Tag Archives: Finesterre

Finesterre parte dos

10/15 – today we walked the several miles from the town of Finesterre to the Faro (lighthouse) on the cliff. This is the End of the Earth.


Here we found a pilgrim statue:




Some pilgrims build fires on the rocks to ceremoniously burn their boots, socks, or other articles of clothing used on the Camiño. Many more leave a rock as a token that they made it all the way to the end.



The wind at the edge of the cliff is so strong that it could either hold you up or blow you over.




Here is the last pilgrim cross:


…and the last distance marker:


Congratulations to all who have completed their Camiño!


Finesterre also has a twelfth century church:



And a castle, destroyed repeatedly in battles defending the coast:



The rain let up at dusk to give us some more beautiful skies:





Here’s a story: We stayed in Finesterre an extra day, as we had ordered our EuRail Pass online, and had to wait for it to be delivered from Ireland. We told the lady at our pension that we were expecting a package that had to be signed for. When we next checked the tracking info, we were surprised and delighted to see that it had been delivered a day earlier than expected, and had been signed for just one hour ago! We went downstairs to ask for our package, but the lady said she didn’t have one. We showed her the name of the person who signed for the package, and she agreed that that was her husband’s name, but she had no package. Then, you could see reality dawning on her face as the color drained from it. Madre de Dios! She rushed into the kitchen and rooted through the trash can, pulling out our beloved EuRail Pass, opened and crumpled into a ball. When her husband handed her the stack of mail, she opened the envelope, thought it was junk advertising, and tossed it! If Jim hadn’t checked the tracking info a day early, we would have been out of luck (and out a ridiculously large sum of money). Don’t you love a story with a happy ending?

Finesterre – the End of the Earth

10/14 – after finishing a Camino, many Pilgrims take a final step by visiting Finesterre (or Fisterra in Galician), the westernmost point of Spain that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Long before satellite photos proved otherwise, this point was thought to be the End of the Earth, otherwise known as the Coast of Death for all the ships that sunk off its rocky shore.

Some pilgrims leave the Cathedral in Santiago and walk the additional four days to Finesterre. Many more, including us, opt to take the bus. A two hour bus ride up a breathtakingly beautiful coast brought us to the little fishing town. You’ll have to take my word for the views, as the weather up here is gray, overcast and rainy most of the time.



We checked in to a pension at the top of a hill, Mirador Fin da Terra, that afforded us views of the mountains behind and the ocean below. The first evening, the rain stopped long enough for us to catch a glimpse of the setting sun.



Now here’s a story. I kept walking west toward the sunset, looking for the next great picture, assuming that Jim was behind me. When I turned around in the gathering dusk, Jim was nowhere to be seen. No prob, thought I, I’ll just retrace my steps back down the hill. I followed the road back, then realized this was not the road I had come up. Nothing looked familiar, and it was getting dark. I looked for a familiar landmark, and found none. So, what to do? Our pension was at the top of a hill, so if I walk up this hill, I should be able to see it, right? Nope. I walked up promising looking streets until I was well and truly lost. Don’t panic! I made my way back down toward the lights of town, thinking to retrace our steps from the bus station. I found the bus station, but couldn’t find the road we had taken. I asked for help at several hotels, and asked to use a phone, but no one was willing to help. (as we had only ducked out of our room to take pix, I didn’t have my bag or my phone, so no GPS).

Finally, I went into the German restaurant where we had eaten our lunch earlier, and explained my plight to the only waitress who spoke English. She told me to go up the road and tell the owner of the pension that it was too hard to find. I had no idea who the owner of the pension was, so the waitress left the restaurant with me, and walked me up the street to a shop. She introduced me to the little old woman behind the counter, and told her to show me the way home. The woman obligingly left her cash register and walked out into the dark, motioning me to follow. Ten minutes later, I could see the sign for the pension, and, thanking the woman profusely, made my way up the right hill.

Jim, meanwhile, had given up looking for me with a flashlight, and was preparing to call the police. He had my passport in his hand when I banged on the door to be let in. Looking at my watch, I had only been gone for an hour, but it was the longest hour of my life. Moral: never let Jim out of your sight!