Best Albergue Ever

29 October 2018

I began the day in Finisterre in the Pension Cabo. Overall Finisterre town was ok. I liked the restaurant Etel and Pan for its aioli. 

I checked out of Cabo at 9:30 am, loaded my bag into the rental car (a seat hatchback that I really liked), and got in. Just then Naomi from South Africa knocked on my car window! She was there with a girlfriend from South Africa and they had done the 3-day walk from Santiago and arrived yesterday. Today they were headed to the lighthouse.

It was great to talk to her. She had seen several familiar people back in Santiago. She gets the award for the most persistent walker. The others of us declared victory at Santiago. She is going to Muxia tomorrow.

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Final Day in Finisterre

28 October 2018

Today I slept in until 8:00 am, really 9 since the clocks were set back during the night. I guess my body needed the extra rest.

Today I went back to the lighthouse for more pictures. I could have skipped the second day here, but glad I came just the same.

Tomorrow I drive to Muxia for a night and then back to Santiago to catch the train to Madrid.

Since I do not return to the States until 20 November, I’m making the best of my remaining time in Europe.

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The End of the World

27 October 2018

I rented a hatchback this morning and drove a “scenic” route to Finisterre. True to google maps, I ended up on some obscure dirt “roads”. However, I got some beautiful photos on the way.

Once in Finisterre, I went to the lighthouse which, in old times, represented the westernmost “end of the world” for Spain. There I celebrated the journey completion and released the final ashes.

It was interesting driving to the lighthouse- I passed many pilgrims who had elected to walk from Santiago. They all had a peaceful look on their face.

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First Order of Business

26 October 2018

The first order of business was to ship extra items back to States but I quickly concluded shipping one of the backpacks back was way too expensive.

On my disappointed walk back to the hotel I thought of checking whether the smaller backpack would fit inside the larger one. I would still ship items back but without that backpack. The idea worked! Shipping was now reasonable.

I went to church again at noon and did see a few more familiar faces, including the two nuns and Rena. Later, I ran into Rena and Bridget. Bridget was going to the credential office so that hers would be stamped with October 26 – her 52nd birthday! Rena said several were going to meet Saturday night at 7pm for dinner. I gave it a lot of thought but decided to stick with my plan of renting a car Saturday morning and drive to Finisterre to complete my mission. I liked the weather forecast and I believe it was the right decision.

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I Am Here!

25 October 2018

Statue on hill overlooking Santiago.
The cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the relics of St. James are kept.

I started from O’Pino at 6:15 am with the goal of attending the noon mass in Santiago over 20 kilometers away, knowing I would stop for photos along the way. It was dark the first few hours and I walked mostly through woodland paths. Around 9 am the morning broke and I enjoyed a very pretty walk.

Around 10 I got a view of Santiago, plus stopped at the monument for remembrance and photos. I arrived at about 11:15 and went to the cathedral. I saw a few familiar faces there including Naomi from South Africa who was the flamenco dancer. I had not seen her for over about 3 weeks.

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A Week of Pics!

Not so much commentary in the last week as Tom headed into Santiago, but lots of pics!!!

October 19.  Friday O’Cebreiro to Triacastela. 21 kilometers.

After yesterday’s hard climb this was a relief.

October 20.   Saturday Triacastela to Sarria. 19 kilometers

Today a beautiful walk into Sarria.   Today was almost entirely solo.   I saw no one for over 2 hours. 

After Sarria the Camino becomes more crowded as it starts the last 100 kilometers. People can get their certificate by just walking the 100 kilometers.

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I’m in the Clouds

18 October 2018

28 kilometers…

All is well and somewhat cold here – low 40s to maybe 50.  Today was a hard walk – similar in difficulty to my first day on the Camino. I may have walked 28 km but it felt like 40 km with a lot of climbing.

The walk was primarily through narrow valleys, fairly flat until the end when we had to climb about 1,500 feet over the course of about 7 km. Still, the walk was pleasant, pretty, and quiet.

I’ve been drinking orange + carrot juice along the way and it has been very peaceful. That said, I’ve hit the wall on eating eggs.

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A Walk in the Mist

17 October 2018

Today I walked 33 kilometers from Ponferrada to Viilafranca del Bierzo, with mist or fog almost the entire way. It actually made for a very pleasant walk since it was comfortably cool and not too sunny.

I walked through vineyards much of the time and have pictures of grapes still on the vine.  

There was also an American group taking a bus to certain places, getting off and hiking for a little bit, and then getting back on the bus to go further and find another place to hike from. I understand the group had people from Texas. I did not talk to them much other than to say hello as I went by.

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It May Sound Corny But…

16 October 2018

Rabanal to Ponferrada was 33 kilometers and included a stop at the famous Cruz de Ferro. 

Today was beautiful and exhausting with some high points from the trip. I woke early with the objective of getting to the Cruz de Ferro at sunrise. It took longer to pack than planned, so I started about 15 minutes later than I wanted. As a result, Bridget and Rena started ahead and I ended up seeing them only briefly at Cruz de Ferro.    

The first 8 kilometers was uphill through a narrow path to Cruz de Ferro – an iron cross that is the highest elevation of the Camino. It is considered one of the spiritual highlights of the journey. Here people leave stones with names / messages / requests of personal nature. Often it is to request help getting mentally past something.   

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