Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Camino a Finisterre (Final Part)

Day 36 (Olveiroa to Fisterra/Finisterre -34 km): The true last day of our Camino de Santiago. What a strange feeling resided in our stomachs as we set off for our last 34 km hike. We walked about two hours through various small villages and shrub-covered rolling hills before we finally encountered a bar with food. We took the opportunity to stop for breakfast and get energy for the rest of the day. About 20 km outside of Fisterra, we passed through Cee, a charming fishing town. We had planned on stopping for lunch in Cee, but somehow managed to miss all the restaurants. However, it was clearly meant to be, because 5 km later we came across a darling restaurant right on the beach on the bay of Fisterra. We enjoyed an amazing lunch of Merluza a la Gallega (a typical Galician dish of white fish and potatos) and wine, and passed a good hour or so relaxing, reflecting on our journey. We finally decided to finish it up, and an hour or so later found ourselves entering Fisterra (the town). What an incredible feeling. But technically, we weren't finished yet; we still had to make it to Finisterre to see the Faro (the lighthouse at the end of the world). At 7:00 pm, after having showered and relaxed a bit, we continued three more kilometers to the Faro, where we sat with three dear friends, ate a picnic dinner, and watched the sun set at the end of the world into the vast, blue, mysterious Atlantic Ocean. As is the tradition on completing the walk, the pilgrims typically burn their boots, walking sticks, clothes or any other items that reminded them of difficulties encountered during their Camino. We each tossed in a few things and enjoyed the fire. It couldn't have been a more beautiful or perfect ending to a Mother and Daughter's journey across Spain.

Day 35 (Vilaserio to Olveiroa - 33 km): We set off this morning and found ourselves surrounded by a dense fog. It made for a very eerie but truly crisp and beautiful morning. It finally burned off around noon, however, once again the rain began making the paths a bit slick. We stopped for a quick bite to eat, and then continued on to Olveiroa. Being the first to arrive, we arrived three hours before the albergue opened...we passed the time sitting in the doorway while it rained, and enjoying the local bar. At one point we decided to stretch our legs and explore the town, but aside from cow barns there was little else to explore. However, we did see some pretty cute cows.

Day 34 (Santiago de Compostella to Vilaserio - 34 km): Once again, we're on the Camino. After a full day of rest in Santiago, and a relaxing morning, we set off on our "short" (90 km) three-day trek to Finisterre, rumored to be the true end of the Camino de Santiago and the end of the world. It rained most of the morning and early afternoon, and we only passed a handful of other pilgrims the entire day, but it was a welcome reprieve from the heat; perfect walking weather and absolutely beautiful. Wihout doubt, this is definitely the lesser traveled path. Once we arrived in Negreira (our intended final destination), we were told the albergue was full (only 20 beds) and they would not let us sleep on the floor. We had the option of walking 2 km back to find a hotel or hostel, or continuing another 13 km forward. Following our philosophy of "always move ahead and never go back" we decided to walk another 13 grueling km to Vilaserio. It made for an incredibly long day, and when we arrived at 7:00 pm (our latest arrival by far!) to the albergue (an old abandoned school building with mats on the floor), we were quite surprised, but quite content to settle in for the night. Afterall, in 34 days we had only been turned away from one albergue, so no room for complaining. :) A little more adventure...that's all. However, with limited albergues along the path to Finisterre, we decided we best leave earlier the next two days (to assure we could get beds).

Check back in a few days/weeks for some more reflections, pictures, and Camino info! :)

1 comment:

Erin said...

wow! of course i just had to read all of your Camino entries. so many fond memories :) and it makes me excited to get to Finesterre this Dec. one day im coming back and doing the whole thing together. and what inspiring and descriptive journal entries!