The End of the World, Finisterre

The journey to Finisterre, the end of the world, was long despite the distance from Santiago is only 87 km. The bus ride took 2.5 hours on the way there and the return journey was 3 hours. The cost of a return ticket was only 24 euros. It was weird to think that we spent 5.5 hours on a bus to travel 87 km when we’d just walked 120 km in seven days.

The road to Finisterre was beautiful and it seemed shorter in time than it was thanks to the beautiful scenery. There were beaches and small villages, people collecting shellfish in the low tide and occasionally someone walking an empty beach. This is area in Northern Galicia is where I believe percebes, the delicate and delicious goose barnacle, has it’ home. It is a well appreciated and expensive delicacy. Expensive because of the danger the divers set themselves to when collecting them in the surfs and turfs of the Atlantic.

Fish and seafood were splendid in Galicia and we ate mostly fish. It was only one steak I had during our 15 day journey. Oh well, we did have pechuga (chicken breast) too and a lovely dish of pig cheek. We learnt also about other fish and seafood dishes. Earlier I’d thought that there were only one type of octopus served in different ways. Now I know that you can order pulpo, calamare and chippirone and that they are all different types of seafood, not the same animal. There are probably many more but these are the ones I tasted. Hake, merluza in Spanish, was the most common fish on the menus. We were also happy to find grilled sardines in one restaurant.

The actual end of the world, finis de terra, was breathtaking. The views were splendid. You could see the sea and only the sea. It seemed that the horizon were curving and could imagine that one could really imagine that all would end where your vision ended.

The Lighthouse, faro do Finisterre, is a big building still in use but also with a museum and a photo gallery. We got our last cello, Camino stamp, on our credentials in the faro although we had already received our Compostellas in the Camino office upon our arrival in Santiago. There is also an albergue in the cape of Finisterre. It must be an experience to spend a night there. On the rocks in the cape there was a grave with mementos, incents and stones on it; remnants of bonfires where pilgrims had burnt their clothes. I left my stone there on the grave, a stone I’d been carrying from home. I wished to leave something on my Camino and take something home, the stone was a symbol for what I wanted to leave behind. It is a tradition that pilgrims burn their clothes or boots there. Finisterre has also pre-Christian history as a sacred place.

We had an exciting walk through the hills and Monte Facho back to the village. On Monte Facho you can see the remnants of the house of San Guillerme (Pedra do San Guillerme). The path was not clearly marked but you could see that someone had taken it several time on horseback. The hills were steep and it was not an easy passage in any way, especially the down hills. It seemed that we got lost but did find our way out of the forest, and back to the village. And to the restaurant streak and the bus stop.

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