Back to Santiago de Compostela

I got back to Portland last Saturday night (the 14th), but I’m planning to do a couple more posts about my trip to Spain. This will be my last one about the Camino and then I’ll probably write one or two more about our time in The Canary Islands. Hope you enjoy them!

We woke up just in time to see the sunrise in Finisterre, I think this was on December 6th. And the sunrise was even more beautiful than the sunset the night before!

We only saw the bright pink skies for a few minutes before they turned to a more purple/grey. (I didn’t filter the above picture at all, btw.) It was beautiful. It was also late…I think around 9 am. Whoa.

On our way out of Finisterre that morning we took pictures by the last Camino marker in Finisterre – I pretended I was still a pilgrim. And yes, I wore those pants all the time, thanks Amazon! They are the most comfortable travel pants ever.

Anyway, we got back to Santiago around mid-day and we headed out to enjoy the town for a few more hours. Unfortunately, it was a holiday that day and a lot of the shops were closed (my credit card was very sad, my bank account was happy!), but there were tons of people out. We ate some roasted chestnuts:

They were delicious and we bought them from this food cart(?), which I thought was so cute:

There was a long line of people for the roasted chestnuts and it just felt so much like the holidays! I loved it. PLUS, Santiago had turned on its holiday lights and it was so very festive that night.

Remember this church?

Well, the entire square was lit up that night!

In that mass crowd of people around the tree, there are about 300 kids and 2,000 strollers (I’m not sure how that math works, but I’m pretty sure it’s correct). About a third of the kids were having meltdowns, which I think added to the holiday spirit — MERRY CHRISTMAS MOMS AND DADS!

But really, it was a beautiful night and I loved it. I really love the city of Santiago de Compostela and I would go back in a second!

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Finisterre – The End of the World

After spending the night in Muxia, we headed to Finisterre the next day. For many years (centuries?), Finisterre was known as the “end of the world” because it was what people believed to be the earth’s westernmost point. It’s easy to see why.

That’s the lighthouse at the top of the hill outside Finisterre. The view is incredible and we stayed at the hotel, just up the hill from it. It’s the only hotel in this location. Our room wasn’t ready when we got there so we decided to walk the 3k into town. It was a beautiful walk along the coast.

We also saw the best sign graffiti ever:

Some people are so talented.

The town of Finisterre is pretty small and really cute. We went to the pharmacy and had a fun time talking to the pharmacist about the sexy rash on my feet and ankles. Fortunately, I think he was pretty used to talking to gross pilgrims about various feet issues. Before we got there, I’d Googled “benadryl in Spain” and “neosayomol” came up as the result so I asked for that at the pharmacy. I have no idea what I actually bought, but it worked! The good news is the cream was only about $5!

J looked up a place to eat and we ended up at Etel&Pan – a #1 rated place on Trip Advisor. We had a great view and my vegan burger was so good!

After eating, we walked back to our hotel and by the time we got back, the sun had come out!

Those giant mosaic stones were outside the lighthouse. It was difficult to get a picture of the hotel because it’s right on top of the cliff, but here it is:

Our room didn’t have a view, but I loved it anyway:

It was light, bright, spacious, had a great bathroom, and it was clean! We both loved it.

After getting settled in, we went out to take some pictures and watch the sunset.

A lot of pilgrims joined us and a bunch of people J walked with earlier on the Camino were there, too!

There is also a life-size bronze boot to mark the end of the Camino.

Most of the people had been walking for 30+ days and they were celebrating! They brought beer, cookies, and chocolates and shared with everyone. It was fun to be a part of it.

Finisterre was really beautiful. We went back to Santiago the next day and then headed to Tenerife, The Canary Islands.

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Negreira to Olveira

Okay, so I survived the night at the first hostel outside of Negreira and because we walked so far the previous day, we only had about 15 miles left to walk on day 2! Never thought I’d be so excited to walk only 15 miles. The sun doesn’t rise until after 8 am here and I think we were on the road by 9 or 9:30 that day. It was pretty cold and there was still frost on the grass.

We were so lucky that the weather was beautiful again.

I really loved walking through all the small towns in this part of Spain. People always greeted us and said, “Buen Camino!” which was nice to hear. There were other pilgrims walking along the way too and it was interesting to see where they were from (Germany, Brazil, Australia, the UK, South Korea, Holland, etc.).

A couple of hours into our walk that day, we stopped for breakfast. When we were sitting, I noticed that the inside of my ankles were burning…a lot. I looked at them and they were kind of red and puffy and parts of my feet were too. I’d been wearing Smartwool socks for the first time ever (rookie mistake) and my feet did not like them. I changed into some cotton socks which felt better and we continued walking.

My feet/ankles continued to hurt, but it wasn’t unbearable. I think we had a pretty good pace that day and as usual, the views were incredible!

We arrived in Olveira at around 3:30 or 4 pm. We had a bit of difficulty finding the hostel J booked for the night and ended up in a graveyard! LOL, except for the fact that as it turned out, the hostel wasn’t much better than the graveyard and my feet were killing me by then. J was not impressed with our accommodations and decided that it was time to make an executive decision. As I sat with my feet elevated thinking about all the poor decisions I’ve made in my life, J called a taxi to take us to Muxia, a town that he’d been to before, but that we weren’t going to have time to visit if we kept walking to Finisterre. On our way to Muxia, he booked a hotel for the night and canceled the reservation at the hostel (and even got a refund!). He’s pretty awesome.

We made it to the hotel and showered (in our very own, private bathroom!), and walked down to see the sunset at 6 pm.

It was definitely worth the walk. It was also cool to see this marker:

Although my Camino experience was over, I walked 35 miles in two days, slept in a hostel with a shared bathroom(!), walked through parts of Spain I never would have seen otherwise and learned a lot (mostly not to wear socks I’ve never worn before). The next day, we went to Finisterre by taxi, stayed in a hotel at the “end of the world,” and got some cream for my feet at the pharmacy. And the real vacation began…

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