DAY 33: Saturday, June 27 2015 Santiago to Finisterre 89 km ( by bus)

  • We were up early enough to see Praza do Obradoiro completely empty.
    The cathedral highlighted in the glow of dawn was stunning.
    Today we took a day long tour out to Finisterre, which until the discovery of North America, was thought to be where the world ended. This was an hour and a half trip one way, through a lovely countryside and along the northern coast of Galicia. Enroute is was evident that this area of Galicia is more prosperous than any we have walked through. Perhaps, it is the proximity to Santiago or the success of their off shore fishing industry. It was good to see. The coast is beautiful. The many indentations called “rias” are said to have been made when God rested and put His hand down— His fingers creating the rias. Low granite mountains green with scrub brush and fern rise above the sea. Gigantic granite boulders cover the mountains, some doing incredible balancing acts. It is understandable that so many myths and legends abound in this area.
    All the coastal villages are fishing ports. One, Muros, is renowned for razor clams that they grow off rafts in the ria. Rod had the clams for lunch and said they were delicious but tasted a bit different from other clams.
    When we reached Finisterre we were confused. The Finisterre we were expecting was the one in the film, “The Way”. The real Finisterre has a lighthouse, chapel and a granite cross. It is significant for pilgrims arriving at Cabo Finisterre to bathe in the waters ( carefully, as there is a serious current),watch the sunset at the Cape and burn their Camino clothes. Finisterre is an adjunct to the Camino and many come here because they cannot face the farewells yet or they do not wish their Camino to come to an end. Our next stop was near Muxia on the point called “Pedra dos Cadrises”—this is where the final scene from the movie was filmed. Here are the two ” magic stones” believed to be the boat and sail of the stone ship that brought the Virgin Mary to St. James when he was anguishing about his mission in Spain. Her encouragement inspired him to continue, although his discipleship here was not hugely successful. Part of the story has to do with back and kidney problems. If you circle the “sail” of the boat a certain number of times, touching it, you will be healed…also, apparently this stone  moves — the tide does not reach the stone and it must weigh at least a ton, so it is not the wind….
    There is a small chapel up from the beach, ” Sanctuary of our Lady of the Boat” which has several model boats hanging in it to honour the Virgin’s boat and the seagoing vessels of their village. It is a simple and welcoming place.
    At one point, gazing out of the bus window we passed some pilgrims walking to Finisterre. For a moment we both had a sense of guilt that we were not walking with them and actually wished we were. However, we stayed on the bus and the “Camino fever” moment passed.
    An interesting bit about our hotel. As it was once a pilgrim hostal built by royalty, the mandate for it to assist pilgrims still remains. Each day at 0900, 1200 and 2000 the first 15 pilgrims to arrive, on presentation of a copy of their Compostela certificate are given a free meal. This is allowed for 3 days after a pilgrim’s arrival in Santiago.
    We had a little glitch in our itinerary, as the baggage handlers in Madrid are on strike. Ryanair will take us but not our checked baggage. It is a bit iffy to send your baggage by bus or train unaccompanied, especially if you need it within a couple of days. So, now we will be going to Madrid by train which should be a nice journey.
    There were more stars tonight and they shone brightly.
The next series of pictures, hopefully in the order I want them to be! Tell the story of the joy and agony at the finish.  Yes, some who completed the Camino were excited.  Here I am at the Camino shell symbol in the very middle of the square in front of the Cathedral.
The next series of pictures, hopefully in the order I want them to be, tell  the story of the joy and agony at the finish.
Yes, some who completed the Camino were excited. Here I am at the Camino shell, symbol in the very middle of the square in front of the Cathedral.
This picture is out of place, but I wanted to throw it in somewhere....Remember earlier in one of my science and statics classes, I spoke about the fact that 25% of Spain's electricity comes from wind and solar sources?  And within 10 years they expect that portion to increase to 48 % ....  You should see the quiet Giants along the shoreline near Finisterre.
This picture is out of place, but I wanted to throw it in somewhere….Remember earlier in one of my science and statics classes, I spoke about the fact that 25% of Spain’s electricity comes from wind and solar sources? And within 10 years they expect that portion to increase to 48 % …. You should see the quiet Giants along the shoreline near Finisterre.
A more subdued couple standing before the giant she'll symbolizing the end of the Camino.
A more subdued couple standing before the giant shell made in 1705, symbolizing the end of the Camino.
The tradition calls for a pilgram to carry a stone from the beginning of their camino, to the end. This is one step beyond: hereRod throws a stone from our beach at Firever House, into the 'end of the world' at Finnistere. Delana's amazing timing: look closely, the stone has just departed my hand!!
The tradition calls for a pilgrim to carry a stone from the beginning of their camino, to the end. This is one step beyond: here Rod  throws a stone from our beach at Firever House, into the ‘end of the world’ at Finnistere. Delana’s amazing timing: look closely, the stone has just departed my hand!!
Before we got too critical of those on horseback, we learned that some come, with their horses, from as far away as Brazil and Mexico, just to raise money for a cause.
Before we got too critical of those on horseback, we learned that some come, with their horses, from as far away as Brazil and Mexico, just to raise money for a cause.
As I tried to get the right angle for this picture I was overwhelmed by emotions.  These are real pilgrims. They have overcome adversity, they have struggled, some I am certain with every ounce of strength they have.  Just like the thousands before them, they have learned the meaning of being a Camino Pilgrim.
As I tried to get the right angle for this picture I was overwhelmed by emotions. These are real pilgrims. They have overcome adversity, they have struggled, some I am certain with every ounce of strength they have. Just like the thousands before them, they have learned the meaning of being a Camino Pilgrim.
Anyone care to take a wheelchair over 800 kilometres of steep vertical climbs, frightening descents, 30 degree rock faces, over 12 - 18 inch boulders, steep surfaces of round rocks that keep you from stopping your descent,  water obstacles of mud to your boot tops, ascents of over 4000 feet in a day over a summit of goat and sheep trails.... Now that  is a pilgram.
Anyone care to take a wheelchair over 800 kilometres of steep vertical climbs, frightening descents, 30 degree rock faces, over 12 – 18 inch boulders, steep surfaces of round rocks that keep you from stopping your descent, water obstacles of mud to your boot tops, ascents of over 4000 feet in a day over a summit of goat and sheep trails…. Now that is a pilgrim.
The chapel at Finisterre. Note the fishing boat suspended from the ceiling.
The chapel at Finisterre. Note the fishing boats suspended from the ceiling.
Finally, at Finisterre, the end of the world. The exact rock from which Martin Sheen threw the ashes, the last scene in the movie
Finally, at Finisterre, the end of the world. The exact rock from which Martin Sheen threw the ashes, the last scene in the movie “the Way” – a movie we recommend that you all see. It was our son Gavin who recommended it to us along with the chalkenge to walk the Camino ourselves. Thank you,Gavin

Xxxxxx

This is a “cruceiro”, a distinctive Galician landmark. They are usually simple, stone crosses on long, slender shafts.

They are found in plazas or at crossroads and sometimes, what appears to be randomly, in a field. Cruceiros mark significant events and date back to the 14th century.

Here we are, leaving our stones . that we have carried throught the length of the Camino, at mile zero at the Finistere lighthouse.  Zoom in on our hands and you will see the stones.
Here we are, leaving our stones . that we have carried throught the length of the Camino, at mile zero at the Finistere lighthouse. Zoom in on our hands and you will see the stones.
Our last Martin sighting, at rest in a pasture after a long walk!
Our last Martin sighting, at rest in a pasture after a long walk! Christian, Savilla, Vivienne, Clara, Garner, Emmitt and Elodie—Martin is very happy in his new home. xo
Advertisements

One thought on “DAY 33: Saturday, June 27 2015 Santiago to Finisterre 89 km ( by bus)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s