Sunday, 3 August 2014

Pilgrims' (Slow) Progress

Our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela was thwarted because the buses from Camarinas only run during the school year.  With the weather still preventing us from continuing our travels, we decided to make a smaller pilgrimage across the bay to Muxia, one of the holy sites along the Way of Saint James.  Legends from the middle ages say that after Jesus’ death, his mother Mary arrived in Muxia in a stone boat to encourage the evangelical work of Saint James here.  (There’s a similar legend that says Mary and her mother Anne arrived on the Mediterranean coast of France and traveled from there to Brittany, where Anne died, stimulating centuries of Anne devotion there.)  The site of the church, Our Lady of the Boat, is a beautiful mix of Christian devotion to Mary and earlier pre-christian worship of stones.

Our Lady of the Boat, Muxia




A more modern version of ancient stone worship.
Hillside of Muxia facing the sea,
Patrick communing with the stones.

The port at Muxia has only been operational for a few years, and most coastal pilot guide books say that it is still under construction.  It is, however, fully functioning, and we had the place almost entirely to ourselves.  

The new port at Muxia.
View of the town from the port.

Since this is the half-way point of our journey, it was time for a few things to start breaking down.  We first noticed ice forming around the gas lines leading from the refrigerator compressor to the cold plate.  A few photos sent to our electricians back home turned up nothing.  The refrigerator is still working well and the cold plate is uniformly cool all over (thus not a problem of low gas levels).  It’s not really a problem but does create an annoying mess of water under the sink when the ice melts. We’ll have to wait and have it checked out when we get home in mid September.  

I suppose we could chip it off and use it in our gin and tonics.
The second problem was a bit more serious.  It has been said that behind every great man is a surprised woman.  My Patrick has turned into quite a handy-man on the boat and has managed to fix things I thought were doomed.  The shore power electricity in Muxia port required an adapter for our cable, which we had.  When we plugged it in, our circuit breaker promptly shut down and refused to be reset.  Patrick opened up the adapter plug and found a wire that had become disconnected.  We suppose that this caused the surge that shut down the circuit breaker.  He rewired the plug and then we set off to find a new circuit breaker, without much hope.  After 2 visits to hardware stores, we were told that the only electricians in town were self-employed, and that we should look around the streets for their vans.  Strangely enough, we found one such van parked along the street near the port.  Patrick asked at a nearby restaurant if they knew where the electrician might be, and they suggested we check the bar next door.  Sure enough, he was there, and surprisingly, he had exactly what we needed.  It took the whole afternoon, but when all the pieces were put together, it worked!

Loose wires (in blue plug on the right).


A new circuit breaker saves the day.
We’re now back in the big city of Coruna, where a train will finally carry us to Santiago de Compostela tomorrow.  We hope. 

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