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09th Aug 2019

My Camino with Maria Walsh Day 8: Mixed emotions as we approach our final destination

Cathy Donohue

“The ultimate moment, celebrating the survival and victory of the Camino.”

Maria Walsh is a newly-elected MEP. From Shrule, Co Mayo, she was crowned Rose of Tralee in 2014. This week, she is walking a stretch of the Camino De Santiago and chronicling the experience for Her. It’s the final stretch and there are mixed emotions… 

The first day of rain since we started some days back. It’s a welcome and refreshing drizzle, a mere spit by Irish standards.

We begin our day back in Lires covering both forest and roadside, walking into Muxía amidst a heavy fog. As a Pilgrim, you begin to dislike seeing and walking along the road but there’s no getting away from it. We meet more Pilgrims today than any other day, making their way to Fisterra.

With a short walk of 17KM, Mary and I get lost in our music and podcasts. We chat a little and ask each other how we feel about this being our final walk. Excited or disappointed? Where to next? What route?

We come onto a newly marked roadside and even with the fog sitting over the sea, it’s a breathtaking view.

The tourist office for the Compostela closes at 13.30 so we locate the office on arrival to Muxia. Even with all the kilometres covered, photos and videos captured, it is the Compostela that we strive towards. The ultimate moment, celebrating the survival and victory of the Camino.

We find ourselves running (skipping really!) to locate the offices and as we run other Pilgrims cheer us on. Mary and I find ourselves laughing as if we just ran the final meters of a marathon!

Receiving our Compostela in Muxia feels different to Fisterra and Santiago. Truthfully, arriving into Muxía brings a combination of both happiness and disappointment. This is where the Camino gets you! It draws you back in before you even finish your final kilometre and Mary and I find ourselves chatting about tackling the Portuguese Way next summer.

It’s surreal to think that we are now finished. We slowly move our feet to our hostel, Bela Muxia, near the sea view of Muxia. Seeing a poster for a post-Camino retreat of reflection, we feel a pang of jealousy for those who get to sit in the Camino experience for a few days longer.

For now, we stroll to the ‘pedra dos cadrís’ and spend some time in the church there, reflecting on our experience of Camino.


Maria is travelling with Camino Ways. Click to read her entries for days one, two, three, four, five, six and seven of her Camino.