Day 32 – The one with the end of the walk

It took some self-encouragement to get up and get going after the fun the previous night as well listening to everyone talking about rest days in the last few days. The fact that most of the day was going to be uphill didn’t help either.

So I left around 8:30, just before the sunrise. It looked really nice and that gave some motivation.

Especially at the beginning the signs were way less frequent and helpful as on the way to Fisterra. This resulted in a few extra rounds here and there but either I managed to figure it out or even before that someone pointed me back on the way.

I had a super quick break in Buxan after 1:20 and 8km as there was a cute, donation based pilgrim rest and I took a stamp.

Not long after I met with Merek who was on his way to Fisterra. We recommended each other the hostels where we stayed the previous night and bid farewell.

As this route is basically two way I met a lot of people. The most surprising was a woman with a baby in a stroller. Not your typical setup for any part of the Camino.

Took another hour to get to Lires, the checkpoint between Fisterre and Muxia. I found the stamping station and at the end of the town I stopped for a break. I met there an old French woman who was kind enough to give me a pear.

From here on the slightly steeper uphill part started for 2 hours. Whenever I thought that I finally reached the top there was a little bit more just around the corner. Eventually though, around the 23k mark I got there.

After the way down to the coast there was a bit more roadside walking than it would’ve been nice but the sight of the ocean made up for it.

I went straight to the church at the end of the peninsula where the first glimpse of the bell towers actually triggered some weird emotions. By the time I walked there it dawn on me that this whole thing will end very soon.

I met two Irish guys and we helped each other with taking photos and also talked a bit. They told me about a Hungarian guy who walked the French Way and to Muxia to see the ocean for the first time in his life.

The low tide allowed me to sit on the huge rocks on the shore and watch the waves crushing on them. It was mesmerising. I sat there for more than an hour and left the little rock there as well that I carried from Irun.

I walked back across the town to go to the municipal albergue for my compostella. Later it turned out that it was unnecessary as since a couple of years all hostel can give it to you and I decided to stay in another one. Recommended by Merek as well top rated on Booking and not to mention that it was located much better it made sense for me.

I had a churros con chocolate in a place called Chocolate and I have to say it was the best: the chocolate had an almost pudding like consistency 🙂 I asked for a bocadillo for take away to eat it on the shore before the sunset however I didn’t manage to explain this and had plenty of time ao I didn’t mind.

I sat in for the first half of the evening mass in the church on the shore but as the sunset was just at the same time I went outside to watch that. It also occurred to me that because of the tide I cannot see – or at least find – the place I sat before.

The sunset was a proper and beautiful way to end the last of my 32 days of walking. With only so much cloud that gave a nice character to the sunset and the huge waves it was breathtaking.

Day 31 – The one with the end of the world

We started the day with a breakfast with Merek and left Olveiroa at 8.

Unfortunately the municipal albergue where I stayed was not the best and half my stuff was still wet. So I kinda looked like a Christmas tree with everything hanging on my backpack.

The sky was still lit with stars that besides being beautiful meant that there were no clouds.

In one hour we passed 6k reaching the forking point for the routes to Finisterra or Muxia. We parted with Merek as he went to Muxia first.

On the way I saw the sun rising and wind turbines from quite close and some endless forests.

It took me almost 4 hours with a break halfway through to get to Cee, 20k from the start. I ate finally a pulpo empenada where pulpo means squid 🙂 It was absolutely delicious.

From there it was still more than 2 hours to get to Finisterra: altogether 33k in 6:40. However this was just the hostel.

I have to say that I felt some pain here and there because of last day’s craziness of going 55k but slowing down for a bit always solved the problem.

When arriving in Finisterra I started thinking that maybe I should have went with the municipal albergue however the previous day’s experience was voting against this. More importantly when I arrived to the place they were playing the soundtrack that I’ve been listening to recently a lot as well. Nice place 🙂

I also saw a sign for a Hungarian albergue. Apparently we are everywhere, even at the end of the world 🙂

In the albergue my phone gave me a scare as at 8% battery it did not react to the charger. Fortunately the old trick of turning it off and on again solved the issue.

I went to the municipal albergue to get my Finisterra Compostela then relaxed a bit in the hostel waiting for Lukazs to arrive.

After buying some picnic food we walked out to the lighthouse. A bit hurried as sunset was getting closer.

Found the 0km mark and we watched the sunset with an Italian guy.

When I arrived back to the hostel people were cooking and since they kinda overshoot the amount of pasta – 1.5kg for ~8 people – they invited me to join. Although I already ate before the invitation was so nice that it convinced me. I did the dishes during which I got a spontaneous back massage from a guy who did this for living even for the Circus du Soleil for a while.

The second of the three ends of my Camino turned out to be quite spectacular 🙂

Day 25 – The one with the smoke

To make a mark of Sunday I made some scrambled eggs for breakfast. Not the best for a 35k day but it lifted my spirits.

We started around 9 with 3 hours of uphill ahead of us. It was no fun especially with smoke and dust in the air: as we later learned there were forest fires all over Galicia … However by going uphill in the morning with occasional descents gave us several sunrise moment over the surrounding mountain ridge.

All the uphill also had the benefit of us getting up to the level of some wind turbines on nearby hills. Nearby hills that we saw few days ago in the unreachable distance and height.

The path for some time went by crop field and some of them were freshly sprayed with fertiliser – one right when we passed by – but mostly it led through beautiful forest paths. Thanks to the smoke and dust in the air the sun had a nice orange-ish colour that made the forest even more amazing.

It took 4hrs to Abadin and 6 more to Vilalba – it should have been 35k but we went one further than the recommended albergue and apparently some more during the day closing at almost 40k.

I’ve made some pasta with garlic and leftover bacon from yesterday that turned out to be better than I’ve expected 🙂

Today the first sign mentioning Santiago appeared on the road that cheered us up a lot. Less than 120k to go 🙂


Day 23 – The one with the last beaches

I left the albergue at 8 while it was still somewhat dark. My plan was to get to a viewpoint before sunrise.

I found a nice hidden beach – off track. Then found my way back and got to the viewpoint but by then the sun was already up. The view was still spectacular so all was well. This was already the coastal alternative that I decided to follow. It is a bit longer but it was a short day anyway.

Got to Tapia de Casariego around noon which was a bit slow but with the early stops it was not surprising. I took my lunch here and went on to Ribadeo.

In the afternoon I crossed Maria and a poor German guy who had it even worse than I did a couple of days ago.

The rivercrossing just before Ribadeo left me with mixed feelings. The way leads through the highway bridge (at least with a fenced sidewalk) that was ugly however the view on the huge delta was impressive.

Finally arrived to the albergue on the riverside after just below 30k in close to 8 hours. It was a slow day but kind of intentionally: I started early and had many breaks to enjoy the last day on the coast.

I just crossed the border of Asturia and Galicia and Ribadeo is the last stop before the way turns inland to Santiago.

Also, less than 200k to go 🙂

Day 17

This day started slowly. I woke up around 8 and left only a bit before 9.

The weather and the scenery was nice but my favourite moment of the day was when I was picking figs and the owner noticed me. First I thought that he’s not too happy about it but when I told him that I don’t speak Spanish he asked in English whether I’d like to have something to eat and invited me to eat more figs. Made my day.

With not much break I got to the albergue after Villaviciosa, in Amandi in 25k a little after 2. I’d have went further but the next option would’ve been 12k further and my knee started acting up.

As it turned out the place is on fact the one that the owner of the eco house recommended 2 days ago. I only came here because this one was the last one 🙂

Had the most refreshing shower: the owner forgot to turn on the water boiler 🙂 I guess that’s the price of arriving first.

The people from 2 days ago came here as well, we had a nice lunch together and then played some cards.

Day 14

After breakfast I started around 8. The weather was nice and the sunrise was gorgeous with still fog in the valleys.

Although yesterday I thought that I might even need a day off because of the blisters they were not too bad.

I’ve crossed path with couple of people on the way and shared the cake kinda thing I’ve bought the day before – which I wanted to share in the albergue for breakfast but I forgot…

After around 20k my feet started to hurt.

In Buelna I had my lunch break to give them a rest. However when I wanted to continue t didn’t work. After 25k I had to stop.

In the albergue I’ve met with the now familiar French group as well as a Lithuanian girl and she gave me some special band-aid like thing for the blisters.

The dinner was nothing new: salad, pasta, and some cake for dessert but the amount was unreal. 3 trays of pasta for the 7 of us.

Day 8

Early start at 7 left me with crossing a forest in the dark but also a beautiful sunrise over the coast.

In the morning I mostly walked with Andrew.

Arriving to Castro Urdiales I hit the pharmacy again for a knee support. I have to say it worked well. I left Castro around noon after some food shopping and kept the pace with others: Andrew, Sven and Jen only caught up with me when I took some rest. When we got to Islares – the village I was aiming for after passing Castro – I went on for Guriezo. The albergue is a bit run down but supposedly still better than the one in Islares.

Totalled this day at 28k in 8 and a half hours. It seems I can not stick to having a lighter day 🙂

Planning for the next two days was fun there are so many combinations to pick from …

Day 3

Yesterday I went to a tapas bar to get a boost and it was worth it 🙂

Started the day a bit later to have enough rest. Partly to keep tha pace and party because my rommates’ encouragement I planned to make my way to Markina which is around 36kms.

I’ve met with the french girl again and arrived in Deba a bit after 11. The beach looked really nice so I’ve spent almost 2 hours there to gather my strength. Around 1pm I went on. The sun was quite strong and the route continued qith some steep hikes. So when I reached the hostel in Izarbide – around 5k from Deba – I had to stop for a rest and some water.

What started as a quick pit stop turned into a stay. I didn’t want to start another 20k with no chance to stop earlier and questionable water refill opportunity.

So settled in and got surprised that although this place is kind of in the middle of nowhere this is the best looking so far.

I’ve joined a few people for a pizza for dinner. As it turned out there’s a strong German presence on the Camino now 🙂

Day 1

I can’t say I’m fully rested after listening to the aggressive and progressive snoring concert last night. However it might have been my excitement and the uncertainty of the coming weeks that kept half awake all night. Well, and the French guy who started laughing at the scream-like snoring of a guy in the next room 🙂

Anyways, after a quick breakfast (which was free) and getting a St Jacob shell I left the accomodation a bit after 7 but before dawn. Following the signs in the dark was sometimes challenging but in all but one case they were just one corner away when I thought that I got lost. More excitingly in the one case I actually missed a turn, not one but two strangers came to my help and steered me back on the path without even me asking.

Then sunrise came to clear the smoke on the water and put fire in the sky.

Since I forgot to bring a pebble from home – and the airport, and then the albergue in Irun … – I finally picked up one just outside of Irun. Also after 10km I finally remembered to take a “before picture”.

I was surprised on my progress after the first 10k and even afterwards, through the day. That is, until I realised that runkeeper believed that I’m jumping sideways along the path all the time….

Anyways, I’ve arrived to the coast and after crossing the bay of Pasaia I started the last bit to San Sebastian across some hills. This was the most tiring bit but with beautiful view all the way.

In Little San Sebastian I lost the signs a couple of times and also managed to walk by the albergue that I wanted to go to. So I went to the next one which really is a hostel so abot more expensive. So for balance today I went to a shop to get dinner and breakfast.

If you checked the pictures you can also see how I got attacked by a vicious dog 🙂