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Walking Camino de Santiago – Day 11, We Are Going to Finisterre

A river - Spain

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Kaspars’s diary of the adventure completed in spring 2013. Translated by Una.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is April 30. I fell asleep after 11 PM and slept through the night? Yeah, right… At about 1 AM I am woken by a strange noise coming from somewhere behind my back. I don’t get up to look what is it, but I stay on the bench and crane my neck to see what is there.

Someone is sleeping in the bushes? Some animals? After a while I understand that it is a plant watering system, which turns on at night and operates approximately for one hour.

Ha, now I remember an interview with one Latvian, a guy who walked Camino de Santiago some time ago. He also was was woken by this system. Except he was lying on the ground and woke up only when he sensed that his sleeping bag was completely soaked.

I don’t sleep much. I fall asleep for a while, then I wake up, then again – I fall asleep for a while and again wake up.

It is 4 AM, when I see an animal approaching me. Looks like a hedgehog. I am not sure, if it is only a hedgehog, so I move on the bench to scare it away. Better safe than sorry. The animal sees me and starts to walk in another direction.

After a while I am startled by a bright light. Looks like someone is walking not far from me with a torchlight. But soon I understand it’s not what I thought. It’s just trees moving in the wind and streetlights, which make this effect.

I fall asleep again and wake up at 6 AM, when my alarm goes off. I pack in 10 minutes and when I am done, I see a police car. What would happen if I would be still sleeping? Doesn’t matter anymore.

On our way to Finisterre, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

There was no rain during the night, but the sky is cloudy. And the air is cool. I decide to go back to that cafe, where I was yesterday. I don’t think that it will be open, I’ll just stop by to use WiFi outside.

I get there, and Internet is working, too. For, like, half an hour I stand there and check my social networks, read few articles from one of my favorite running blogs.

It is 7 AM and to my surprise I see that few men are coming to open a cafe! Wow, I have never seen any establishment in Spain opening so early. I go inside, eat my breakfast and charge my phone. I don’t need to rush, as my mates plan to start walking only at 10 AM. After the breakfast I walk around the town.

I walk, I run up the hills and soon I have seen half of the city.

I buy bananas in the market and go back to the park where I spent the night. There is outdoor fitness equipment available for public use in the park. In the beginning I want only to try them out but in the end I spend there at least half an hour.

When you have something to do, time flies. Later I meet my mates and we go for a walk in the town. I show them the nice places I have discovered while my walks.

Around 11 AM we start to walk out of the city, towards Finisterre.

In the woods, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

We plan to walk remaining 90 kilometers in three days, each day 30 km, give or take. But let’s see how it will be in reality?

When we are out of the city our daily routine starts – walking up the hill, then down the hill. And it continues this way all the day.

We see a small, but wide waterfall. It looks similar to one in Latvia – Ventas Rumba.

We see small and big rivers and springs every day. And every time we pass one I think – I should at least put my feet in! But I didn’t do it. Today, when we walk past the river with the small waterfall, I finally decide to put my feet in it. I take off my boots and step into cold water. What a nice feeling! And so refreshing!

It is finally done!

We walk and walk. When there are only 10 km remained till the town, where we will be staying today, we reach a small village. We buy there some fruits. We will eat our dinner after 2 hours, so we didn’t buy too much of food.

Small waterfall, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

We have walked 30 km already but there is no town. But there should be a town! This place is not a town at all. On the contrary – we are in the woods, on the hill. There are only other hills and meadows around us.

The path after Santiago de Compostella and shortly before Santiago de Compostella are two completely different things. Only small part of pilgrims continue to walk to Finisterre. And today we see only one small group of retired people. We walk faster and pass by. Then they pass by and walk in front of us.

Otherwise it is very calm, peaceful and quiet here today.

On the road, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

But what about the next city? We walk. And walk. It is 8 PM already. My phone’s battery will die soon. And we do not expect the dinner anymore, because apparently we won’t get it.

Instead we look at the roadsides and bushes and think, where we can spend the night, in case we won’t get to an albergue. But luckily, we won’t need to spend the night under the stars. Edgars, who was walking faster and alone for the last hour, calls me and tells, that he has reached some village and there is an albergue! Great news! And we are only one kilometer away!

We find the albergue, check in, take a shower, eat the remaining food – cookies and bananas – and we go to sleep. Now we understand that we didn’t read the map correctly. We thought that the town will be 30 km away, but it wasn’t. The distance from the previous town to this one was more than 50 km.

Luckily we find a place where to stay in between these two.

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