Finisterre Way (Camino de Fisterra)

Pilgrims taking the numerous Caminos, or Ways of St James, at all times find yourself at Santiago de Compostela and collect within the Cathedral to be blessed. Just a few keep it up to the Atlantic Coast, feeling that this westernmost a part of Europe is a extra becoming finish to their journey. Indeed this was an historical religious route, lengthy earlier than the Catholic Church commandeered it for its personal functions. They have been drawn to the sundown at what was then the top of the recognized world. That’s the way it received its title – the Latin “Finis Terrae” interprets as Finisterre.

Finisterre sundown (c) Rupert Parker

I’ve already walked the basic Camino Frances (The French Way), from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago and was dissatisfied by the crowds of individuals on the path. When I set out from town going west, numbers are far fewer, and it’s an altogether extra pleasurable expertise. It’s going to take three days to get to Cape Finisterre after which one other couple of days to the fishing village of Muxia, a spot as soon as sacred to the Celts.

Santiago de Compostela to Negreira

In late October, there’s a moist drizzle as I negotiate my means out of Santiago however I’m quickly plunged into oak woods with the bracken turning all shades of brown. The route takes me by means of tiny hamlets, filled with Hórreos, distinctive stone granaries raised on pillars above the bottom, nonetheless used for storing corn husks.

Hórreos (c) Rupert Parker

Three quarters into my first day I attain the charming medieval city of Ponte Maceira, named after its distinctively arched 14th-century bridge spanning the Río Tambre.

Ponte Maceira (c) Rupert Parker

My vacation spot is the city of Negreira, a sleepy little place, though it does have the Pazo do Cotón, a 14th century medieval fortress. It as soon as shaped a part of town partitions and it makes a becoming exit as I set off subsequent morning.

Pazo do Cotón (c) Rupert Parker

Rain is forecast, though it begins sunny, and the clouds open as I climb out of the city. Unlike the Camino Frances, cafes and bars are briefly provide, so there’s little shelter.

Negreira to Abeleiroas

Today is totally on roads and I really feel distinctly gloomy because the drizzle saturates my garments. Fortunately, there’s a scattering of different hikers alongside the way in which who’re feeling equally depressing. There’s a powerful sense of solidarity as we battle the weather however a powerful west wind picks off the faint-hearted. From the very best level at Monte Aro, I can nearly make out the lake created by damming the Xallas River however every little thing else is shrouded in cloud. It’s all downhill to the small village of Abeleiroas from right here.


Walk the Camino Finisterre

We advocate utilizing Follow The Camino to help you in planning your strolling vacation on the Camino Finisterre / Muxia Way. Follow The Camino offers customised itineraries to go well with you. You determine if you would like a guided or self-guided bundle, when to go, what distance you wish to cowl every day, and if you wish to journey solo, in a gaggle or with household or pals.


Abeleiroas to Fisterra

In the morning, there’s a change within the climate and the solar is poking by means of the clouds. Most of the day’s strolling is now on dust tracks, giving my toes a welcome relaxation, and the primary half follows the Xallas River, mendacity within the valley under. I climb steadily to the tiny hamlet of Hospital, named as a result of it as soon as offered look after pilgrims after which attain a crossroads. The proper department goes to Muxia, however my means leads left to Finisterre. There’s a pair of battered boots balanced on the stone marker, however no signal of the proprietor.

Camino signal with discarded footwear (c) Rupert Parker

The small chapel of Nosa Señora das Neves, constructed within the 18th Century, makes a great picnic spot earlier than the ultimate climb by means of the pine groves to the Cruceiro da Armada. From there I see the Atlantic for the primary time and even a glimpse of Cape Finisterre. Cee is a small seaside city with a large promenade the place {couples} maintain fingers at sundown and there’s seafood on the menu.

I stroll alongside the shore by means of the neighbouring city of Corcubión then cross the peninsula to rejoin the ocean on the opposite aspect. Here the vast expanse of Langosteira Beach provides me the chance to dip my toes into the ocean and I’m quickly in Fisterra, or Finisterre. There’s a small harbour, filled with fishing boats, and the streets are cobbled and slender.

Langosteira Beach in Fisterra (c) Rupert Parker

Fisterra harbour (c) Rupert Parker

Later within the day, I be a part of the day-trippers at Cape Finisterre. As you’d count on there’s a lighthouse right here, together with a gaggle of memento outlets. I’m ready for sundown, because it’s a cloudless night, and weary pilgrims are gathering. Tradition has it that you simply burn your garments right here as a logo of purification however an indication says fires are prohibited. However, just under it, there are the charred stays of somebody’s boots and decrease down, hidden within the rocks, I see plumes of smoke rising.

Fisterra to Muxia

I’m not setting fireplace to my gear as I’ve nonetheless two extra days strolling to get to Muxia. The means takes me by means of unspoilt countryside the place males nonetheless use donkeys for harvest and stooped previous ladies have a tendency their sheep.

Farmer with a donkey (c) Rupert Parker

I quickly attain the ‘Coast of Death’ at Rostro Beach the place vigorous breakers make swimming unattainable. A vertiginous skinny path leads me by means of the gorse, with the ocean pounding the rocks under. The small village of Lires, simply inland, is my house for the evening.

I’ve grown hooked on the wildness of the coast, so subsequent day I go away the Camino which matches overland, and pattern the Camino dos Faros, the Lighthouse means. The resort proprietor has warned me in opposition to this, saying that it’s a tough 30km stroll and I’ll get misplaced. I wrestle to search out the monitor however, extra by luck than judgement, I lastly attain the Touriñán lighthouse. This is additional West than Cape Finisterre and in November 2002, the tanker Prestige was wrecked in heavy seas and leaked 70,000 gallons of oil into the Atlantic.

Touriñán lighthouse (c) Rupert Parker

From right here on, the way in which is difficult, all ups and downs, however provides me entry to abandoned bays the place my solely companions are seabirds. It’s getting late and I’m starting to assume the hotelier was proper however ultimately I see the pastel shades of the homes of Muxia. They’re jumbled on a slender peninsula, surrounded by the thunderous sea, and it actually does appear like the top of the world.

Muxia within the background (c) Rupert Parker

Legend says that St James preached the gospel right here, apparently helped by the Virgin Mary who arrived in a ship. After his beheading by Herod, his physique was introduced again, however solely found a few years later and brought to Santiago. The Nosa Señora da Barca (Our Lady of the Boat) church was constructed to commemorate the Virgin and sits proper by the ocean. In entrance of it are big boulders, a spot of religious and bodily therapeutic. The Pedra de Abalar, or rocking stone, is legendary for its healing powers, however my toes are past assist.

Fact File

PACKAGE: A 6-night package strolling the Camino Finisterre from Santiago with Follow the Camino prices from £450 per particular person sharing, together with customary lodging, dinners on strolling days, baggage transfers and vacation pack with pilgrim passport, route notes and maps, in addition to entry to 24/7 help. Hotel upgrades in greater cities and airport transfers are additionally obtainable.

FLY: Vueling flies direct to Santiago daily from Gatwick. Single flights begin from £23.45. Vueling is a member of the International Airlines Group (IAG) and presents low value and versatile journey to over 100 locations, working from 8 regional airports throughout the UK and Ireland.


 

 

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