OLVEIROA TO FINISTERRE – 41 ks
The last day of my camino and as usual I left before daylight, and as usual I was the only pilgrim for quite some time. I don’t know why, it’s such a long stage, and I expected to have company, but I only saw a handful of people all day.
It’s been an incredible walk, beautiful and very challenging, and the last day to Finisterre is full of emotion and reflection on the past month, and elation that you’ve made it.
I’m so tired sitting here writing this nearly falling asleep, so it will be hard to do this last day justice, suffice to say, it was brilliant.
Nothing can dim my love of the camino and this one has certainly had some very unexpected moments.
There was the masterbating maniac on a moped, and I’m not trying to be funny because it was anything but that and in an isolated industrial area, very scary. Reported to the police and I posted where it happened on the camino FB page.
Then there was the taxi driver who was supposed to be driving me back to the camino, as my accommodation was a few kilometers off it, but instead of turning left, turned the meter off and turned right and took me to the top of a mountain to show me the view, because he liked me. I was lucky that I talked my way back down the mountain and that was a scary hour.
But they are two instances that I hope are out of the ordinary, and I mention them because it’s easy to forget there are opportunists around and it’s better to know than not.
Then there are the gorgeous folk you meet every day and the people you walk with and get to know. When you walk across a country you really get to see the essence of daily life, and meet the most beautiful people, it’s such a highlight.
I might write more tomorrow, and photos of people I’ve met.
There’s nothing like the camino and I’ll be back.
So who’s coming?
41.5 according to Garmin and my feet
Old grain store just outside my pension this morning
The hill with the fog is the ‘end of the world’ and the last camino marker – still a long way away
Then to the Finisterre beach and the Atlantic Ocean – brilliant feeling after such a long walk. There were no pilgrims when I was there other than a lady who had walked in the day before and offered to take photos. I’m really pleased as she captured exactly how I felt. Very lucky for me to have these photo memories that I otherwise wouldn’t have.
NEGREIRA TO OLVEIROA – 36 KS
I left Negreira at 5.30 am and arrived in Olveiroa at 3.30 pm, and after a shower and a collapse on my blue chintz bed, could barely eat my pilgrim meal at 5pm, but I was gratrful it wasn’t served at 8pm, or would have gone without.
Today was a massive walk with long stages between cafes, which is always hard as it means no chance to discard a heavy backpack and rest the body.
But it’s a beautiful walk over several mountains, through farming regions and quaint villages.
I didn’t see another pilgrim for 12 kilometres, apart from another early riser with his head torch on, but he scuttled off into the dark never to be seen again.
Tomorrow is my last day walking when I arrive in Finisterre and I’m ready to stop. My body is screaming and I need a sleep in.
As I was venturing out of the dark this morning I received a message from home. I told them I was 8 ks into a 36 k day and the reply I got as follows –
Love my garmin
After shower ritual
Seriously shocking pilgrim meal but I’ve stayed here before and the people are beautiful….who needs food anyway.
All those thousands of green vegetable laden fields I’ve walked past and never one on a plate, j😳. But the people are gorgeous and there’s wine
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA TO NEGREIRA- 22KS
The pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela reached its peak in the Middle Ages when medieval pilgrims travelled there, then walked on to Finisterre, believing it to be the end of the earth.
Today only 10% of pilgrims walk on to Finisterre, most finishing their journey in Santiago and the tomb of Saint James, believing his bones are laid there in the Cathedral.
Somehow stopping in Santiago doesn’t feel complete for me, maybe because I walked to Finisterre on my first camino, so finishing at the ‘end of the earth’ and the Atlantic Ocean is where I’m heading.
It’s also part of the camino where you can just really relax and enjoy three days walking through beautiful Galician hills, knowing you’ve already finished what you started.
There has been a noticeable buzz in the coffee shops today, after I left Santiago, and I just found out why.
Real Madrid versus Juventus tonight and the Spanish go loud and loco for soccer….and they’ve just trucked into my hostel, a swad of new seats and tables in preparation for a big night….setting them up as I sit here……right outside my bedroom window……and I have to get up at 5.
Por favor no!!
No one at the cathedral when I left this morning
You can’t stop smiling in Santiago, just try.
But Santiago is all about goodbyes.
All pilgrims head here to show their pilgrim passport and receive a Compostela. If you’re not religious, you can request a different certificate.
Adios to the bike crew from Germany
To be a pilgrim you don’t need anything, except your heart……your mind……your dream.
Getting profound in my old age. It’s just an amazing walk and when you undertake a long one, it is life changing. It’s why I meet more and more people who have walked caminos numerous times and have no plans of stopping.
Most of the people I met from Lisbon to Porto were repeat offenders, and we belong to a club that’s hard to explain, but if you’ve been inspired to walk a camino….and from the emails and messages I’ve been getting, I know you have….take time to walk a long one.
Go expecting nothing with an open mind and you will receive everything.
It’s a beautiful obsession, and that’s a fact ❤
PADRÓN TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – 29 Ks
One thing’s for certain on the camino, the final day into Santiago, you feel no pain.
Met up with the boys early at their Albergue in the beautiful cool morning fog, with adrenaline pumping. The boys were going to break the day in two and stay half way to Santiago, and I would continue on and meet up with Liz who had very sore feet.
There’s just nothing like the last day walking into Santiago; so many pilgrims; seeing people you haven’t seen for a while, and everyone just excited and happy to now know they’ve made it. There’s just a buzz all the way and everyone’s relaxed.
After several coffee stops with the lads, I left them and continued on to find Liz.
Along the way were several groups of Spanish army guys walking to Santiago and doing drills along the way – it’s not often you see sub machine guns being bandied around in front of you.
Then I caught up with Liz and we made our way into town.
It’s impossible to put into words the feeling of walking into Santiago de Compostela to the square, and standing in front of the magnificent Santiago Cathedral, after a 700 kilometre walk.
There just are no words.
Liz and I sat up against the ancient stone wall at the edge of the square for hours, just soaking in the atmosphere, and for me, letting the last few tough and brilliant weeks sink in.
Leaving Padrón very early
It doesn’t matter, they both take you to the same destination
No place like this. after an epic journey getting here – this city, this cathedral, this camino
Liz and I sat here looking at the Cathedral, and the pilgrims walking in, for hours.
I’ve been walking the camino with Dean below, from Melbourne, who I found out, lost his mum to MND. Sadly Dean’s mum lived only 18 months after diagnosis.
The MND Foundation has 3 main aims :
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Please donate to help find a cure.
Dean from Melbourne lost his mum to MND
CALDAS DE REIS TO PADRÒN – 23 ks
Walking the last few days with Dean, Craig and Liz has been a hoot and I feel like I’ve known them for years.
We all met at the Caldas church this morning and headed off into the morning fog. I was somewhat saturated, having wandered onto the manicured church lawn for yet another photo, when the sprinklers went off…..was bound to happen sooner or later.
Pretty much my main priority of a morning is finding a cafe for a coffee and my buddies are exactly the same.
Walking through leafy tracks in the hills for most of the cool morning was beautiful, and when we spied the outskirts of a village we knew coffee was imminent.
The path is busy with pilgrims now all excitedly making their way to Santiago, and a coffee stop is a certainty for seeing many you’ve met along the way, who you haven’t seen for some time.
It’s just one big friendly love fest, hugging, chatting, recounting stories from the way, everyone relaxed in the thought that their hard slog of many days and weeks is about to end, and Santiago is just out of reach until tomorrow.
We are all off to find the best Padròn peppers we can.
So until tomorrow.
The path is littered with beautiful and varied water fonts, most of them potable
Our Belgian friends caught up with us having a drink in Padron. The chap on the left is lucky to be alive. He was hit by a truck walking the camino 5 years ago and his friend was killed. It is a miracle he survived, he spent months and months in hospital. He was told he would never walk again. His best friend promised to bring him on another camino, and now he has.
PONTEVEDRA TO CALDAS DE REIS – 22 ks
It’s hard to believe after nearly a month and 700 kilometres I’ll be walking into Santiago in two days.
Tonight I’m just posting photos from today’s walk, another fantastic day walking with great people, laughing and talking all the way.
I need some sleep.
Another cute camino bedroom