Myth, Mist and Melancholy

It is often said the Camino de Santiago does not end at Santiago de Compostela, but at Cape Finisterre on the Atlantic coast. We are not true pilgrims today as we cheat and hop on the Monbus to go to “the end of the world.”  

Spain-1040561Finisterre (Fisterra in Galician) was both the end of the known world until Columbus altered things, and the final destination of many of the pilgrims who made the journey to Santiago in past centuries. There are various explanations as to how this continuation came about (one such is that it was based on a pre-Christian route to the pagan temple of Ara Solis in Finisterre, erected to honor the sun) but is it also known that a pilgrim infrastructure existed, with “hospitals” in Cée, Corcubión, Finisterre itself and elsewhere. Pilgrims in past centuries also continued northwards up the coast to the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Barca in Muxía, 29km north of the “end of the world” itself.  ~   http://www.csj.org.uk/route-finisterre.htm
Spain-1040384Our attentive bus driver pays close attention to the road as we cruised through towns and countryside, picking up passengers along the way. 24 Euro a piece for a round trip ticket from Santiago. The time each way varies depending on the number of people getting on at the stops along the way.  Our trip took about 2  hours each way. It would have taken 3 long days of walking, so that doesn’t seem to be such a long ride, after all.

Spain-1040403Dreary, rainy day the whole way to Finesterre.

Spain-1040410Our energetic friend, Jane, is taking in the scenery along the way.

The two South Korean gals are also on this bus and have reservations to stay in the hotel at the end of the world. That sound kind of interesting, doesn’t it!  They have walked ALL the way from France, which includes hiking the Pyrenees and O’cebreiro, so I’d say they deserve it.

Spain-1040462The welcoming committee is ready greet us at the bus stop.  Hey, guys!  We’re here!

Spain-1040458It is the kind of cold rain that chills a person to the bone, so we find a handy coffee shop to warm our insides before tackling our excursion for the day.

Spain-1040472Finisterre’s main industry is fishing along with tourism, but seem to keep it real rather than over-dressing the town for the tourists.

Spain-1040465Monument dedicated to Galician emigrants who, being dispersed through all world around, took part in creation of better world. This monument is not far from the Finisterre Bus Station.

Spain-1040470This anchor was spared from an old ship sent to the metal scrap and now is part of a monument near the fish market dedicated to the local sailors.

Spain-1040572Fishing nets are resting for the day.

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Closer inspection finds donuts in the nets.  Huh…I’m assuming the donuts are bait and they aren’t catching donut fish.

Spain-1040491Only one bastion of fort San Carlos survived till nowadays. It was built in XVI century to defend the city and harbor of Finisterra from pirates.

Spain-1040507There is maritime museum in inside the fort now, but it is closed today.

Spain-1040523Fisterra is on the rocky Costa da Morte which in Galician means “Coast of Death,” named because of the large number of shipwrecks along these shores.

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Pilgrims still leave rocks.

Spain-1040565Time to head back so we can catch our bus back to Santiago.

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We are here.  Due to the cold, sometimes heavy rain, we do not walk to the far tip to the lighthouse.

There is also another possible final destination, and this is Muxia. You can walk from Finisterre to Muxia along the “Costa da Morte” or walk straight from Santiago to Muxia.

According to the legend, Muxia is the location where the boat carrying the body of the apostle St. James arrived. One legend even has it being a stone boat. Don’t think I’ll sign up for a ride in a stone boat.  Doesn’t sound very seaworthy.

Spain-1040467We are cold, wet, as well as hungry and it is time to catch the bus back to Santiago.

Finisterre is known for its fresh seafood, but to Randy’s dismay we are short of time to sit down and eat a delicious meal and it is too early. We are starving since we haven’t eaten much and our time in Finisterre has been spent taking photos in the rain while trying NOT to ruin the camera. Wonder where our off the beaten path, menu de la dia will be tonight?  Pulpo? (octopus) We’ll find out in Santiago.

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One thought on “Myth, Mist and Melancholy

  1. Glad you were brave and took pics in spite of the inclement bone-chilling rain. Sorry that there were five wimps(including me) who stayed warm and cozy in a restaurant/bar.

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

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