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Sunday, 28 November 2010

end of the road.....again

Olveiroa – Finisterre

Very early morning, following the stars. First time this was a bit of a problem as the path by the river was narrow and overgrown and blocked out even the starlight and I couldn’t see a thing. Nearly turned back but glad I didn’t as the route around the mountain looked down on a huge river and, as soon as I could see where I was going, was beautiful. Passed lots of hunters arriving with their dogs for a day of stereotypical drinking and accidently shooting each other. Reaching the road I stopped for rest at the ‘last place for 15km’ café. I only wanted coffee but the owner did her very best to hustle money out of me. Every time someone walked in she made a huge fuss about being the ‘last place for 15km’….’no food’…..’you must buy food’….’there is nowhere’…… ‘nothing’. Now even a fairly novice walker would surely not be too perturbed on a sunny day about the lack of provision for the next, what, 3 hours?! As a seasoned peregrina I was quietly confident that I would not starve by 1pm. She did manage to convince 4 guys though who ordered 4 cans of coke, 4 bananas and one ham roll and then handed over 15 euros with an impressive calm considering they had clearly fallen pray to the modern day ‘camino bandito’ or bandita, as it were. Still, all the talk of barren wilderness had got me quite excited that I might be walking through a barren wilderness but in reality the path was never more than 500m from a road and never out of sight of houses, even if they were a long way off. By 1245 I had reached the coastal town of Cee and was pleased to find I had not starved to death despite not buying a 10 euro ham sandwich two and a half hours ago. It was quite momentous to reach the sea and signaled the end of my walk was in sight…..well, just out of sight, over the next headland. I reached Finisterre after a very long walk around a long long crescent beach. After signing in to the albergue which only took pilgrims on foot I left behind my backpack once again and took the final walk out to the lighthouse at ‘the end of the world’. This spot was incredibly similar to Lands End where this walk all began and I sat with Italian Francesca who had also made it out here and two other pilgrims who shared their wine as we huddled together keeping warm until the sun winked out behind the horizon and a great cheer rose from the exhausted peregrinos who had assembled there. Again, a perfect ending. Back at the albergue Francesca prepared pasta which, of course, was cooked to perfection!

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