By the Atlantic Ocean, well into spring.
From the town of Fisterra, there’s one more tiny stage to complete: a walk to the lighthouse at the tip of the cape.
Here it is. It’s a lighthouse, but with tourist and dining facilities. One can’t walk further than this.
On the way back to town, an exquisite turquoise cove, Nearby, a last Romanesque church, Our Lady of the Sands, twelfth century.
Last evening as a pilgrim. Well, for now.
I’d clambered down to the town beach and found a suitable little shell, more a clam than a scallop, but ridged the right way.
Dinner was a plate of gambas, in one of the numerous fish eateries.
After dinner, a stroll.
A tiny girl skips down a flight of steps, surprises me.
I’m not señor. After France, the lack of formal address is still odd. Still, when You’re from Oz, you can hardly object.
Further along, a little boy is sitting on the step of his house. He looks up at me with that macho composure so essential to Spanish males.
¡Hola! A flat answer from me, respecting his shot at male brusqueness.
He seems happy with his tone and mine.
I tell him I’m good, ask if he has a tip for the upcoming Madrid-Barcelona clash. And does he like Messi or Ronaldo? (I know the answer: Spanish boys want to play like Messi but they want to be Ronaldo.)
I pass on.
The frequent bars and eateries are pretty full, even at this quiet time of year. Full of brusque Spanish men, of Spanish women with a surface of tart-and-tomboy in this male tilted society, and more of those forward, rompy Spanish kids.
And I know I’m soon going to miss something.
I’ve grown accustomed to my hosts, and their ways. Maybe the scarcity of pilgrim company had a purpose. Something I haven’t come looking for has come looking for me.
While I was intent, in my dawdlish way, on a long, quasi-international line called the Camino de Santiago, the love of Spain and of its people has caught me from the side. Caught me good.