Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dumbria - Muxia

Camino Muxia day 7.
Distance: 20.1km (206.7km), time spent: 7:16 (60:56).
Weather: Overcast and gloomy, then nice weather in the afternoon and evening.

Outside the albergue, the wind has blown all night, bringing with it clouds from the ocean, we wake up to a heavy blanket above us and the exit doors closed. So, someone has been here after all after we went to bed last night, no one here now, only the pilgrims who have not left yet. Yesterday we bought a big bag of small croissants and small packets of jam for breakfast, a small imitation of the Spanish breakfast you get at the bars down here. Then we exit through the back door and go out under the grey sky for our last day on the Camino.

Gloomy scenery in the first part of today's walk, here across the fields towards the hills in the horizon, before Senande.

From Dumbria there are about twenty kilometres to Muxia, where we will go from the quite remote inland and out to the maw of the sea. On the way, the Camino changes between going on asphalt roads, forest roads and wide gravel paths. Around us, the landscape changes from forest, with a predominance of eucalyptus trees, to cultivated fields and acres, to rolling hills coloured grey by the weather, and to small villages, farms and hamlets. There is no shortage of the usual landmarks such as churches, crosses, abandoned houses and the fascinating horreos (most of the ones here is built in stone) on the way.

Three usual landmarks on the Camino, a horreo, a cruceiro (cross) and a bell tower.

After six kilometres, we have walked in a silent world and arrived in Senande, seeing no evidence of others along the way. Outside of the few houses we passed by, the dogs were sleepy and unaffected. The ridges in the horizon rest beneath the grey blankets. The melancholy mood is quite suitable for the day, it is our last day on the Way and it feels a little bit sad. The hunger is not completely sated after just a week on the road.

A gigantic horreo outside the monastery of San Martino de Ozon, it needs 22 pair of legs to keep it up.

I often feel that there is an odd discrepancy between the size of the place and the numbers of bars in some villages in Spain, a village may be tiny but still have three bars, as here in Senande. How they manage to get it to go around is something that I often wonder about (that a Camino goes through the village helps of course). We are adding at least some tiny bit of income to the owner of the first bar we come to, Bar A Coxa; he serves the cafe con leche together with a couple of fake eggs. While we are sitting and enjoying our coffee, the first pilgrims that we see since leaving Dumbria is appearing. Among them there are also some who did not stayed in Dumbria and must have gone from Logoso or perhaps all the way from Olveiroa.

Inside San Martino de Ozon, there are no longer monks that are living here; this is the common room to the more alternative micro-society of the place.

After Senande, the Camino is the same as it was before Senande. On the signposts for the various small villages that we come to, there is in addition to the name of the village, also the scallop sign. In the horizon towards the ocean, there is a glimpse beneath the clouds where we can see blue sky, hopefully this means that we might arrive in Muxia in sunny weather.

Camino Muxia buildings and scenery.

Standing outside the old monastery of San Martino de Ozon is the largest horreo I have ever seen down here, it stands on no less than an impressive 22 pair of legs. It is a long time since the monastery has been used for clerical purposes, although those who inhabit it now are also living a life a little bit on the outside of society, as the monks did here at one time. Having looked at the forge, workshop, the back of the monastery and the church next to it, we move on. And arrive at the entrance to the monastery.

We went down to this beach that lies between Merexo and Moraime to eat lunch, the waves and the current was too big to go for a swim.

The monastery is now consisting of a small and alternative micro-society. When we enter through the gate, people are working in the garden. We do not trespass by entering, there is sign outside that welcomes people in and outside it was advertised that you could get a stamp in your credentials, tea, vegetarian food and other things. One of the free spirited people living here greets us and shows us briefly around inside, we accept a cup of tea. Made of mint picked from the garden outside. Two other pilgrims, a Frenchman and an American who also was in Dumbria, comes while we sit and rest in the garden. It is relaxing here, but at the same one feels a bit on the outside.

Muxia and the end of our Camino in sight.

From San Martino de Ozon, we walk through yet another small village, through a pleasant forest and then the sight of the ocean greets us in Merexo. Now that we are close to the sea, we go down and find a sandy beach. From where we can see the promontory that Muxia is at the tip of, but we cannot yet see the town itself. We eat lunch on the beach; we still have many croissants from the breakfast left. While the waves breaks against the sand, we enjoy a cold beer and Kjetil takes a quick nap. There are too much waves and the current in the water looks too strong to tempt us to go for a swim. The French pilgrim shows up and wants to try, but he also appears to give up trying. Back on the road, we meet the two other free spirited pilgrims again, who wonder if they could get down to the beach.

The waves crashing on the rocks out on the tip of Punta del Barca, below Santuario de la Virgen de la Barca, only the ocean left to journey across.

The end is near, Muxia is near, and with it the great ocean as well. Where I thought the Camino follow the promontory around to Muxia, it instead climb up into the hill after Moraime and its stern but nice church. Up on the hill, we pass a small chapel and get the first sight of the houses of Muxia. Down by the sea, the wind is blowing quite fresh, you can choose to either walk along the water's edge or take a country road around. We choose to walk on the boardwalk next to the sea with a view towards Muxia and the ocean behind. It actually blows so hard that sand stings our eyes when get on the road in to the small town, across the road lies small sand dunes. We have arrived at the Way's end, above us it is now a blue sky with some clouds.

Muxia from Monte Corpiño at sunset. Muxia is a more quiet and calm town than Finisterre and I probably like it better here.

Strictly speaking, we are not really finished with our walk until we are out on the headland where the last waymarker-stone stands with Santuario de la Virgen de la Barca and the ocean in the background. Before we go out there, though, we find ourselves a bed in the Bela Muxia albergue and spend some time relaxing. I am very satisfied to get to spend the afternoon and evening here in Muxia, which I wanted to the previous year but could not. Going out to the sea, we walk over Monte Corpiño; from the top, we can see out over Muxia on one side and out over the ocean on the other. Muxia lies much more exposed to the weather than Finisterre, which characterizes the houses facing the sea (I have seen a picture of the Santuario de la Virgen de la Barca with huge waves crashing into the front of the church).

Sunset at Muxia.

A pleasant surprise is that the church is open when we arrive at the tip of the promontory, so that we can see how it looks inside, we even get a stamp in our pilgrim credentials. Down by the ocean, waves crashes against the rocks, we climb out on one of the outermost rocks and get to taste the salt water in the mouth when a big wave crashes close to us. With slightly wet clothes, we sit down by the small lighthouse and enjoy the nice weather and that we have arrived, a simple celebration with cold beer and chips.

The Muxiella, as in Finisterre, you can also get a document acknowledging that you have walked to Muxia.

In the afternoon, we eat bacalao at a local restaurant located at the quay in Muxia after a tip from the hospitaleros at Bela Muxia (there are not many places here that serves bacalao apparently). It tastes very good, but it is also very different from the bacalao I am used from back home, here we only get the fish with potatoes (both well-salted). There are mostly local people at the place. Afterwards, we run up to the top of Monte Corpiño again to see the sunset, we reach it just in time. The ocean is on fire and we can look back on a nice Camino from sea to sea (Ferrol to Muxia).

The various stamps/sellos in my pilgrims credential for the Camino from Santiago de Compostela to Muxia.

<- Dumbria

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