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The Iberian Horseshoe — A Journey

Part I. North West

Boxing Day in Muros

Steve Porter
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The Oxford Dictionary of Saints tells me that Stephen was appointed by the Apostles to look after the distribution of alms. He was a Jew, who preached the independence of God from institutions. He criticised the killing of Christ and was stoned to death for blasphemy without receiving a formal trial. The Feast of Stephen was celebrated from the fourth century AD onward, and as his cult developed the saint was called upon to cure headaches. Rather ironic, is it not, given the circumstances of his death?

The time had come to say goodbye to Hamish. We saw him into a taxi early in the morning. He left us a few turkey sandwiches and a couple of boxes of our favourite chocolates and wished me a good Feast of Stephen.

Mary and I caught a bus to the coast. We wanted to go to Fisterra (end of the Earth) but we couldn’t quite get that far. We had to settle instead for Muros, a little coastal village. It is often said that Galicia resembles Ireland and it was certainly true here. High winds and Atlantic waves whipped the green rocky coast.

To my way of thinking, a journey right to the end of the earth symbolised death or retreat. Mary and I were not ready for either. By avoiding Fisterra, we were able to find a third way.

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Copyright ©Steve Porter, 2004
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Date of publicationJune 2006
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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