This has been Toby’s last day of sharing my journey, because he wants to go to Muxia — which is becoming something of a fable among the Camunists (which is how I describe the really fanatical peregrinos). It’s not enough to go to the end of the world, you must go to the most beautiful spot on the coast, blah blah. Somehow this misses the point, for me, but Toby is almost at the 1000 km mark and has a day in hand, while I have set my goals and I also know that I can only push my body so far. Ironically, he broke down this afternoon with shin-splints and we couldn’t blame the brilliant lunch of slow-cooked lamb that was such a delight.

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I don’t really like Dumbria, although the albergue is new and attached to a really great sports centre. I haven’t bothered with dinner after all that food, and the wifi is dodgy but good enough for wordpress, but the people are very Galician: serious, hardworking people who are not directly connected to the real Camino and see few pilgrims. Only Brun, Toby and I are here, drying out after another wet day, but the boots stayed pretty dry (wet feet are a potential disaster even at this stage) and we appreciated some amazing natural beauty. Rushing streams of crystal water, wild rivers, green fields, forests and the promise of the sea just over the horizon.

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Tomorrow I take the road south, back to the Finisterra path and a solo 25 km to finish my journey, while Brun and Toby head northwest to Muxia and a short day, before walking south along the coast to Finisterra and the bus back on Tuesday. I think on that touching moment in The Return of the King (the book, of course) where Gandalf meets the hobbits at the Grey Havens and says farewell one last time. I can’t guarantee my recollection, but I think he says, “well! here at last is the ending of our Fellowship in Middle Earth.” I have been saying hola and adios so often on my journey, and with a light heart, but these last partings bring back all that I have gained in the last three weeks and what I must, inevitably, lose. Buen Camino to all those whose lives have touched mine.

This is such a pagan journey, worshipping the setting sun. Only Yeats really gets that Celtic Twilight stuff. We are, in the end, dishevelled wandering stars, in the hands of a power much deeper, more profound and more mysterious than we can ever penetrate. The Camino is a constant process of revelation, because you never are certain what the moment will bring, who you will meet, with whom you will break bread, what revelation may be made to you that opens your eyes to another human story. You think you walk the Way, but from another perspective you are walked in and out of other peoples’ stories, and their lives are embroidered on your own. Life outside the Camino should be like that, but so often it isn’t. Was that why Jesus was a wandering holy man, weaving his revelation in and out of the lives of many?

Who goes with Fergus?

WHO will go drive with Fergus now,
And pierce the deep wood’s woven shade,
And dance upon the level shore?
Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And lift your tender eyelids, maid,
And brood on hopes and fear no more.
And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love’s bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all dishevelled wandering stars.

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