Monday, July 10, 2017

Day 45: The End of Another Trail....

Oct 31: Just because I walked to the end of the world yesterday didn’t mean my walk was over. Not quite yet…. I still wanted to continue on to Muxia.

I got a bit of a late start out of the hostel trying not to disturb other folks who were sleeping, but I still managed to hit the trail by 8:15.

A beautiful sunrise! My last on the trail!
It was the end of the month and Halloween. Halloween is primarily an American holiday, and I was a little sad to miss it. I love watching the children run around in adorable costumes, and the haunted houses and it’s just a fun holiday. It would be the first time I’d miss it. Occasionally I did see window displays with Halloween decorations while passing through towns so the holiday wasn’t completely irrelevant in Portugal or Spain, but neither did I see kids running around in costumes or promotions for haunted houses.

The sunrise while leaving Fisterra was wonderful, and the rest of the day’s walk was pleasant but generally uneventful. This section of the trail didn’t always appear to be well-marked. At several intersections, I stopped and scratched my head, searching for the yellow arrows pointing the way and not finding one. Then I’d make an educated guess and head in that direction. It wasn’t always the correct direction, but I figured out the errors of my way quickly and got back on track without having to backtrack.

I passed several people I knew going in the opposite direction. I had met them while walking out from Santiago, but they headed to Muxia first then looped around to Finisterre while I hit Finisterre first then looped around to Muxia. When I did see someone I talked to earlier, we’d stop for a few minutes and swap stories about the last day or two since we had seen each other last.

I arrived into Muxia and checked into a hostel at a relatively early 3:00 in the afternoon. I took a shower then headed out to check out where the bus stop to Santiago would be. I’d be taking a bus back to Santiago first thing in the morning and wanted to make sure I could find the correct location. Then I did other tasks like head to the tourist office where I picked up another compostela of sorts—more like a certificate of achievement for having walked here from Santiago. It was free, so why not? It struck me as a little silly to have a certificate for the four days that it took me to walk here.

Then I headed to the grocery store to buy a few snacks. I wouldn’t be hiking anymore, but I still had a long bus ride to Santiago, then an even longer train ride to Madrid, then an even longer flight back to the United States. I’d want a few snacks for all the sitting I’d be doing in the near future. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but a bar of white chocolate and gummy candies can do wonders for my mood. =)

And finally, as the sun fell towards the horizon, I headed to the tip of the peninsula to watch the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean. There was a haze along the horizon from fog so the conditions weren’t entirely ideal, but it was a huge improvement over the evening before. Even better, there weren’t hordes of people crowding the area so I enjoyed the wait a lot more.

The front of the nearby church was open so I poked my head inside. I knew the church had been struck by lightning Christmas morning a few years ago—I imagined the insurance claim must have said something about an “act of God.” Come on, lightning?! Striking a church on Christmas morning?!

The church had been repaired. The outside looked exactly like I remembered. I hadn’t seen the inside during my last visit, but on the doors just inside they had pictures of the place before the disaster and it was certainly a lot more elaborate then. They must have had a minimal budget for fixing up the interior, but I liked its simple and sparse look. It seems like all the other churches I’ve looked in all try to out-do each other in being grander and more gaudy than the rest. This new look had a modest but functional look that I found a nice change of pace.

And then I watched the sunset—which was wonderful—and then I headed back to the hostel for the night.

That’s about it for this trip. The next morning I caught the bus to Santiago, then transferred to a train to Madrid. I arrived in Madrid late in the evening and booked myself a hotel room near the train station since my flight to the United States wouldn’t leave until late the next morning.

Because my flight left so late in the morning, I decided to walk from the train station to the airport instead of riding public transportation. I loaded a map of the route to my phone and wrote out directions by hand just in case I had trouble with the online maps on my phone.

The walk was fun, but I had made one critical error in my directions. I had Google map the route from my hotel to the airport in Madrid, but I had not specified which terminal I needed to go. My directions led me to Terminal 1 where I wandered around trying to find an American Airlines counter but not finding anything. Eventually I asked a person at the information desk where American Airlines was located and they told me Terminal 4. Ah, crap….

Terminal 4, as it turns out, is hell and gone from Terminal 1. Normally, I’d have been happy to walk the extra distance but at this point, I needed to check in for my flight. I didn’t have time to walk the extra distance, so I took the free shuttle bus between terminals finally making it to Terminal 4 cutting it a little closer to my flight time than I would have preferred.

I boarded my flight to Philly, then transferred planes again and continued on to Seattle. My hiking season was officially over.

But don’t give up on this blog just yet! I’ve got some more adventures to post! Next stop… Cuba!

Corn in the corn crib!
Look at all the wood! You'd think I was next to a lumber mill!
Ha! I am next to a lumber mill! Had you going there, didn't I? ;o)

A stamp! Where we can just help ourselves! =)
Cafe where I took my lunch break. =)

I so wanted to see a flying reindeer, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. *sigh*

The end is near!

Go, little turtle! Go! You can get away! =)

This church was ravaged by a Christmas morning lightning-started fire a few years ago. Looks good now, though!

The interior is much more modest than from before the fire, though.
Sunset in Muxia

The view from the bus on the way back to Santiago. Just in the nick of time too... the weather has taken a turn for the worse!
It cleared up later in the afternoon, though, while I was walking through the streets of Santiago waiting for my train to Madrid. =)
Santiago train station
Yep, that's it. So long, and thanks for all the fish! Until next time.... =)

And here's a music video I created from my clips from Cuba.... just to wet your appetite for the Amazing Adventures of Amanda and Ryan in Cuba--come back in two days for the whole story! =)

1 comment:

Karolina said...

Ryan, you should start turning your photos into postcards! Beautiful!