Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Camino Finisterre: Day 34: Olveiroa - Finisterre (34.9 kms)

For my last day, it looks like I am the last one out of the dorm again. I have a a piece of bread, coffee and fresh orange juice for breakfast at the albergue cafe  and pack a sandwich for later. It is 8:30 am when I start my walk.

The trail immediately goes uphill through what looks like newly reforested pine forests.  It is another beautiful sunny day.  After a time, I realize I have forgotten my walking sticks. I think whether I should go back for them but decide against it as I am already 30 minutes away and I had planned on leaving them somewhere anyway.  Later, Nestor and Jose Luis, an Argentinian and Spanish who live in Alicante and who also stayed at the same albergue, caught up with me. I guess I was not the last out. I tell them about the sticks. Nestor offers to call to have them take it by taxi to Finisterre. I say it is okay as I planned to leave them anyway.  It turns out Jose Luis was having problems with blisters and had his pack taken by taxi. They ask me if Jose Luis can have the sticks as they are still walking to Muxia. I say yes and am glad that someone can make use of the sticks my sister and I had used.
Nestor and Jose Luis from Alicante

On the way, I also meet Mathias, a German from Chemnitz, who has mountain-biked the camino trails from Bordeaux to St Jean in 3 days and  St Jean to Santiago in 11.  He is on his last leg to Finisterre. 

Matthias from Chemnitz, mountain-biked the Camino trails all the way from Bordeaux

After that, I am all alone on the trails till Hospital at 10:30am where I have a drink and a snack at a cafe--  the only cafe for the next 15 kms, they claim.  It is also here where the Camino forks into 2 ways, one leading to Muxia and the other to Finisterre. 

I take the Finisterre way and again the trail leads uphill through dirt trails and pine forests with breathtaking vistas and clear blue skies. I am all alone with my thoughts and with nature.

Finally, at about 2:30 pm, I catch a first  glimpse of the sea from atop a hill I had been climbing. I am almost at Cee!  But it is  still about 16 kms to Finisterre.
From here, it is a downhill through rocky trails. I stop for a lunch of huevos con bacon at the first cafe I see, and then continue on.  I lose the trail of yellow arrows but find it again in Corcubion-- it leads up through small trails until Finisterre.

First view of the sea from atop a hill before Cee

 I reach the gateway to Finisterre at around 4 pm.  I stop at the white sand beach and soak my tired feet in the cold water.  I think about walking along the beach but decide on the regular Camino as the water is ice cold.  The trail follows beside the coastline until central Finisterre. I check in at Cabo de Villa Albergue at 6 pm and rest a bit.  The hostel owner offers some crabs and even cooks them for me. They are fresh and so reminds me of home as I eat with my hands with gusto,  cracking all the claws and digging out all the crab flesh. I finish 2 small crabs, newly cooked. Yummy!  I  then go to the Xunta hostel to get my Camino Finisterre certificate.

The beach at last!

From there, I walk to the Faro de Finisterre- the lighthouse-- the end of the world!  It is 3.5 kms away.  Along the way, I meet another German from Nuremberg walking with his 2 daughters. 

Along the road to the Finisterre lighthouse

Cape Finisterre Lighthouse

At the end of the world!
At the end of the world--I take a photo at 0.0 kms. I did it! I walked with my husband, my family, my friends, and my pilgrim comrades.

0.00 kms

I find a spot to sit among the grass and rocks, pick up some dry twigs and begin the traditional ritual.  They say one needs to burn a piece of clothing here at Finisterre, at the end of one's Camino.  I prepare my wool gloves - they were given to me, kept me warm, but they are a remnant of my past -- I must offer them and move on.  I crumple the paper printouts that led me to here, put the dry twigs on top and then my gloves over them.  I light this offering and watch as the flames catch and crackle and burn, amid the green warm earth, deep bluegreen rumbling sea, glorious clear blue sky and the fierce yellow setting sun.

I think how lucky I am to be here.  I started alone on my quest and end here alone and whole, maybe more complete than when I started.  I call my husband to share this wondrous moment with him.  Soon I shall be home.

I spot a familiar face as I walk around the Cap Finisterre. It is Jean Claude from Grenoble, France. He had walked the Camino for 50 days in 2 stages, from Le Puy to Sto Domingo de la Calzada then after a few weeks continued on to Santiago then here. We had last seen him in Calvor with Kathryn, a German he was walking with for a few days.

I stay to watch the sun set. It starts as a flaming ball silently slipping down into the horizon. The colors change and soften and I watch as the last bit of light slips into the ocean turning the sky pink. On the other side of the setting sun, a full moon sits. A truly memorable end to my Camino.



Jean-Claude from Grenoble, France





  1. What a blessed journey.

    1. Thank you, Khun, for your comment. It was a wonderful journey indeed, that somehow, one wishes would never end. I am back home now, but the journey continues...

  2. Enjoyed your blog entries Santiago to Finisterre which we walk in a couple of weeks. Previously cycled St Jean to Santiago and thought walking to Finisterre would be a new experience