To “Land’s End” – or to the End if the Earth

Day 23

Our combined group reserved two nights at Roots and Boots. I had hoped that someone in my “family”, or perhaps someone I met along the way, would have been willing to continue with me out to the coast. No takers. The route to Finisterre, literally “the end of the earth” as truly this was the held belief pre Columbus days, is another three days (two of them over 30 km) on the Camino and then another two on to Muxia. The ancient Christian Pilgrimage to St James Cathedral, where the bones of the Apostle are said to be buried, traditionally ends in Santiago de Compostela – at the cathedral. However, there have been past peoples who travelled beyond, purportedly for pagan purposes, and now the extended route is part of The Camino with the recognizable shell way markers.

Unfortunately, I had no takers. I only had a flexible five days to do the loop anyways, not the required seven, so I considered bussing one direction and walking the other. Then I found out that Ryan in our group was renting a car to drive out, so I considered going along and walking back. Ultimately, i made a conservative and difficult decision to end “My Camino” here in Santiago, (yesterday as it now becomes clear).

I did decide to hitch a ride in the rental. There was initially much interest and there was talk of renting a second car to accommodate everyone, but in the end, many of my comrades changed their travel plans and it ended up only being Mitzi, Ryan and me in the one BMW (which was supposed to be a Mini Cooper, but we dealt!). This was great as they were my usual walking partners.

We said our goodbyes to two of our Wayfinding Academy students, Austin and banjo playing Tucker, as they were bound for Madrid before our expected return. We also said “Farewell” to our fearless leader and co-founder of the Wayfinding Academy, Michelle, and to her boyfriend, Ziggy (who happens to be Ryan’s brother) – they had an evening flight to the Canary Islands. We only had the two students in our group and a third young person, Mary Beth (who is considering going to the Academy). MB stayed back to shop.

We had another wonderfully sunny day but BRRRRR it was cold and so windy that I could hardly keep my camera still enough at times to snap photos!! We stopped the car many times to enjoy fantastic views and encountered many “perigrinos” on “the way”, which made me cry. In fact the crying is off and on – sometimes for obvious reasons (I want to be that pilgrim, I want to be walking still, what next?) and other times for unannounced reasons…

Besides the fabulous views of the ocean all along the way, at Cabo Fisterra, Muxia, Faro de Cabo Vilán and Camariñas –
crashing waves, lighthouses and energy windmills, we enjoyed an adult beverage at the hotel on Faro de Fisterra and we had an Amazing menú del día at the marina.

We reached Cabo Vilan via the small, beautiful port town of Camarinas.

The view of Cabo Vilán and its lighthouse is spectacular!! The present lighthouse was built in 1896. Towering 125 meters above sea level and connected to the old building of the lighthouse keepers, it has a powerful light cannon capable of reaching 55 km. It is the oldest electric lighthouse of Spain. The enclave was declared of national interest in 1933 for being a rocky and rugged place and today is a natural monument. Such Spectacular views – and Very, VERY Windy!! It elevates about 105 meters (345 ft) above sea level. It was the first electrical lighthouse on the Spanish coast. The lighthouse service building holds the Museo dos Naufaxios (Shipwrecks Museum).

The HMS Serpent and their 172 crewmembers lost in a storm here in 1890 with only 3 survivors). There have been reported more than 150 shipwrecks in this coast, named Costa da Morte (Death Coast). There have been many shipwrecks since ancient Romans navigated this coast.

Held to be one of the most dangerous stretches of the Costa da Morte, but also the most beautiful.

It turned out to be a long day and we didn’t get back until after 9:00 and then after settling Ryan into his Airbnb (cool location right near the market!), the BMW was returned, we noshed again and it was back to Roots and Boots before midnight. The young gang was all out partying so it felt odd, in the bunk room without the usual loudness that accompanies youth. Another special day in the books!

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