“I hope you’re not mad at me,” Ginny revealed at breakfast, “but I’ll come with to Finisterre and then make my own way to Muxia. I’ve walked 2600 kilometers alone, and that’s how I want to end my Camino.”
We weren’t in the least. “This is the Camino, you never and always walk alone.” “Best you can hope for is to see someone three times or four, everything above that is fate,” Inga agreed. “And besides, I want to sleep in for a change,” added Eva.
We took turns “consoling” Ginny who played the hurt deer, Inga and Eva with hugs, Alyssa by offering her a slice of Tarta Santiago. The sun was burning hot this morning, no wind came from the nearby ocean, and even the farmers had, rather unlike them, already sought refuge under a tree and were drinking and smoking.
We left Santa Mariña, crossed a row of fields over a worn out path, and found ourselves back in woodland territory, smelling of hot eucalyptus and dry wood. Todays 29 kilometer walk would take us to the ocean at Cee, one of the bigger cities along the coast, with shops and bars and an albergue with a view of the Atlantic. Our conversations centered around all the great things we’d do as soon as we arrived, eat ice cream, order massive amounts of food, dance the night away, and, tomorrow, only walk the remaining ten kilometers along the beach. We’d stop everywhere, drink lots of coffee and Coke Zero, be beach bums for a day.
All those words were, of course, just a thin mask of the sadness of it all ending soon and the excitement about seeing our first 0,0 marker, the second one following in Muxia.
“Not for me,” Alyssa explained, “I’ll stay in Fisterra for a day or two, then fly home. It’s time to present the new, shiny, pressure washed, Alyssa to the world.” We nodded. She’d changed from the girl I’d met in St. Jean to a new person, calmer, more self assured, more balanced in herself.
“And I’ll drink with you tomorrow on the way, and then I am off to Muxia. I figure that, if we leave by seven, we’ll be in Fisterra by nine, at the marker by ten, and I can make my way half to Muxia that day,” Ginny added. “Seven,” exclaimed Inga and Eva in unison. “Seven!” Ginny insisted.
We crossed over another hill and … there it was. The ocean glistened below us, still far away but now in a measurable and imaginable distance. Silently, in awe, we hugged, Ginny complaining bitterly about being suffocated by Alyssa’s “magnificent but somewhat Camino-smelling tits” before breaking free and doing a happy dance. We hadn’t walked as far as her, and so no one could imagine the things going on in her mind, but we could estimate from our own, huge, joy to hers.
The final kilometers to Cee went by in a hurry. It was mid afternoon when we checked in, were assigned our rooms, and discussed the rest of the day. Eva and Ginny wanted to go shopping, Alyssa wanted to relax at the albergue, and Inga and I decided to see the ocean, sit in the sand, and take it all in. On our way back we’d procure spaghetti and everything to make a vegetarian bolognese, as well as drink, and would cook at the albergue’s own kitchen. “See you around seven, then?” Eva asked and, after a nudge from Ginny, corrected the time to “closer to eight, I guess.”
We agreed, Alyssa went to find a place to read, and Inga and I went to see the Ocean.
Sitting in the warm sand, Inga’s head in my lap, I wondered if Sweden was such a bad idea. I’d have to think about it. But then, Sweden was Sweden, and this was the Camino. There were no guarantees and lots of problems. We’d see.
After a long while of silence, interspersed with declarations of endearment and hugs, we went shopping, found vegetarian ground beef substitute at a massive supermarket that would have been well at home in Leon, Paris, or Munich, and purchased enough wine to last us until Muxia.
The water was boiling, the sauce made, and the salad mixed, when Ginny, without Eva, arrived. “Eva’s still talking to the hospitalera,” she announced, “something about opening an albergue or so.”
Later, we sat around the dark wood table, the sinking sun striking everything in a golden red, when the topic of “next things” came up.
“Mikka thinks that paddling the Rhine from source to North Sea would be a fitting next adventure,” Eva grinned. “Maybe I’ll do that,” Ginny’s grin rivaled Eva’s. “I’ll clean out my ex’ last things from the garage, and then it’s back to tending sick people,” Inga added. Alyssa found, that it was time to change things up and home, kick old habits, and do something new. No idea what, but something new. And me? I honestly didn’t know, but I knew that after this, after those weeks, I’d not go back to my old life, either.
The stars had come out and the cold from the ocean had driven us into two piles, Ginny, Inga, and Alyssa under one blanket, Eva and myself under another. “So you guys, what are you? Lovers? More? Less?” Alyssa asked. “We’re… we’re… pilgrims. And a Camino Family.” Inga tried to explain…
“But you… you love each other?” “Yes.” “And you … have sex?”
“Yes!” “And when this is all over?” “We don’t know, but we’ll see.”
“Guess that’s the best we can all say about the next weeks and months and years.”
We went to sleep late, dreading the Ginny Alarmclock. I dreamed of St. Jean and entering a time loop that would always make we wake up there after going to sleep in Muxia.