No sooner had I arrived in Santiago and had a good night’s sleep did I pack my bags to leave. I would be returning the following day, but Jasmin and I had decided that we would travel to Finisterre, or land’s end, and spend a day there. Frequently, pilgrims who have just completed the Camino continue to walk either to Finisterre or to Muxia, both along western (or northwestern) coast of Spain. It usually takes about two days, but Jasmin and I opted for a much shorter two-hour bus trip to save time :).
Again, after walking, it felt really strange to be traveling so fast on a bus. From the window, I could see some pilgrims walking, but it felt good to be able to relax and passively watch the scenery pass by.
We arrived in Finisterre around noon and immediately sat down for some lunch at a German hippie restaurant across from the bus stop. They had delicious lentil soup with Indian spices but also a really funny menu. I love translations on tourist menus!
I had booked a room at Pension Mirador for us, which was a good walk up the hill but had an amazing view. We immediately changed to head to the beach. After weeks of needing fleeces, long pants, and even hats on some days, the idea of the weather being warm enough for a bathing suit was tantalizing. Unfortunately, the water was still freezing (duh. It is the Atlantic) and the sun disappeared not too long after we arrived, but it was still pleasant to lie on a towel and read in the sand.
A rainstorm was imminent. Since the faro (the lighthouse at the coast which marks the end of the Camino) was a four-kilometer walk away, we agreed to stay in that night and walk there the next day.
The weather was much better the following day. We walked for about an hour down the road and came to the cliff past the lighthouse. Many pilgrims take the opportunity to burn some of their belongings on the rocks to mark the end of their Camino. Since I would be continuing on my travels after leaving Spain, there really wasn’t a whole lot that I would be willing to burn. (You could see the charred remains of hiking boots as you scrambled over the rocks). The one item that would have been nice to get rid of was my pair of nasty liner socks that I had worn daily beneath my hiking socks, but these were not only made of synthetic fabric but were also so permanently saturated with Aquaphor ointment that I didn’t think that an open flame anywhere near them would be a good idea. I opted to burn a paper that had point-to-point Camino mileage and elevation listings instead.
Jasmin and I enjoyed this official last day of the Camino sitting on the rocks, listening to REM on her iPod, and then stopping in the cafe of the lighthouse for a celebratory gin and tonic. Satisfied, we retrieved our bags and boarded the bus back to Santiago.