Day 30.2: Mo’ Ocean in Muxia


Day 30
Date: Wednesday, Oct 5, 2016
Start: Olveiroa
Stop: Bella Muxia Albergue, Muxia     👍👍
Distance (Day/Total): 32/722 km
High Temp: 18 C/64 F (Low:  11 C/52 F)

A single thumbs up or down is simply an indication of whether I would stay there again or not.  It is not a recommendation.  A double thumbs up or down indicates that the place was great and I highly recommend it or absolutely awful and stay away.

Continuing from Day 30.1

I escape the French artist and walk the 1 km stone path along the edge of a hill to the tip of Muxia where the lighthouse is and the Santuario de Nosa Señora da Barca.  The location pre-dates Christianity as a Celtic holy site.  The people in the area resisted Christianity and didn’t convert until the 12th century.  That’s when a chapel was built on the site.  The present day church was built in the 17th century.  In 2013, a fire destroyed the interior and reconstruction is ongoing.

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The Nosa Señora da Barca and A Ferida in the background

Next to the church is a 400 ton sculpture “A Ferida” or “The Wound” by Alberto Bañuelos.  In 2002, a tanker sank off the coast of Galicia and spilled 20 million gallons of fuel oil resulting in the largest environmental disaster in the history of Spain and Portugal.  The sculpture symbolizes the wound to the sea caused by this spill.

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In front of Nosa Señora da Barca

It is a beautiful location.  I sit on the rocks, watching the ocean and the sun setting.  After a while, I head back into town but this time walking along the road that hugs the coast.

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I settle on a cafe close to the albergue for dinner.  David (Day 25), the British/New Zealand IT guy living in Portugal, and the tall guy in the yellow slicker (Day 27) I had seen having a gin and tonic in Santiago join me.  Yellow slicker’s name is Steve and he is from Oxford, Mississippi.  They’re both heading to Finisterre, tomorrow.

Finally, it seems a little crass to end this post with a picture of a Shell marine station located at the beginning of Muxia.  But there’s a story.  I used to work for Shell and the pecten (Shell logo) still catches my eye nd I will frequently take a picture.  In Finisterre, I was talking to another pilgrim who had also gone to Muxia first, also.  We were talking about what a fantastic walk it was coming over the hill, getting the first sight of the ocean and then walking down the hill to the beach.  She mentioned the Shell station and how much she regretted not taking a picture because she knew someone who worked for Shell and she had wanted to send it to him.  Hey, now!  The Camino Provides.

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Muxia is a tiny, touristy fishing village.  Because it’s Fall, there aren’t many tourists.  Mostly pilgrims.  I pass by a couple of hotels.  When I get to the other end of town, I see a seafood restaurant with a sign that they have rooms to rent.  I decide to check out the rooms.  It’s around 3 pm – siesta time – and the restaurant is empty.  No diners.  No employees.  I stick around for a little bit and then move on.  I stumble upon the Bella albergue.  It is huge and modern and I decide that that will be my stop for the night.  It is very nice and the guy manning the front desk is funny and very helpful.  I get my bed, shower and do laundry; they have a washer and a dryer.

I see Sue and Rebecca.  Rebecca has to cut her trip short for an family emergency.  I also talk to the German (I think) and Italian couple I met several days ago.  They were probably in their 60s, had met on a camino several years ago, walked together and gotten married.  They were very sweet.  I met a strange little French guy who was on some year long walk to various holy sites, trying to get his art project funded.  The project involved having people send him bottles of sand.  Didn’t fully understand or why he needed the money.  Had a hard time shaking him but I finally made my escape.

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