20 October 2017
SONG: Life Is A Highway by the Cars
BOOK: A Bondswoman’s Tale – One of the verrrrry few novels written by a true slave in the 1800’s. It follows my read of The Underground Railroad by Colin Whitehead, which won a Pulitzer. I did not feel it deserved it and would not recommend it. This new one however was bought from a collection found in a library – one of those attic collections that gets found!!!!. It is just an incredible and remarkable discovery and a powerful contribution to history and literature. More than anything it supports the power of writing “what we know.”
THOUGHT: It is all about the people. There are so many ways and places to walk 500 miles, but the most unique and valuable facet of the Camino Frances is the people. While I can become exhausted from walking, physically, I never imagined that I could come to the end of a day and say to myself “I do not have the energy to meet another inspirational, bright, interesting person!”
Concluding my historic reporting on St James, I have gone back through my photos of the statuary and paintings that include him during my walk. My observations are that he was a vertically challenged (short) person, but the general population in the region here is also short…so he fit right in.
Based on the images, he was not the breathtakingly handsome sort. And just based on casual clinical observations, he most likely had Graves Disease or some other thyroid disorder. He had some seriously protruding eyes and it is a characteristic not all the other sculpted and painted guys shared. I don’t think it was an artistic trend.
He had a teaching phase, a pilgrim-wanderer phase
and in his miraculous resurrected-from-the-dead phase he had the slayer phase. I am including a series of pics because I know you are breathlessly awaiting and thirsting for such info in photo form.
At the personal level, I have been able to add on another day to my stay in the Albergue Arribada here in Muxia. Skipping the last two walks allowed me to get dropped off in the sweetest end to the trip and chance to recuperate. The small fishing village has mostly pilgrim traffic coming and going. There are landmarks and it is in fact the outermost reach of land into the Atlantic that curves into the point of James entry into the region. It has a fishing industry that probably contributes to some of its economic strength, but the Albergues and restaurants are able to do a lively trade.
The one I am in is the most well thought out of all the ones I have stayed in. There is a privacy curtain on each bunk. It has a generous kitchen and sitting area and a washer and dryer (very important for the last stop before you head back into civilization and need to have clean stuff.) I do pity the customs officer that picks a pilgrim’s bag for a search when we each return home. The boots alone could level him/her. It is for me a personal, mean-spirited hope that mine will be excepted…it will make me smile.
The buildings in Muxia are quite modern construction and architecture. A few old remains of walls are around and the old churches have been preserved. There is an unusual little boulder hill, but I have no idea how it was formed or why it is there. A friend and I decided to walk it and followed a set of arrows that had apparently were designed for very young, fit boulderers or goats. We got half way up and decided it was not a good day to die and literally, crawled back down. As we headed around the end of it, we came upon a well set, even walkway that wound to the top and was being traveled by the buses full of would be pilgrims who at least like to see the end points of the Way, up close and personal.
Re the thought on meeting interesting people: this is the quintessential element that defines the Camino as more than a walk. There is some representation of just about every kind of human being imaginable. All ages, nationalities, spiritualities, athletically (or not) motivated people around – what is not out here in them that does not demand some level of awe!