Camino day 19: the end of the known world


Today we reached Finisterre which when the first recorded Camino was walked by Bishop Perls in 850, was the end of the known world. The coastline feels very celtic both in scenery and in weather. Craggy coastline, sandy bays in alternate chilly rain, blustery wind and patches of gleaming sun could be in Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany or here. It makes sense when you look at the map, and see these places are all connected by the Celtic Sea. Last night’s Festa in the little village of Lires also looked very gaelic. We arrived to find the setting up of a marquee outside the (only) cafe/bar. The casa owner explained it was a local festival. Very small. They were not expecting anyone from outside Lires.  By evening the rain had cleared and around 150 locals and four pilgrims had gathered. About half those attending (local not pilgrims) were wearing traditional local dress. Wide black skirts, handmade lace headresses and bright beautifully coloured shawls. Bagpipes and drums played for galician folk dances. The little girls got their own turn and were loudly clapped and they processed off beaming with pride. “Lovely!”, said Clare and stayed to photograph it. “Lovely” said Noel, and escaped to the bar for a drink. 

Today’s walking was the best yet in Spain. Coastline, woods and wild flowers for 15 km. Finisterre is, as we were forewarned, very built up. Lots of bungalows. Also very gray and wet. Bit like Lyme Regis in the winter. This is not a shock and we are philosophical about it. The real emotional ‘end point’ of the Camino at the chapel on the rocks at Muxia gave us wildness at the edge of the world. Fierce sea spray, wind, exhilaration and a ‘stairway to heaven’ glistening across the waves up to the setting sun. So our photo for ‘the end of the known world’ shows that instead. Buen Camino everybody, everywhere. 

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