Galicia is known for its foul weather, and today it must have realised I was about to get away without experiencing any, because it unleashed all the elements in grand style for the very last day of my Camino.
The forecast was grim: rain all day. I considered taking the 11:30 bus to Finisterre. After all, I had already achieved my goal of walking to Santiago, and my goal of walking to the ocean. But something in me rebelled against the idea of reaching the place that was once considered the end of the known world on a bus, however foul the weather. The symbolic value of reaching Finisterre on foot is just too strong - even now that we all know the edge of the world is really in Haida Gwaii!
By the time I had finished breakfasting on the remains of yesterday's giant tortilla (which I had slipped into my handy leftovers box before leaving the bar), an avocado, a croissant and my very last envelope of instant coffee, the clouds appeared to be opening up and the sun was even attempting to peer through. What the heck - I'll walk it!
My decision was confirmed when I ran into my new friend Mary Beth, who was determined to walk despite having suffered a bout of minor food poisoning during the night (she ate at a different seafood restaurant from me last night). If she can do it on no sleep and a troubled stomach, surely I can do it too!
So I said goodbye to Valter, Eleanora and Andrea, the other three hospitaleros staying at the Bela Muxìa, wrapped myself in black plastic in preparation for the onslaught of the elements, whenever it should come, and set off.
The morning began with a long, steady climb, up into the clouds, alongside the wind turbines. It wasn't raining up there, but it was very damp nonetheless. And windy! (Well I guess they wouldn't bother putting all those wind turbines up there if it weren't!)
When we came to the day's halfway point, in Lires, we stopped for coffee in a bar/restaurant - and ended up staying there for more than four hours! As soon as we got through the door the rain started pouring down. I ordered coffee. Then I ordered muesli with fruit and yogurt.
After some time the two ladies from La Spezia bravely went out to face the elements, but I decided to wait longer, and spent some time chatting with Chloe from Florida whom I had met the day before. Laura from Germany joined us, then Mary Beth came in, absolutely soaking wet!
I ordered orange juice and a triple decker tuna and tomato sandwich with a fried egg on top (my third since discovering this unique culinary treat in Santiago the other day).
Mary Beth ordered plain toast for her gradually recovering stomach. Then she bravely decided to continue, despite the rain, which was coming down in sheets now. Chloe called a taxi, as she already had a cold and didn't want to make it worse. Laura and I looked at the weather forecast and decided to sit it out, as the rain was supposed to slow down and maybe even stop at four.
I ordered a chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and ice cream - just to help pass the time! The rain was still coming down by the bucketful and blowing across our field of vision through the glass wall of the café.
The café cat ventured outside and came back soaked and disgruntled, and attempted to steal the anchovies off the pizza of the Californian couple beside me.
In short, the afternoon passed in good company, making lots of new friends and eating lots of good food!
At about a quarter to four the rain began to show signs of letting up, as predicted. I settled my bill, refilled my water bottle and struggled back into my waterproof wrapping. At four on the dot the rain stopped, right on schedule, and Laura and I were out the door in a flash! We walked as if we were competing in an Olympic speed walking event, but with backpacks and waterproofs on. We had 15 kilometres to go, and in two hours it was forecast to start raining again! Meanwhile, it was blowing up a storm, and so we were walking into a strong wind, and hopping between puddles, too!
We almost made it to Finisterre before the rain resumed, but not quite. We arrived in town in a gentle rain, just enough to soak us through. Laura went off to her hostel and I - to my waterfront hotel! I treated myself to a room of my own, with an ocean view and, best of all, an actual bathtub, and loads of beautiful white fluffy towels!
|Muxìa - Fisterra 32 km|