It was a ¡buen camino!

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my blog over the last 36 days. The comments really do give me a great boost every day. Please stick around for a few round-up posts.

I was up and out this morning and able to catch a belated sunrise over the ocean on my way towards the church at the tip of the Muxía peninsular, the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Barca, built at the end of the earth, on the very rocks that jut out of the seething, swirling ocean. I was lucky to catch the sun because soon after I returned it rained quite hard for a while. I also had the place almost to myself as the very early birds had either walked on to Finisterre or caught the 06:45 bus back to Santiago. Many more, who like me had completed their walk, were taking the later bus and were making the most of a lie-in. But once I am awake I like to be up, particularly when the room smells as though 20+ people and their aromatic boots have been sleeping in it.

But today I am neither walking, nor catching the bus. I am about to be collected by an, as yet, unmet friend who lives close by, and I shall be staying the night at her retreat.

During supper last evening we were discussing what we most wanted to do when we arrived home. My first activity is always to check what has been happening in my garden during my absence. I know for sure there will be a mountain of weeds to contend with. Then I will have a long, hot shower with my favourite products, and afterwards straighten my hair of frizz for the first time in five weeks and pluck my eyebrows (I broke my magnifying mirror about three weeks ago and now have something akin to a forest growing above my eyes). Other treats include using an electric toothbrush, sitting in ‘my’ chair that I know David will have been keeping warm in my absence, drinking hot water from ‘my’ cup that I know David wouldn’t dare to use in my absence, watch the news, get dressed in something tidy, eat a balanced diet.

I shall continue to eat what I want for a few days (although that will almost exclusively be healthy, except of course the chocolate and churros I will indulge in when I am back in Santiago) and then with the new week I shall try and get back into eating a whole food, plant based diet. During the first three months of this year I shed around 10 kilos (more than the weight of my backpack). I’m not sure if I’ve lost any more weight during the course of my camino, but my shorts are definitely feeling a bit roomy. I was hoping that I might stick with a vegetarian, or better still vegan, diet whilst walking, but I’m afraid I wasn’t sufficiently determined and fell by the wayside almost immediately. It isn’t easy to be so dedicated to the cause when away from home, particularly in rural Spain. But the intention remains for a healthy, sustainable diet when I am back in my own kitchen.

I’ve been lucky to experience a fairly pain-free camino this year. My right knee has given me more trouble than normal, but less than the first year I walked. Blisters – I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention. I’m hopeful that all my toenails will stay put despite some ridiculously steep downhill tracks. I’ve taken no more painkillers than I can count on one hand. I’ve supped a few glasses of wine and never suffered a hangover. So all in all my body has done me proud and I have remained pretty strong. It never fails to amaze me – what incredible machines our bodies are – that we can ask so much of them on a daily basis and most of the time they just obey the command.

Other than the seven years of bad luck I earned by breaking my mirror, I managed to keep hold of all my possessions until the last few days when I left behind my soap and lost my tripod. My clothes and equipment all worked really well – I wore my shorts for walking almost all of the time except for a few days when it was literally freezing cold and I wore both leggings and skirt, and both these items were employed alone or together every evening. The only item I didn’t really make use of was a pair of light cotton trousers that only got worn once when everything else was in the wash.

I was exceptionally lucky with the weather. Time and again the forecasts threatened us with storms that didn’t materialise. There was a fair amount of mist and low cloud, but that probably kept the cold at bay. There were a few scorching days as I reached Santiago, but an extra early start meant that I reached my destination before it became unbearable.

I’ve walked with friends of old and met with many new and interesting peregrinos. Starting my walk with a ready-made camino family was a bit of a gamble – how would this disparate group get on with each other? The simple answer was…very well. We were a happy family, but when the time came to go our separate ways there was a tinge of sadness, but always new paths to forge and new friends to meet. With the exception of two stages, Marilyn and I stayed together until we reached Santiago, and shared a whole range of experiences and emotions. And the icing on my camino cake was bumping into Eli at Finisterre.

After completing my last stage to Muxía I spent a day and night chilling out at ‘The Little Fox House’ camino retreat, situated nearby in the heart of the countryside in the tiny hamlet of Carantoña. It was nice to meet with Tracy who runs this facility, we have been facebook friends for some time. The Little Fox House is Tracy’s home, an old stone building where pilgrims can visit post-camino to take a breather before returning to ‘normal’ life. I’ve never had a problem returning home, but for some, particularly those from far away, it can be a shock to the system after so many days on the camino, and Tracy offers friendship, support and excellent food in a well equipped and cosy environment. Please take a look at her website and spread the word.

And now I’m back in Santiago, having posted my walking poles home (thanks to the infinite patience of the lady at the Correos who re-engineered the pre-formed carton to fit my pacerpole handles), and visited the Pilgrims’ office in vain (unfortunately I have none of the patience that the Correos worker displayed and had no inclination to wait a couple of hours to register my completion and claim my compostela). So, whilst awaiting the airport bus I am sitting in Casa Pepe, in Praza de Santo Agostiño, just above the food market, where I remembered from years past that they provide exceptionally good tapas with every drink. One more glass of wine (it has just turned mid-day!) and I shall be off to the bus stop. Cheers everyone. And once again, many, many thanks for your company along this camino.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue
This entry was posted in Camino de Madrid, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino del Salvador, Camino Primitivo and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to It was a ¡buen camino!

  1. Heather Coffin says:

    Congratulations once again my determined and adventurous friend. Enjoy the rest when you get home. Love Heather xx


  2. Darlene MacDonald says:

    I have looked forward to your posts daily. …well done!…and I have shared your blog with pilgrims and wanna be pilgrims here in Saskatoon. …You inspire and encourage. ..thank you. ….


  3. Your blog this year has been outstanding and this final one is no exception. Well done, you are phenomenal! xx


  4. Jerry o'connor says:

    Congratulations and well done and thank you forl the great fantastic blog.
    Buen Camino


  5. OzAnnie says:

    Nice , thankyou for the final ’round off’ to your days on camino.
    You sure look like you’ve lost ‘more weight’
    You certainly amaze me that you shed 10kgs earlier this year. You’ve obviously got good strong will. !
    Well done


  6. Tom Buchanan says:

    Dear Magwood, last year I did the Norte about 45 days after you completed it. Using your blogs made my trip so much better. This year me and my sons will be doing the Portuguese route (only a month away). Having followed your posts this year, I’m now contemplating the Madrid route for next year. Buen Camino Pilgrim.


  7. juswalkin says:

    It has been such a pleasure to follow yet another of your camino.

    What is next for you?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. stevebarry4sympaticoca says:

    Good job, Magwood.
    Best always, Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mary Lynch says:

    Cheers Maggie and continued good health. I shall miss your daily blogs. They were one of the highlights of my day!! Enjoy being home with David. No doubt you will give us an update of life after the Camino in a couple of weeks. Much love xxx


  10. Sally says:

    Following your blog this year has been a new experience for me, Maggie. I’ve looked forward to reading it every day. I’ve enjoyed reliving your experiences with you and feel I’ve done this camino by your side (without the hard bit). What an phenomenal lady you are! Look forward to welcoming you home xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. John Noble says:

    Thanks for the great descriptions. Hope to pick your brains about some bits before long!!!


  12. janpow123 says:

    Cheers Maggie, and thank you for your lovely posts. We will miss you and wish you a safe homeward journey . I’m sure you will recieve a grand wecome home from family, friends and your wonderful fur babies.
    Have a great summer!


  13. meg says:

    Safe Travels – homeward bound….Thanks for the delightful trip!!!


  14. Gaynor Nissen says:

    Well done Maggie! Loved following you and hearing all your adventures! Will miss my daily update😊 X Gaynor


  15. Thank you so much taking taking a stranger along on a beautiful Camino. I walk the CF with my daughter in 2015 and we had a wonderful experience until 3 days from Santiago when I fractured my foot. Not knowing it was a fracture, I kept going, and going for a few more weeks before I returned to the states and had an X-ray.
    Last year I planned to walk the Camino Norte and stumbled on your blog as you were going a month ahead of me. In the end, I had to cancel due to another stress fracture so I guess my Camino days may be behind me. I do enjoy your spirit, writing style, and photos so thanks for including me in your trip.


  16. Conchy says:

    Thanks again Maggie for a wonderful blog. Will miss you but hope you will write in a few days after you rest. Have a safe trip home.


  17. Amanda de Klerk says:

    Maggie, well done again and enjoy the coming home phase. Enjoy the luxury of your own bathroom, bed, chair and all those small things which are part on a personal life. Hope you give us a few last posts as it seems that we all are reluctant to leave ……. Safe travels home.


  18. Bill VanHook says:

    Well done Maggie! Enjoy your time at home now.


  19. Joseph B says:

    Maggie, once again I find myself short of words and ways to say you have kept me anxious for the next stage. Thank you so very much, will missing you and your magnificent pictures. Have a great trip home. Hope to cross path with you some day.


  20. Angela Troy says:

    Hi Mags,
    Thank you so much for sharing your Camino with me and so many others. I really looked forward to getting into bed every night and reading your blog. I have done the Camino several times , with my two sisters and also alone. I lost my beautiful sister to cancer in January , and your lovely blog lifted my spirits. Perhaps I will walk the Camino again in September, who knows. Thank you again for taking the time to share your experiences. , you have a wonderful talent. God bless you Mags, I will look forward to your next adventure, xxx Angela


  21. lynharrison4wind says:

    Still here Maggie, never fear! Fascinating pix of rock formations. Well spotted. Churros and choc sounded SO good to me after the past three days doing spudfit. Good job I’ve got none within reach. 4 kgs so far and counting down but I’m not going to beat 10 (or more), that’s for sure!


  22. Julie says:

    Hi Maggie, I have loved reading your posts. This time last year I was just walking into Molinaseca and your posts have helped me re live every day. I hope to be back on the Camino this time next year. Buen Camino and congratulations on your wonderful achievement.
    Julie – Sydney Aust.


  23. Thank you so much for taking us along on your Camino. Each of your posts is so welcome and a reminder of the joys and woes of these treks. I would like to go to Portugal in September – re-reading about your journey will help keep me on track.


  24. It was a joy to read your blog everyday and I will miss your reflections and commentary on all things camino. You have inspired me to have a good long look at the Camino Madrid and all your little variations….just not sure how to break it to my husband. Maybe I will keep this one under my hat for a while in the interests of domestic harmony! Take care and I look forward to your next adventure. Mel


  25. Lucy says:

    I enjoyed following your blog every day of your camino. Such lovely descriptions and photos, you really know how to tell a good story. Like many others I’m looking forward to the next instalments.


  26. Christine Ross says:

    Hi Maggie, Thank you so so much for your wonderful words and pictures – I have been with you all the way, and am sorry that I didn’t manage to meet you on the Camino! I intended to start the Camino de Madrid around the same time you did, but unexpected medical results meant I had to cancel at very short notice and stay home. I’m feeling absolutely fine, have a diagnosis and treatment path now so hopefully will get the all-clear soon to follow in your footsteps. Enjoy being at home and in your garden and I look forward to your next adventures! Christine (Wellington, NZ)


  27. Maureen Gillespie says:

    Maggie you are so inspiring. Thanks for the daily updates. I shall miss them so much. Hope you’re enjoying being back home. Give Roly a pat from me. Xxx


  28. M.Charlotte lewall says:

    I have allowed a day or two to pass before commenting. I have walked many a camino…south-north, east-west and even on the diagonal, and this year is my ‘make up the gaps’ walk which is exactly your route…which I suspect may be given its own name as so many more see this as a Way to Santiago that visits ‘el Salvador’ and avoids the frenetic stages on the Camino Francés. In my 8? years of being ‘en Camino’, I have never followed a ‘blog’. Yours is the first, and I have been …er…entranced?…overwhelmed?…er…whatever…selfishly, I will use your experience to plan my walk…but I have truly enjoyed following your journey. Your photography is …’lovely’…a coy word, but I truly appreciate the ‘eye’, and, as I have said another time, I would love to walk with you. Blessings, peregrina, wherever your road will take you.


    • magwood says:

      Hi Charlotte. Many thanks for your kind comment. I’m really pleased that my blog will be useful to you – that is my aim. I really enjoyed this camino and I’m sure you will too. You will encounter such varied landscape from the flat plains of the meseta to the heights of the Picos de Europa. Just be prepared for company when you reach the Primitivo. I will at some point get around to posting a list of my resources for this/these caminos. When do you plan to go?
      Buen camino!


  29. M. Charlotte Lewall says:

    I have allowed a day or two to pass before commenting. I have walked many a Camino…east to west, south to north, and Spain on the diagonal. This year is my ‘make up the gaps’ walk, which is exactly your route. I suspect it will be given its own name before too long, as so many more see this as a Way to Santiago that visits ‘el Salvador’ and avoids the frenetic stages on the Camino Francés. I have truly enjoyed your journey…even though I have (selfishly) gleaned from your experience as I plan to walk the same route in a few weeks. Thank you. Your photographic ( and verbal)bnarrative has been excellent…and I am in your debt, peregrina.


  30. Congratulations Maggie, i very much enjoy following your camino journey’s and your blog was my inspiration and template when I did my first Camino Frances back in the spring of 2015. Thanks for sharing another incredible journey. I hope to be on a shortened Camino journey in the fall as I’m looking into something a little different – Camino de Fatima walking from Porto to Fatima along the same route as the Camino Portuguese but following the blue arrows:)… Enjoy those Camino memories from this most recent Camino which as I know tend to provide days, months and years of joy!


  31. Yet another great travel story, well told. Thanks, Maggie. And here’s to next year! x


  32. Kristina Wilkening says:

    Beautifully written and photographed! Welcome home!


  33. Thank you, Maggie, for a wonderful journey lived vicariously! It was a joy to open your blog in the evenings after returning from work in the dark. Safe onward travels.


  34. Philip says:

    Congrats Maggie. Always a joy to read your posts. I walked the via
    Lusitana this year (as it is seldom termed unfortunately) though I followed the coast from A Garda and took the ‘variants espiritual’.

    You have inspired me to walk from Madrid to Oviedo next year, though I had originally planned to start in Leon; then carry on to the Invierno.

    Two questions – what map/s did you use from Madrid and – can you please guide me as to how Wikiloc works as I have been unsuccessful.

    Thanks – Felipe Peregrino


    • magwood says:

      Hi Felipe. Good decision. I am sure you will like the Camino de Madrid. I like to use the Gronze website to plan my caminos, it lists all albergues and utilities en route. It is in spanish but very easy to follow. I have joined my stages together on wikiloc from Madrid to Muxia (with a couple of short gaps when my phone failed to record – blame the tools not the operator!). You can see it here.

      I like to use wikiloc for recording my treks. It isn’t necessary to have a data connection to operate the app. I rarely use it to follow a trail posted by someone else – only on a few stages of the Ruta do Mar last year when there were no marked trails. But on the satellite view it does give a lot of detail of the lay of the land.

      Perhaps more useful for following a trail is the app ‘’. I will try to email you a link to the Camino de Madrid. If it doesn’t arrive in your mailbox please check your junk folder.

      Buen camino, Maggie


  35. Marilyn Van Graan says:

    Everyone has said it all for me Maggie dear – all so enjoyable and yes you do have a good eye for the photographs – you always forget to mention that you are a horse whisperer as well!!! Loved the last photograph of you having the last glass of vino before you hit the road home – really a lovey photo of you – special inspiring lady that you are – love alwaysXXXXX


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