Apr 28 2017

Camino thoughts: ‘Mas y mas’


Camino thoughts: ‘Mas y mas’

I walk to claim some sanity within this madding state. I walk because while body allows, I shall. I walk to catch the brown haired girl who runs pell-mell, Unfettered soul, neglected mate. Until we sit in churches’ squares to delight at the parry of beaks, the meet and greet of storks in nests. Upon the almond blossomed bough we see the hoopoe nod its head, its brazen crest shut tight with each affirming cry, And observe the subtly changing forms, of earth and sky, through fledgling eyes. She and I take time to wonder at the ants clearing banks of discarded crumbs, To admire the blushing breast and coal black cap of the stone chat, as he alights from his post, Spot the hare upon her hind legs before she bolts, Then gorge upon the larks’ honeyed song. I and we mark the passing of time, as our shadow’s hand sweeps from left to right, across the sun burned sand. Asked again: ‘why walk so far?’ If identifying one’s place in nature is not enough, then consider this: I walk to recognise the appreciative nod from the old woman who has passed this way before – grateful that my boots may warm her tired prints. I walk to receive the simple kindnesses of villagers – some small gift: a local savoury, a sweet pastry; or the generosity of a stranger’s welcome, though I may be dusty and lacking in language. I walk to learn from those with whom I share the way: lessons in poverty, homelessness, poor health, death, wealth; some hunched beneath the burden of success. In this place all are bound tight by a common goal to pass as equals in search of unity. In this place we are all lost souls, freed from the shackles of identity. And again, amplified by younger tongues, ‘Walk? Ha! Take the car, the train, leather seats, hotels with fresh white sheets, fuck pain! feather bed, live fast, drink deep, lose your head, life’s cheap.’ Drug the present. Unplug the past. Says the boy: ‘Mas y Mas’. ‘More and More!’ Feast, forget, ‘Enjoy’. **** I choose to walk not to forget, but with less to carry, desires lost, distractions cast, I am free to remember.

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Apr 27 2017

Lires to Finisterre

by admin in Camino Sureste

Lires to Finisterre

Ultimate family walk to the beeeeeech

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Apr 27 2017

Stage 44: Muxía to Lires 16km

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 44: Muxía to Lires 16km

The nuevos peregrinos y peregrina have been certificated – Compostela from Santiago to Muxia. Then they volunteered for another 16km walk to Lires in the midday heat. Arrived to a fine welcome at the albergue, a good bar and restaurant dining, our own room complete with balcony and sea views. We’ve STOPPED for two nights. They’re still in bed..

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Apr 26 2017

Stage 43: Olveiroa to Muxía 32km

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 43: Olveiroa to Muxía 32km

Joe hitched a lift and will sort accommodation ahead of us (nabbing the best room for himself, no doubt). Today, one chico down, four remaining. Anyone who arrives at this place, don’t leave without walking a few more kms to the untamed Costa da Morte and the Santuario da Virxe da Barca, standing on a rocky ridge above the surf, overlooking the lighthouse. The beach is the legendary landing place of St James’s stone coffin. It’s rather magical.

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Apr 25 2017

Stage 42: Negreira to Olveiroa 34km

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 42: Negreira to Olveiroa 34km

Today in pics. Joe has been broken. Charlie walks like a machine. Matt consumes beer like a drain. Kit won’t be happy till he finds a beach. Rachael burns. We’ll be finally spying the sea tomorrow. Can’t wait.

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Apr 24 2017

Stage 41: Santiago de Compostela to Negreira

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 41: Santiago de Compostela to Negreira

Left Santiago after churros, stopped to chat to Dutch Darren in his sleeping bag, having his first fag of the day with his head poking from his tent – turned out to be a china clay ship captain and very familiar with Fowey. Boys and Rachael left us talking to the naked beardy man, and we ambled along the rest of the day by ourselves, like the old people that we are. Reunited at the Negreira and booked our bunks. Great albergue – were to this evening’s only guests, and sun trap included. Cheap plonk from the super-mercado cards from the Chinese € shop, and everyone’s happy.

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Apr 21 2017

Stage 40: Ponte Ulla to SANTIAGO de COMPOSTELA! 20km

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 40: Ponte Ulla to SANTIAGO de COMPOSTELA! 20km

Slowly, slowly. Small steps. No rush. We met no other pilgrims on the path. Passing through manicured villages, we stopped for a picnic at Ermita de St Lucia (finishing the bread that keeps giving, the 1k Pan de Cea). Four kilometres before entering Santiago, we stopped to pay our respects on the bridge over the curved section of track, the site of the tragic train derailment, July 2013. Eighty people lost their lives. Then, from a vantage point, stood and admired the view of the city – and the towers of the Catedral de Santiago. We’ve arrived! 40 days from the start of our journey. In the square I rushed to hug Bernadette, who was stood talking to Beate. Photos, collected our ‘Compostela’, drank beer, found ‘Hotel Windsor’ and fell fast asleep.

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Apr 20 2017

Stage 39: Silleda to Ponte Ulla 20km

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 39: Silleda to Ponte Ulla 20km

Because yesterday’s 5pm ‘siesta’ merged into night-time, briefly punctuated by a crumb-free hotel TV picnic-in-bed, we were both awake at 5am. Breakfast in el bar downstairs: frothy tomatoes on toast (remember Cresta, man?); second breakfast on the road in Bandeira – caught up with Bernadette; alcoholic elevenses with Andreas from Milan in his inviting cafe/albergue. Talked politics, talked the travesty that is Brexit, talked wine, talked family. A pleasant path meandering through woodland and little villages. Barely any rain. No April foolishness (not needed when world news is so bonkers). Arrived in Ponte Ulla to meet with Bernadette again in a small pension on the road, and, immediately seduced by the promise of a barbecued steak at 8pm and clean clothes, we decided to book a room. It’s nice here! Will hug Santiago smelling Galego fresh, por la manaña!

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Apr 19 2017

Stage 38: Castro Dozón to Silleda 30km

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 38: Castro Dozón to Silleda 30km

100% chance of rain by 1pm, google said. Decided to get a shifty on early to avoid a drenching. Last to leave the albergue, following after the French and Spanish duo, then Bernadette; we took off at 8am. Not bad. Walked the path (not the road, as so many pilgrims choose to do). Had to walk 3 hours before Ma José for soup, bottle of tinto, coffee. Simon refrained from modelling the comedy hat this time round. Made it to Silleda without getting too wet. Thunder echoing around the oaks, as Simon told me the dangers of sheltering beneath a tree during a storm. Useless health and safety advice. Checked into el bar for coffee. We’d been warned that the Municipal Albergue was closed, but got a double room in a hostal with en suite for only 25€. It’s difficult not to race the next two days. We could get to Santiago tomorrow, or aim for Sunday as is the plan. Meeting Matt and Rachael, Charlie, Joe and Kit on Monday afternoon, so there’s really no need to arrive early. It has to be said that the end has an inevitable pull that’s drawing us in, and whilst I want to stand in front of the Cathedral of St James, I’m reluctant for the journey to close. To enjoy taking slow, thoughtful steps over the next few days is the task ahead. When we join the family, the path will take on a completely different dimension. I’m looking forward to the banter.

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Apr 18 2017

Stage 37 San Cristóbal de Cea to the monastery at Oseira to Castro Dozón: more than 20.2km (stupid guide book)

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 37 San Cristóbal de Cea to the monastery at Oseira to Castro Dozón: more than 20.2km (stupid guide book)

Simon was a little worse for consuming half a bottle of hierbas last night. Tiny pigeon steps up the hill to Oseira. Better after coffee. White campion, woodpeckers, hoopoes, cuckoo’s call, oak woods, eucalyptus, mossy banks, freezing monastery, sunny picnic, siesta. And a bleedin’ useless (and heavy) guide book. I think the writer was having a bad day when he was writing this stage.. describing cattle sheds as ‘hideous’, leading us astray, telling us wrong distances. Amparo Sánchez, bloody pull yourself together! Remembered the albergue from our last stay. A peculiar place, overlooking the municipal swimming pool (now empty) and kids playground. Warmer than I remembered, but still like a TB convalescence outpost in the hills. Good bar down the road, which we ran to through stair rod rain. The weather had better pick up for tomorrow, else we may be forced to bail out halfway. When it rains here it doesn’t mess abaht.

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