albergue for my compostella. Later it turned out that it was unnecessary as since a couple of years all hostel can give it to you and I decided to stay in another one. Recommended by Merek as well top rated on Booking and not to mention that it was located much better it made sense for me.
I had a churros con chocolate in a place called Chocolate and I have to say it was the best: the chocolate had an almost pudding like consistency 🙂 I asked for a bocadillo for take away to eat it on the shore before the sunset however I didn’t manage to explain this and had plenty of time ao I didn’t mind.
I sat in for the first half of the evening mass in the church on the shore but as the sunset was just at the same time I went outside to watch that. It also occurred to me that because of the tide I cannot see – or at least find – the place I sat before.
The sunset was a proper and beautiful way to end the last of my 32 days of walking. With only so much cloud that gave a nice character to the sunset and the huge waves it was breathtaking.
After the breakfast I’ve left just a bit before 8. The weather forecast that I’ve checked the day before for Bilbao didn’t have any resemblance with the weather at the start: rain, damp air all morning.
Many places the ground was so muddy that I’ve stopped trying to get around it. There was just no way. Also all the concentration was needed to not to slip.
I’ve met with some dogs with their owner appearing muh later which made me a bit anxious. Especially the one that was at least a meter tall and started walking right at me as it saw me.
Anyway, the forest and the occasional view on the valleys were breathtaking.
I’ve teamed up with Sven at some point and arrived to Zamudia where we took a longer break as a quite steep up and down section followed. We left around 12.30 and took us good 1.5 hours to climb up the 300 meters. A nice way of Basque country to send off pilgrims to Bilbao.
Joined by Maria, the 3 of us arrived at 3pm to Bilbao finishing our 20k etap. However we kept wondering about, had a nice sangria on a sunny square, then went to the St James cathedral and the market and by the time I’ve decided where I’ll stay I’ve made almost 30k.
We’ve also went to Decathlon where I wanted to check shoes but apparently new ones hurt my feet the same way as the old …
At the hostel, after I’ve went to buy some food I saw the snoring Spanish guys to arrive. Boy, I was relieved to note that they are not in a room with me 🙂