Monday, 2 September 2013

Day 40: Cee - Finistere

We had a latish start today, as our final day of walking was a mere 12km - a doodle! Chris the tall German army mechanic had been talking enthusiastically about starting out at three in the morning to watch the sun rise, but as we got up we could see his feet poking out over the end of the bed: he'd seen the sense in our starting out later. We'd only have three hours of walking and there was no need to hurry - the plan was to get to Finistere and then walk up to the lighthouse at the end of the peninsular to watch the sun go down.

First breakfast
Breakfast was decidedly leisurely, and when we passed a small cove on the way into Finistere Rupert decided that he wanted to go for a swim in the sea. I hate swimming in the sea, particularly when there isn't a shower to help get the salt and sand off before putting my walking shoes back on, so I pottered around on the beach looking at the beautiful scallop shells.

Ursula Andress eat your heart out
As we walked the final kilometres into Finistere we passed a Hungarian woman who was walking with her three little girls (aged 15, 12 and 9). They were all lean with wild blonde hair, and the woman had previously walked the Camino from Budapest, a six month venture with over 3600km of walking. This time she was only doing the 160km circular route from Santiago to Finistere, Muxia and then back to Santiago. Rupert said she reminded him of his family's beagle who used to lead her puppies into the wood and train them in following scents and keeping the local fox population on its toes.

Spanish large format speed cameras: very retro

The town of Finistere is a few kilometres short of the end of the peninsula, so we decided that we'd have a lazy lunch and head up to the lighthouse in time to see the sun go down. Finistere was very laid back - a few camper vans and tourists, and a lovely contrast to the madness of Santiago. I walked the final four kilometres to the end of the world in my flip-flops, holding my heavily duct-taped shoes in my hands and enjoying the novel sensation of air on my tired feet. It was a beautiful evening - no wind, not sweltering hot, and the sea was magnificently calm.

0km to go. Shoes in hand ready for the inferno

Eventually someone lit a fire in the fire-pit, and a small number of people lined up to burn things that were significant in various ways. Rupert burnt the hideous baseball cap he'd bought on the Camino earlier in the year when he realised he'd need a sun hat, and I placed my old shoes in the midst of the flames. They'd first started indicating that this would be their last adventure just after Pamplona, and by now they were at the point of needing fresh duct tape every two days. As I walked away from the fire I was interviewed by Dutch Faith TV (I wasn't previously familiar with their work…), although perhaps I wasn't the best person for them to ask about the whole significance of the Camino, with the questioning as follows:

"So do you believe in God?"
"Ahh, but you'd describe yourself as a spiritual man?"
"Err, not really, sorry"
"Oh! So why exactly have you just walked 1000km from Lourdes in France?"

And so on.

Rupert and I slowly walked back down for our last evening as Camino pilgrims, and had a relatively early night, as the bus back to Santiago leaves early tomorrow morning.