Friday, February 14, 2014

Camino 2013 - Day 44: Fisterra To Muxía To Santiago De Compostela Via Taxi And Bus

The night before, after we walked back to the albergue in the dark, getting there just when the drizzle started, Gv and I discussed walking to Muxía the next day and we both decided we were done walking. We would take a taxi this morning instead and then a bus from Muxía back to Santiago de Compostela tonight. My only regret was that I wouldn't break the one thousand kilometer mark, stopping instead at 991 kilometers (615.78 miles). I suppose if you included all the walking in the towns and cities and the walk to and from the lighthouse, we probably passed the one thousand kilometer mark a ways back. No regrets then.

We gathered our stuff and crossed the street to a cafe and had breakfast. We watched the pilgrims gather to catch the bus back to Santiago de Compostela. We talked with the Korean couple who were heading back this morning. She was feeling a bit under the weather and was glad to be done.

We sat with Kr, the Austrian lady we met ... felt like years ago, and told her we were going to Muxía. She said she would like to go to and we decided to share a taxi. After the bus came and went with a load of pilgrims, we found a taxi and we went to Muxía. It felt odd to travel so fast.
2013-10-20 Muxia Rocks Panorama
The rocky shore near the church.
The taxi dumped us off in downtown Muxía not far from where the bus stops.  We grabbed our bags and walked along the road out to the main attraction of Muxía: the Santuario da Virxe da Barca.  It is said that after Saint James was executed, the Virgin Mary took his body in a stone boat and brought him to what is now Spain.  The church is located where the stone boat supposedly landed.
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The church near the rocky shore and the monument to the oil spill.
The church is located on the rocky shore.  The front faces out over the ocean.  The church was closed but you could still see inside.  Models of boats and ships hung from the ceiling.  Mass was held there later in the day but we heard about it after the fact.  The coast is rocky and dotted with huge boulders.  Some pagan religions have assigned special powers to some of the rock like bringing love or curing arthritis.  The mix of pagan and christian was interesting.  I hopped around the rocks for a while ... until I almost fell flat on my face.  I smacked my arm pretty hard but I didn't drop my camera.  Fortunately no permanent harm was done to me or the rock.
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The monument to the November 2002 oil spill and a Camino marker.
Beside the church is a large stone monument - a monolith with a large crack running vertically.  The monument memorializes a large oil spill that took place here November 2002 - the third largest in history.  This part of the coast that includes Muxía and Fisterra is called Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) because of all the shipwrecks off the coast.  The oil tanker was one more victim of the coast.
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The cross at the top of the hill overlooking Muxía. That's my pack.
A path lead away from the church up a short hill.  From the hill you got a 360° view of Muxía, the church, and the ocean beyond.  It was a beautiful place.  We took pictures of ourselves at a cross at the top of the hill (my picture is on Facebook for friends and family).


We returned to the town and looked around.  Not much was open on Sunday.  I was in dire need of finding a statue of the Virgin Mary for the Wife.  All along the Camino all I found were statues of Saint James.  I figured Muxía, with it's Virgin-centric legend, would be my better bet.  I had very little luck.  I did find the one souvenir shop in town and it did have Marys but they seemed cheaply made.  In the end, after walking around some more, I returned to the little shop and bought the Mary and a couple magnets.
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Fishing the turbulent waters.
The bus didn't leave until after 4:00 pm and we ended up having hours to kill.  We walked around the town and found very little open and what was open was very commercial and not pilgrim or even tourist centric.  We ended up basically going from bar to restaurant to cafe.  We walked outside when it was clear and went inside when it started to showered which it did on and off all afternoon.  We talked to some pilgrims who had walked from Fisterra.  Apparently we hadn't missed too much.

I was bored.  I was so bored.  And tired.  I was so tired.  Muxía was a nice place to visit and it was picturesque but the visit should be a short one.  Perhaps in the summer there was more to do. I had my last hot chocolate and realized, after four hot chocolates, that I really didn't like it very much.   I was very happy when the bus finally arrived.

The bus ride was longer than I expected.  It stopped a few times before arriving in Santiago de Compostela.  By the time we got there it was dark and raining.  We left the bus station and walked in the rain to where we thought out hotel was.  Gv had made reservations for us.  We found the hotel, went in and ... they didn't have our reservations.  We checked under different names and spellings ... nothing.  Finally we asked to use a computer to see the confirmation email.  He wouldn't let us use their computer but pointed us to an internet place nearby.  It turned out to be the same place I'd gone to use the internet last Camino.  Gv checked her email and ... we'd been at the wrong hotel.  This was an honest mistake since we looked at two different hotels before she made reservations.  We both just forgot which hotel we'd chosen.

The hotel that had our reservations was between the internet place and the other hotel.  It took us a while to find it since it really didn't have a sign.  It was on the third or fourth floor of an old building.  The other floors and offices and an hostel.  The hotel took up one floor and had probably four or five rooms total.  The elevator didn't work either.  We were let in by a nice lady who showed us to our rooms.  We asked about laundry and she said she knew a friend who would do it for us.  We bagged up our laundry and gave it to her before we went to bed.  ( I can't remember if we ate that night.)

The day had felt a little tacked on after the feeling of completion I felt in Fisterra.  I'm glad I went to Muxía.  The church and the view of the coast were worth it.  It might have been different if we'd walked.  We wouldn't have had so much extra time.  Maybe if we'd walked to Muxía first and then walked to Fisterra it would have flowed better.  I don't know.

Pictures can be found in my Camino de Santiago 2013 Flickr set.

Total Distance on Day 44: 0 km ( 0.00 Miles)
Total Distance Walked: 991 km (615.78 Miles)

There is no map this post since we didn't walk from anywhere.

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