The magic box

We had a bit of a “lie in” sleeping till almost 8 before stirring. Luckily the meditation “ohm-ing” didn’t begin until 9 just as we were leaving. Can’t say I was sorry to see the end of that spot. After wandering around town a bit looking for an ATM, we stopped for coffee, running into Connor, then figured out the path North to Lires along the coast. We intend to hike a triangular route from Santiago to Finisterre to Muxía and back to Santiago. At times the markings aren’t quite as clear as before, when everyone was basically hiking the same direction to Santiago, no matter which Camino they were on.  Now pilgrims have a number of options so you frequently pass people going the opposite way. Seems a bit jarring at first. Plus the markers go both ways with no km noted. 

As we hiked up and out of Finisterre we had some good views looking back. At times that’s the most enjoyable thing – looking back and seeing where you’ve been and how far you’ve gone and the climbs you’ve done. We passed through small villages and farms, seeing people at work, including a cart pulled by a mule. One delightful happenstance is that There are small vans that drive around villages delivering bread. They  drive up to a house, honk, then hang the bag of bread on the door. Tony meandered over and bought a loaf for lunch. Can’t get fresher than that. 

There are always plenty of rather scrawny cats wandering about as well as dogs abounding. Some are fenced, some chained and many just loose. We came around a bend in a small lane and laughed when we saw a large dog sitting in the middle of the road staring at us. Tony called him the sentinel. He didn’t even budge or make a sound as we passed by. But later on as Stephanie and I were gabbing away we came around a bend just to have a large, nasty shepperd come from no where and started barking ferociously. Startled me enough to let out a scream, much to everyone’s amusement. Probably woke the town, if any were still abed.

We were purposefully taking a short hiking day so easily took any alternative path offered if we thought it looked good. On one of those we came across the magic box. It was an unexpected stop along the path that wasn’t in the guide book but totally charmed us. There was a table with a box labeled “the magic box”. We met two women who had got there just before us – German and Irish. They read the box details to us…. We were to write a note with a wish on it  and put it in the box, then were to take out wish and carry it with us, praying to make it so. What a nice concept. We all did as expected then carried on.

The path took us along some beautiful coastline, with pristine beaches. We found a nice pair of benches overlooking the water to sit and enjoy our picnic lunch. It wasn’t much further to hike into Lires. We enjoyed going round the cove leading us into town seeing all the seagulls swarming around. We figured out it was due to the fish that got loose from the fish farm at the end of the cove. We meandered through the hillside town checking for lodging as we hadn’t made any reservations. Luckily the only albergue had enough beds available and it is quite nice. Even better, it has a bar and restaurant attached so no extra walking tonight.

As we were checking in we saw the 3 Spanish gentlemen we met a few towns back that Mandy had chatted a bit with. After she admired the bandana one had he said he’d give it to her. She suggested they swap, so that’s exactly what they did.

We made great use of both of those as we settled in. Turned out that we had interesting, chatty bunk mates. First, another Irish woman, Maura, shows up after having walked the Francés. She didn’t take a breath as she yammered on, revelling us with stories of fellow snoring hikers. When she stopped for half a second we tried to introduce ourselves, but she swooshed away names, saying she never remembers them. Hmmmm. Then, when we returned from dinner we found her doing yoga in the room – shades of hippy-dippy Finisterre and Stephen, from earlier days, always wanting to do what he termed “pilyoga” or  pilgrim yoga. We had 3 other women with us, one from Taiwan and 2 from China. Turns out they had just met. We were doing the usual pilgrim chatting about who hiked what and where they were headed. Then came the attempt to explain about bus stops…. Somehow the fact of the noun vs verb of those woods got lost in translation, causing the beginning of much mirth. Broke the ice for a lively conversation as we prepared for bed. Not the usual albergue evening.

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