Adiós España

Being my early self I’m at the airport almost 3 hours before my scheduled departure, and as a result, I’ve been aimlessly pacing up and down the terminal back and forth. Yesterday in Muxia I went from no plans to jumping on a bus to Santiago, a train to Madrid, and soon a plane to Italy within 24 hours. The world suddenly became very fast. In fact by the time I reach Trento, Italy from Muxia, I will have taken a total of 4 buses, 3 trains and 2 planes. Gone are the days of simple dependency on my own two feet. I didn’t expect a huge shock returning to a busy city like Madrid, but after the peaceful calmness of a place like Muxia, I was suddenly jolted back to life. Strangely enough being back at the airport in Madrid felt nostalgic, as I passed the place where I bought the SIM card for my phone, my first cafe con leche, and my toothpaste for the trip 44 days ago.

Video from Muxia:

On reflection I’m not sure if I was always present on this trip. I think my mind was in many other places, but it has really allowed me time to process the events of the PCT that were impossible to do at the time. I’ve reminisced and I’ve grieved, and as a result I feel a lot more at peace. I feel I missed a lot of the Camino because of it, but looking back the the photos and videos I guess I was there, maybe just set on autopilot sometimes.


My heart aches a little to leave Spain so soon, but when work presented itself back in Abu Dhabi for a few weeks before I head back to Australia I could hardly say no. It will enable me to enjoy the time with my friends and family so much more, without worrying about the decreasing bank account and duration of my unemployment. I want to be 100% present when I’m home, as I’ve been looking forward to that moment since I left for the Middle East in early January. Family and friend time is calling, loudly! I want to be around the people I love.


I’m still in my hiking clothes. I can’t explain how much I’m craving wearing a new pair of pants that actually fit me (I gained weight on this trip… ergh), and that I don’t have to fight with every time I put them on. My bandana is permanently fixed to my head still and my shoes are beyond worn out, both physically and in measure of odour, they have to go! Calling in a few favours, the life I left behind in a suitcase in Dubai will meet me at the hotel when I arrive back in Abu Dhabi. This is when hiking Rozanne will transform back to working Rozanne. And so life continues…


Many of you have thanked me for sharing my journey, but it is me who should be thanking you for allowing me to share it. Not many people walk with a support network lending advice, thoughts, stories and support. I was often carried on the PCT by the outpouring of support and encouragement which still seems incredibly surreal to me. Reading about your stories and experiences makes my own much richer. So gracias to you!


Ciao Spain, my home for one and a half months. To have gone from entering a bar red faced as I pointed to things I wanted, to walking in and ordering exactly what I want while briefly conversing with the locals in broken Spanish is incredibly satisfying. The power of communication is something I’ve underestimated until this trip. Languages can open your world more than you may appreciate. Learning Spanish is now at the top of my ever increasing list of things I want to do. That list grew a lot on this trip. Luckily I still have a lifetime ahead, should be enough time to get through most of it!


16 thoughts on “Adiós España”

  1. We spaniards will miss you a lot. It has been a great pleasure having you around and a great honot to meet you. Sorry you put some weight on, (I really regret now buying that burger 😉 ) , but you are still gorgeous anyway!!! 😉

    Baloo and now are starting now our new adventure in Gran Canaria and we sure hope to see you around here sometime. Until then, we can’t wait to read your new adventure, let’s hope that will be coming soon.

    Muchos besos y mucha suerte en Abu Dhabi y con tu familia en Australia!!!

  2. Safe return and be careful around Bill Clinton and the Crown Prince. You’ll do another amazing project for sure. Seems like the Emirates is your hub now.

  3. Congrats on completing another great adventure. I think, maybe the CDT will be calling you in 2015 🙂 There is no end, just another trail to complete. Thanks for all the sharing.

  4. There’s alway another trail, isn’t there??….Now it’s Abu Dabi..(sp?)….Please don’t stop your blogging…even when you work, you give me joy….I am sad the Camino is now a past experience for you…but, for many a year you will remember what you think you forgot….even though you were floating in your head on the PCT…( How could you not?…an incredible experience of a lifetime, that trail was and is!)….So happy that you have a job waiting for you and then your loved ones to be with….Will miss your adventures….love from your friend, Barbie, from Paradise, California….

  5. Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing your videos, photos and candid observations while hiking the Camino. I’ve enjoyed following your recent trip as well as browsing your inspiring and well-organized PCT journal which I discovered earlier this year. Also, I’m glad you paced the frequency of your posts. As many of your readers commented, this trip was for you, not us. As a casual observer, the PCT seemed to be a journey of self-discovery while the Camino seemed to nurture reflection. One, a demanding but beautiful communal wilderness journey that tested physical endurance and pulled at the heart strings while the other seemed more of a lonelier rural off-season trek where language limitations presented its own unique veil of isolation. Whatever the case, you’re so fortunate to have such a supportive community and a career that affords you the precious time to pursue your dreams. Some of us discover too late in life that one should perhaps “work to live” and not “live to work”. The secret sauce is to find the right balance between love, family, career, and the pursuit of dreams. I’m confident that you will make the right choices in achieving this balance and finding your way. Keep writing – keep hiking.

    Best Regards,

  6. Well, well done on another thruhike. You are a person of many talents. What’s next? The AT, CDT, Switzerland, ? Check out Nimble Nomad’s voluminuous blog and website for his adventures. If there is a big trail in the US, he has done it.
    –One foot in front of the other

  7. Rozanne,
    Communication IS an important element in life. Sounds like you were able to listen to your heart and hear what it was saying to you. What better place to listen than on the Camino. I don’t think you missed being in the moment too much while in Spain. Judging by your passion and desire to learn Spanish and to someday return indicates your caring personality and make up. Knowing that something is emotionally moving you is a sign that life is touching you and you are living, even if it’s sometimes painful.
    I wish you much happiness and know that it will find you as you venture onward. You are deserving and have much to rejoice in.
    Hope you have time to post as you move forward. Take care.

  8. Success! You trip was a success! I think all your followers will agree, we had a good time. And I think you will agree, that was the primary mission. Thanks for the fun ride, Rozy. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Seriously, I’m impressed by the vulnerability of your storytelling, Rozanne, and the wonderful advice, wisdom, and care offered by other followers. That was sweet of you to give them a shout-out.

    It rained and gusted all Friday night at the ADZPCTKO. The wettest they’ve ever had. But it cleared up for a fun day on Saturday. The film festival was fun, but some were not about the PCT. I think you could have submitted one of your videos from the Camino!

  9. Rozanne,
    Found a quote on a current PCT journal and it made me think of you.

    “It is good to have an end to a journey, but it is the journey that matters in the end”. Ursula K. LeGuin


  10. So, since trail names are so personal …
    Do we still call you Muk Muk…Or do you prefer Rozanne at this point ?

    Either way, thanks for allowing me to call you “friend”.

  11. Just read and enjoyed all of your Camino posts! I am tentatively planning to doing El Camino del Norte this summer. I am wondering if you can comment on budget. I will be with two (possibly 3) other hikers. We would like to camp whenever possible, but based on your entries, I feel like this may not be a possibility. Since you are a fellow PCT thru hiker I know you are comfortable with camping and thus I put more stock in what you are saying than I do in some of the Camino blogs I have read. We understand that this wont be a wilderness experience, and are excited about experiencing the culture – just a little worried about breaking the bank!

    1. Hey Lauren! This is a tough one and varies a lot depending on where you sleep, what you eat and any side trips you might do in addition. I broke the bank staying in single rooms for €20-40 when I couldn’t be bothered with other pilgrims and there was nowhere to camp where I wouldn’t be disturbed. You may have greater confidence camping in a group but also less ability to hide out. You could also do the supermarket option and take a stove, but the Camino isn’t a thru-hike, and part of the experience is joining other pilgrims for lunch and beer along the way. If you stick to the Albergues and have one good meal a day plus snacks you’re probably looking at €20-25 a day. You could shave from that or you could go grossly over. But if you only take a certain amount you’ll make do. Whether it’s the Camino or the PCT, the trail will always provide. Have a wonderful journey and buen Camino!

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