Either the dinner yesterday after the sunset was a bit too much or it was some excitement about getting home soon but I spent most of the night awake.
Around 6 I started to get ready as the bus left at 6:45.
My phone once again started being weird with the data connection not working and with flickering screen but it fixed itself shortly after the bus arrived to Santiago.
The bus took more than 2 hours and it was quite cold. On arrival it was only 4 degrees in Santiago.
I talked with a Lithuanian guy who did the French way. He just started a year long break with the Camino and planned to travel to East.
I wondered around Santiago looking for souvenirs and eating this and that 🙂 Finally I settled on the square next to the cathedral where the sun shined and one could see all the pilgrims arriving and meeting each other. In fact I met with la German guy who I last saw at least a week ago.
An Estonian girl asked me to take take her picture and as she was just going to go to Finisterra and Muxia I recommended her some places and helped her with the bus schedule.
After bumping into the Lithuanian guy again I went on to have lunch: I set my eyes on the market with some kiosks offering meals when I first got to Santiago so now I tried one of them. One with octopus.
I sat a little more in the sunshine then headed to the airport with the bus. Time to go home.
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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
Yet another roller-coaster day but I guess that’s just standard on the Camino, especially on the North way: up and down, up and down.
I started to feel kinda sick. Maybe the night out on the porch, maybe not wanting to put on a sweater in the chilly morning the day before or maybe the cold shower but something got to me. Little bit of sore throat – but that actually went by quickly – and cold. Not really what you need here.
I left around 9 planning to have a fairly short day: 25 until Aviles. I was looking for a place to have a tea as I forgot it in the hostel when to much to my surprise I saw Maria.
So once again we went together and arrived at Aviles around 4. The road was kinda mixed: ugly city walk out from Gijon, then some nicer hills but then approaching Aviles next to some industrial area and main roads. For quite some part. Finally in Aviles we immediately decided to go further: the smog and/or dust was so heavy in the city that you could actually see that it clouds the sight.
After a break therefore we went on to a place that was supposed to be in Salinas, only 7k away.
By this time I started to feel quite unwell and looked not too good as it has been pointed out. I went ahead and then following the arrows I realised that I’m getting away from the place I was heading. By the time I figured that I either have to back track a bit or explore a dirt road Maria caught up with me and we decided with the later one.
We found ourselves on a probably abandoned motocross or mountain bike track in the forest with ramps and stuff but after working our way up on it we got back to civilisation. This was around 2kms fun and wondering where we are…
It took us some time and Google Maps to get to the albergue on top of a hill but around 6 we arrived. It was an extension of a church and although there was not much around the owner offered us a ride to the supermarket. There was already a Spanish and Polish girl and they went shopping while I was trying to get myself together so at least I can have dinner once they return.
I went asleep hoping that the massive amount of tea and the neo citran I took might help to sleep my cold out.
I’ve realised that I barely took pictures this day: not muc to see and too busy with my sickness. Not great. But I was really thankful for Maria to keep my spirit up and even doing the shopping for me.