4 June 2015

Farewell to Friends.

The last day in Santiago was quite a sad affair as it was combined with lots of farewells. It started with us saying goodbye to Pat and Dan. As a leaving gift, our BBF gave Pat a Superwoman doll in the superhero pose to much acclaim. On her blog www.patanddanmakingtracks.com Pat has written about it and calls her doll "Karma Too" which we think is most appropriate. 
Lisa being more artistic and thoughtful presented them with a lovely picture of the three of them, inscribed with the words, "No distance is too great with a friend by your side!" This brought a tear to all our eyes.
Alan then went off to try and post his parcel of unwanted things, but the Spanish Post Office computer in all Spain was down and so could not. He left the parcel there saying he would be back around the 6 June when hopefully the computers would be working again.
In the early evening he met outside the cathedral with John and Suzanne, from Oregon and Simon and Millie from Australia. We were now here to perform the exchange of rings between Alan and Simon. We went into the cathedral and Alan found an empty chapel in which they could sit to pray and do the exchange. Millie performed the exchange putting the rings on their fingers. Then Simon replaced Millie's ring on to her wedding ring finger! 
Drinks were needed to celebrate  and so they all went off to the best Tapas bar in town. John and Suzanne had brought a friend from Colorado called Debby so now we were six humans. 
After the meal the humans exchanged much from their past lives, in particular they shared the grief that each of them had known. Interestingly tears flowed from them all, not for the memory of their individual loss and grief, but more for the grief of the others. This has undoubtedly bound them even closer together now. 
Then again it was the parting of the ways for some. It was to be hoped that we would see at least John and Suzanne again in Fisterra. 
On the morning of 30 May we met Lisa outside our Albergue and after they'd adopted the superhero pose set off on the first stage of their next journey.
                 Looking back at the Cathedral in Santiago.

We have to say it is such a pleasure to be walking in the company of Lisa who is a real ray of sunshine. Consequently the distance of some 25 odd kms on the first day went quickly and without real incident.
After the entry into Santiago which was not really so nice as they were so many package pilgrims on the last 100 kms, our route now was quiet and peaceful as we walked through beautiful countryside.
To cut a long story short we stopped just twice along the way. The second day was particularly hard as we walked a little over 36 kms and then had another 30 km day to get to Fisterra.
Up on the hill we had our first glimpse  of the Atlantic Ocean.
And then we stopped at a lovely spot where we could actually see the Cape in the distance.
Our Albergue when we got there had fine sea views from our room.

Later in the evening we met with John and Suzanne and adopting the necessary superheroes pose we all walked the last few kilometres to Finis Terrae, the end of the world.
At the one kilometre mark we honoured Pat and Dan by singing the beer bottle song too.


At the end is a stone which shows we have no further to go.

Our BBF then took himself off to find a quiet spot from which he could toss the stone he had carried all the way from Hanna's grave, into the Ocean saying the appropriate prayer as he did so.
As the sun kissed the surface of the sea he sang the Pilgrim's Hymn.
Then they all took a taxi back to Fisterra and more goodbyes followed before bed.
Alan and Lisa set off early the next morning for the 30 odd kilometres to Muxia. There is only one place for stopping for coffee on the way and that is more or less halfway. Neither Lisa nor Alan were in a really good mood since the night before they had found the setting of the sun was the more perfect closure to the pilgrimage than the services in Santiago. The way though was through more lovely countryside with occasional views of the sea.

They were both exhausted when they got there. Lisa so much that she was in bed by 20:00 hrs. 
Alan went off one more time to the end of the peninsular to sing the Pilgrim's Hymn to the waves before he too found his bed and was asleep by 21:00 hrs.


                A rucksack on legs called Lisa

The next day we set off back to Fisterra and we were all in a much better mood, so much so that the humans set a cracking pace. This was undoubtedly the last straw for Alan's right knee which had had enough of walking 30 odd kilometres for four days in a row.
                 An angel of mercy trying to help and old donkey 

 Once back Alan and Lisa went into town to get a knee support and the certificate saying that they had walked to the end of the world.
That evening we had a picnick on the beach and the humans collected shells and generally relaxed. They had hoped to finish with the traditional burning of clothes, but the wind and the modern fabric conspired against them, so they found a celebratory rubbish bin instead.


This morning 4 June our humans got up a bit later then usual and went to see the sunrise from the beach and to look for more sea shells.
Our humans left only footprints along the Camino.

Once again came a parting of the Ways. A tearful last hug and we set off by ourselves for the long walk back. Lisa stood on the balcony of our Albergue in tears and wished us one last time "Buen Camino", Alan replied with " Via con Dios, Lisa!" Which we understand means, "go with God."
Our BBF can only go slow now and has said that this is the lesson for him to learn. The majority of his life is past and to enjoy what he has left he should go slow, without hectic, smelling the roses as he goes. Certainly despight the knee, we enjoyed the walk to Caminos Chans. There is no rush and we go as far or as little as we feel we are able.

                         Our last look back to Fisterra

To Alan's delight our Albergue gave him a fluffy towel, had sheets on the bed and a fluffy carpet on the floor.
We went into town to get some money once we had done all the chores, and to honour Lisa, Alan bought the makings of Pasta Carbonara and will cook a meal for himself this evening.
We are taking five days to go back to Santiago instead of the three we took getting to Fisterra. Alan said he would decide how it continues when he gets there and sees how his knee has held up along the way.
Buen Camino