Camino addendum. Finisterre to Lires

I’m addicted now. Since the market made it more cost effective for me to book the flight for Saturday and stay in albergues, I’m back on the path. There’s more Camino I can walk. So I’m walking it. It’s beautiful round here, and now the emotional journey is over, the weather is back to glorious. I’ve been walking down the coast, on my own, enjoying the views.


Fitbit is a few miles off buzzing but it makes sense to stop here. I’m in a little coastal town between Finisterre and Muxia. I’m out of sync with the people now so I don’t recognise the faces around me, but there are still plenty of pilgrims. As always it’s the Tower of Babel. If I were to run an albergue that’s what I’d call it. Every language is spoken here on the Camino in the attempt to be understood. I try to speak in Spanish and get responses in Italian. I have compromised on German before with people from Hungary or Russia, even though I have very little in the short term memory, because it’s the only shared language. We make do. We are all better at mime now. But I love the diversity of means of expression that different languages give. We can all deepen ourselves by association and understanding of one another. We are all part of one huge body of people, with different cultures and different rules, united in a shared goal of personal happiness and societal stability. The problem always comes when one culture decides they are the only culture and must impose themselves on everyone else while remaining untouched. Or when fear of difference rears its head.

A Korean is speaking Italian to an Englishman on my left. They are camping near the beach. The sun is falling and it’s tempting to wander back with them because the sunset over the sea is astonishing in this part of the world, but I got the ultimate sunset last night and tonight I feel like I might want to just chill out and read. I’m not feeling the urge to make friends again. I’m peacefully alone as I have been so many times on this journey. 

This is a tiny village. There’s nothing but this family run albergue between here and Muxia. The other guys have left while I’ve been writing and the young Spanish guy who runs the bar came out to take glasses. Now there are two pilgrims left.  The other guy is German. I’m “English”. “Whooooah” he says. “German and English! War!”

How is it that we hold onto the past like that?

I moved to avoid unwanted awkward small-talk, which was the only option where I was. I’m never not going to be small-talk averse. It’s a thing I’ve made peace with now. I don’t hate you if you want to talk about The Spice Girls for 30 minutes. But I just might wander over to the other side of the room for a bit.

And now I’ve been exposed. There’s no WiFi in the dorm and no data. So I’m back in the bar to upload photos and had to deliberately avoid all the enthusiastic souls. “Back so soon?” “No.”

Fuck it. The internet is too shit here to upload. I’m walking up a hill to try. I don’t think I’ll be able to put a photo on this.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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