Beth and I had arrived in Santiago on the Camino del Norte. But our adventure wasn’t over. After a day of wandering around Santiago and going to the pilgrim’s mass, we got back on the trail heading to Finisterre (or Fisterra, in the Galician language), the end of the world as believed by the Romans. It was another 73 miles, which we did in five days. This time, we took our time.
First stop was the town of Negreira, shut tight when we arrived on a Saturday afternoon.
But one sculpture, placed as we walked out of town, was worth a thousand words. The statue shows a man leaving his family in Galicia to find work in the new world. The boy tries to grab his dad to get him to stay.
Galicians have emigrated throughout the world, mostly in South America. Life was tough in the 19th and early 20th century here in Galicia, as land got divided up continuously. A statue with a similar sentiment is in the Finisterre as well.
Heartbreaking. You can’t eat scenery.
The walk to Finisterre can be done by going to Muxia first or to Finisterre first. We elected to leave Finisterre last – after all it is the end of the world. On this trek, we met a whole new set of people, including most who walked the Camino Frances and those who are just walking this loop.
It’s all very clear. On a roundabout, we reached two sets of arrows and we took the right to Muxia.
Still past this sign, on the way to Muxia, I got lost for the first and only time on the Norte. At one point, I encountered three roads emanating from the one I was on and none had a sign.
I went back and forth for what seemed an hour. Finally, unlike the Robert Frost poem, I took the road most traveled.
This is where I had the most chance to find people and get back on the trail. It was the right decision, though I had wasted a lot of extra time on what was already a long, long day.
Muxia is a tourist spot in its own right.
After dinner, we walked to the point to catch the sunset.
Like most churches, the church facing the sea, the Virxe da Barca sanctuary, was closed. Close by stands a spectacular modern sculpture.
From Wikipedia, “A Ferida” by Alberto Bañuelos is a sculpture that symbolizes the wound that has been done to the sea by the spilling of 66,000 tons of oil when the Prestige tanker broke apart off the coast of Muxia on November 13, 2002. The sculpture is 11 meters high, and weights over 400 tons.
Finally, Finisterre, a lively town with many restaurants, shops, and boats. Most visitors are not hikers or pilgrims but come by bus or car. The beaches are spectacular and I even put my feet in the water at the town beach. My feet were in bad shape.
We planned a short hiking day because in the early evening, we walked from town to the lighthouse and the never-ending sea. See the photo on top. Contrary to rumors, you can’t burn anything on the spot. Yes, Cape Finisterre really did look like this.
On the bus the next morning back to Santiago. The end of our pilgrimage.
580.3 miles, 15.7 miles average, 37 hiking days