“Bye guys,” Ginny grabbed her backpack and her walking sticks, opened the door and was about to leave, when Inga and Eva tackled her one last time for a hug. “Thanks for walking with us,” Inga proclaimed. “Yeah, thanks for bringing a little more estrogen into our group, with Mikka being such an overbearing … dude.” Eva added. Ginny grinned.
We ate breakfast at the pier, washed it all down with coffee and the mandatory can of Coke Zero, waved to the Texan Preacher Couple passing by in street clothes, and quickly said good bye to Sabine, then set off to walk the final 30 kilometers of our Camino.
“I don’t feel like have arrived, yet,” Inga confessed. “That 0,0 km sign was nice and good for Instagram, but I … I need something else for closure.” We agreed.
The Way was, unlike any of as had imagined, rather bland. We soon left the ocean to our left and entered the fields and small hamlets of the Costa del Morte, passing by construction sites and quiet farms. Only a close encounter with a somewhat aggravated dog and another with an equally aggravated farmer looking for said dog brought any excitement. It didn’t feel like the last leg, more like one of those stages you just wanted to finish to get to something a little less mind numbing.
We stopped at the mandatory half way point stop and received our stamp, purchased the usual, cafe con leche and Coke Zero, twiddled thumbs for a few minutes as the only pilgrims around, then headed back onto the Way.
Our conversations circled, as one would expect, about the 900 kilometers we had left behind, and the tens of thousands to come. “When I get home, I’ll take the longest bubble bath in history,” Inga announced, prompting an immediate demand for pictures by both of us. “I’ll walk around naked for two days,” Eva exclaimed. More demands for pictures. “I’ll go back to work,” I said. No one wanted pictures.
We fell into silence often, everyone hanging after their thoughts, interspersed with a chuckle from one of us, followed by a “remember when…” and a chuckle from everyone else. Inga often stopped to hug and kiss Eva or me, and so we made it a game of “milestone cuddles,” where every Camino marker we’d stop briefly to hug it out.
For a while we followed behind a rancher and his cows, then found ourselves surrounded by sheep, bleating their way in the opposite direction, a smiling shepherd and his dogs behind them.
Finally, our bellies grumbling, we entered another forest, descended a small hill, and hit the road that would, cars rushing by, take us to Muxia.
We arrived in the late afternoon hours, the 30 kilometers having passed us by without being taxing or even noticed, our Camino-trained legs did their jobs well, and found our hotel at the beach. The owner, an aging hippie himself, was the first not to bat an eye at our sleeping arrangements, showed us our room and left, the smell of good ganja wafting in through our open window a short while later.
We showered, I put on my Fisterra jeans and the “Game Over” T-Shirt I’d bought, the girls slipping into their dresses and Eva handing Inga the shell necklace we’d bought.
We ate dinner at a small restaurant in town, I ordered my last cafe con leche for the Camino, Inga produced a pack of cigarettes, and Eva presented me with something she’d picked up for me in Sarria… a medallion of St. James carrying a pilgrim. “Thanks for carrying me,” she said.
“I wonder how Alyssa and Ginny are doing. Or Rainer. Or Hu.” “They’re probably sitting somewhere, wondering when they can make time to come back,” Eva answered. “Except for Ginny, I am sure she’s already planning that canoe tour,” Inga added.
We finished our meal and coffee in time to make it to the beach. Beneath us, the angry sea lapped at the black rocks and the first colder winds came in from the vast dimensions of the ocean. We found a spot to sit, Inga leaning into Eva’s lap, and waited for the sun to set.
“We did the burning and swimming and the waking up already,” Inga broke the silence. “What’s left to do?” “To arrive. Finally.” I answered. And then, as the sun set and the warm winds subsided, I arrived.