Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 45 Camino de Santiago Aug. 19 Muxia

  It was very difficult to leave the fire at Finisterre and the endless view to North America.  I kept wanting to savor it more.  To be able to someone bring it with me.  Not going to happen and like any great moment, it comes to an end.  And no matter how much you want to stay, you know you gotta go... There's a voice inside that tells you that you are older now.  When you were young, you cried and screamed and kicked and shouted, and pouted, "No!!! I don't want to go!  I want to stay!!!  I love Disneyland!   Save me Mickey!!"  but as you get older and cross that bridge of knowing when it's time to go and finally accepting that it's time to go, it's a voice that says, "Well...get your big boy pants on, suck it up, and head down the mountain!"  Youth - Resistance -  I'll fight you till one of us can't. Aged - Acceptance - that's the first sign of age - I'll only fight when I must.
Still, I've got no respect for those with no fire, no youth, no fight.  Stay away from me!  You're going to be burned.
    Well this burned fool headed down the mountain from the lighthouse with Tina, neither of us talking too much, but with wry smiles on our face.  We were part of a fraternity now.  Something I've always wanted.  If you were in the Navy on the USS Begonia, you and your shipmates share something that binds you.  Something that, regardless of how little it may seem to others, can help you in daily you pleasure to know that you have a family.
    Too mushy?  Too cornball?  Then you haven't been there, and "there" ain't a place.
     Despite the zillions of cars zooming down the mountain, we managed to not get run over, though I'm amazed that people aren't whacked every day.  When you can feel the heat from an engine, it's too close.  When you hear the conversations of the kids in the back seat, you're too close.
     Earlier in the day when I told Anastasia and Nudia that I'd be splitting from them, I needed some way to pacify the feeling that I was abandoning them, even though I knew that they understood.  We agreed to meet for dinner at a restaurant that Kevin had told me about that he said was out of this world.    I believe that today's celebration was certainly worthy of a top notch restaurant.
     Tina and I walked directly to the restaurant from the lighthouse and showed up at about the same time as Anna and Nudia.   We sat on the terrace and had an awesome view of the harbor.  It was out of this world!
     Kevin, and his friend Paul, had talked about ordering a platter of seafood that was gi-normous!  Basically, it was an all we could eat seafood platter.  It was great because we got to have so many sea creatures that I'd probably never order a whole meal of.
    That night, via an Italian friend I had walked with for a short time a couple of days before, had told us about a festival that was for peligrinos.  It was about a two mile walk along the water on a boardwalk.  I had remembered seeing the townsfolk setting up for it and thought that it would be fun.  They played typical Galician folk music with a spike of rock and roll mixed in.  Accordians, bagpipes, bass, guitars, drums!  Good stuff!  Sounded like Irish clogging music!
      It was fun... though as we headed out to the festival, it started to sprinkle... By the time we got to the festival it was pouring down.  Luckily, I had brought my Cadillac umbrella, though for the rain coming down, I needed a fleet of Caddies.   We got soaked!   Totally.
   Getting soaked in Galicia is not good, because it is so damp that nothing dries out and eventually mildews.  Phew!  I didn't need a bath.  I needed a pyre!
     The next morning, I headed off to Muxia alone and glad to be walking.  Shoes, socks, pants, underwear, and shirt were soaked.  Even my raincoat was soaked!  What kind of raincoat gets soaked??

   As I was walking through the eucalyptus / pine forest, there was no restaurant (no croissant??) and I was getting hungry.  Finally, after many a mile, I found a village walked in and had a nice bacon/egg/toast... well, you know the drill.  There was a girl there who was equally soaked and was trying to decide if she was going to stay there for the night but she had very little money and there was no bank open.  I bought her a cup of coffee and told her that I was headed to Muxia.  After talking and walking with her for about three hours, I asked her her name.... Anastasia... and she was from Russia....(now it gets creepy)... and she was from the same city as the other Anastasia!!!  What!!??!?!!   Is it raining Russians??

    After finally going up and down hill after hill, we made it to Muxia.  Wonderful, except there was no room at the Municipal Albergue.  There was a hotel down the road so we headed that direction only to find another albergue that had only been open for one week.  There were only two beds left!!!  Now that is luck!

Muxia (pronounced Moo' she uh) is a very picturesque town.  Well, not so much the town, though it certainly isn't unattractive.  The coast is pretty. I saw people trying to swim.  Good luck with that one!!  They'd step in the water all the way up to their ankles and then come skeedaddling out much faster than they had gone in!
      I saw a family clamming on the beach below the boardwalk.  Talk about funky muddy work!  How can clams be so cheap.  If I was doing that kind of work, they'd cost about $44 each!
    In many ways, the multicolored homes of Muxia remind me of a New England coastal town.  Very pretty but the people seem a lot warmer than they do in New England.  That night, Anna wanted to have paella and had never had it.  We asked the Hungarian guy who ran the albergue where the best restaurant was and he told us it was in the crummiest looking restaurant in the city, but it had the best food.   He said it was in a "cave" as in below street level.  We found it and it wasn't a cave.  It was actually a really "character laden" place.  The owner looked like Fred Munster and then a 20 year boy came in and he looked like Fred Munster Jr.  They cooked one of the best paellas I've ever had!!!
    We were treated to a beautiful sunset that evening.  In the middle of the sunset we lucked upon a rainbow!  Since we haven't had much rain in Spain this summer, I haven't seen a rainbow in awhile.  Can't go wrong with a rainbow!   Probably the best since I've been in Spain.  After the rainbow, the harbor changed colors form turquoise to blue and then to a black.

      That night at the albergue, two Dutch ladies that I've bumped into the last three weeks were in the beds next to mine.  One noticed the string on my arm and we laughed because they each had one.  We bought it from the same three little girls in the same little hot dusty town because we felt sorry for them.  The albergue was a classic.  Lights out at 10:30 - me knowing that I'd be wide awake at 10:30.  The Dutch ladies go to bed at 8:30.  I asked one of them if it would bother her if I used my computer after 10:30 and she said, "Oh yes!!"   Hmmmm..... she snored like a freight train!  I couldn't have awakened her with a cattle prod!

 Muxia, doesn't feel like a Camino town.  The city hugs the coast and has a beautiful harbor.  I had very little interest in sightseeing, however, and I could feel a change coming over me.  This is the end of my travels.  I'm done.  The Camino is a fitting end.  Has to be.  I need time to savor the moments.  To amass what I've learned.  To run the information through a colander and have the important things sifted out and into my day to day operations.  I use to do that for my teachers.  Go to meetings and workshops.  Hear three days of information, process it, run it through my colander, and bring back something palatable and doable for a staff of 75.  Nobody can implement 3 days of material!
I remember hiking through Alaska and can still tell you what I learned from that trip -
      1.  I'm rich -  I've got a shower, refrigerator, and a dry bed...EVERYDAY!!
      2.  I'm a survivor -   I just know that I'll see tomorrow's sun
      3.  I'm the terminator - I won't stop.  I won't go away.
I also remember why I had to go on the Alaska trip and the many other three months voyages into the unknown.

This trip has been three stages, each marvelous and enlightening in their own right.
Spain with Zack 

The Camino de Santiago

It's time to sit back and think...and begin work on Life 2.0.  That can only be done Stateside.

    Can't say all the goals have been met here, but I'm certainly in a better place than when I left after the wrecking ball had arrived.  I am on my way.
 I head back on Saturday, August 25th, 3 months after leaving.
 It's a 6 hour train ride from Santiago to Madrid.
Overnight in Madrid and land in Phoenix at 630 PM. -               Inshallah!     Si Dios quiere

I know that after being back for a few hours, it'll seem like I never left.  What will I actually put into practice from this trip?  What will the colander leave with me??
I don't know - I'm still in the forest, however, I've been in Santiago for the past 4 days alone and have been processing, sifting, reading, eating (some things never change!) It seems that the following thoughts have already worked their way through the sifting process:

I would rather spend one day in an Ajo bus station with someone I love, than travel around the world alone
Pleasing people makes me happy.  As I walk down the streets of Santiago, I see peregrines about to enter the plaza in front of the cathedral and I say to them, "Bien Camino!"  and they respond with an ear to ear grin, and I feel better than they do.
It's okay to look down the road, but focus on the pebble at my foot.

                                        rich is the man who marvels at the mundane
Reflect - Recover - Redirect                                                      Forgive - Forget - Forge on

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