Extending your Camino Finisterre to Muxía, the second, medieval "End of the World," is a rewarding and intense experience, especially if you are seeking more Presence in an intimate place.
"For untold thousands of years we traveled on over rough paths, not simply as peddlers or commuters or tourists, but as men and women for whom the path and road stood for some intense experience: freedom, new human relationships, a new awareness of the landscape. The road offered a journey into the unknown that could end up allowing us to discover who we were." ~ John Brinckerhoff Jackson
Well, I chose to walk to both! I walked first to Finisterre from Santiago de Compostela and then from there walked on to Muxía. It matters not which direction you choose to do this 29.3 kilometer route.
Please join me in my photo journal of this most glorious day on my extension of the Camino de Santiago!
The map below, from Eroski Consumer, shows the route from Finisterre (Fisterra in the local dialect, Gallego), to Muxía, or vice versa depending on your choice of direction. The elevation map directly below is very helpful as well for your trip planning purposes.
I like this map, as it shows the individual kilometers between towns, which is helpful to decide whether or not you want to stop in Lires, the halfway point, and make this journey in two legs. Quite a few people do this, if 29 kilometers seems like too much for you for one day. It is your Camino!
Also, as you can see, if you do the Camino from Finisterre to Muxía, the long hill is saved for last, at the end of a long day. I still chose to do it this way, and was glad, as for me personally, I felt the best was saved for last. I enjoyed Muxía immensely, as for me, it felt like a more intimate place than Finisterre.
For my own personal Camino, I walked this leg alone. My walking partner, once again was indisposed due to health reasons, as she told me that morning. It felt to me as if this was my destiny, if you will, to walk many legs alone.
However, somehow, my Camino partner was able to rally once again and walk this leg, merely starting an hour-and-a-half later than I. We did meet up later in the day, in Muxía to share the experiences the town had to offer.
I was happy to walk this leg alone, as most agree, it is the most beautiful of all the Camino legs. There is a different energy here, along the wild Costa da Morte; one of freedom, accomplishment, inner reflection and great satisfaction that accompanied me on this beautiful walk.
To begin the Camino Finisterre to Muxía, walk northward on the Avenida Coruña on the northeastern end of the Cabo Finisterre Peninsula, toward the long Langosteira Beach. Just before you drop down off the road towards the beach, look for the cruceiro below, called the Baixar Cross and follow the road left or, northwest.
Watch carefully in town for the exiting Finisterre sign and for the Camino waymarks. This Camino leg is well waymarked if you keep your eyes open and understand its rules.
The waymarks look different on this Camino Finisterre to Muxía. You no longer follow the direction of the rays of the shell. This can be confusing and I went the wrong way until I figured it out.
In the photo below, the rays of the shell are pointing downward, which means that there is a change in direction of your current route. Then you must look on the ground for a painted arrow on the pavement, with an "M" for Muxía to find the correct direction. Since the Camino from Finisterre to Muxía also runs in the other direction, one also encounters yellow arrows with an "F" to show the opposite way to Finisterre!
It's very logical and simple to follow if you understand why the marks are the way they are!
Lovely views of the beautiful Langosteira Beach and Bay are on your right shoulder for much of the way immediately leaving Finisterre. The day was to be overcast, but without much rain. Made for a glorious morning light show.
I could have stayed here for some time, just watching the changing light, but of course, I didn't! My body, mind and soul craved the momentum of the journey. A lovely pilgrimage metaphor, don't you think?
The Camino from Finisterre to Muxía becomes more rural and the ever-present cruceiro once again shows the way with the waymark below. For some reason, this waymark below, the rays show the direction of travel. Pilgrim, beware, there are always exceptions to everything!
Early on in the day, I stumbled past this lovely, wild and distant beach, below. Keeping your eyes open to look left and right, instead of down at your feet, is so important, or the pilgrim misses this view!
Reminds me of one of my favorite songs from the band, Yes, "It Can Happen:"
"Look up, look down
Look out, look around
Look up, look down
There's a crazy world outside...
This world I like
We architects of life
A song, a sigh
Developing words that linger
Through fields of green through open eyes
This for us to see...
It can happen to you
It can happen to me
It can happen to everyone
Keep looking, pilgrim, for your crazy world!
I have no idea the name of this hidden, glorious playa, but I didn't enjoy it any less. The cornfield was just proximal to the beach and made a verdant frame.
Awhile later I came along this quaint sawmill. There were many lumbering activities in this area and the Camino Finisterre to Muxía went right through this lumber yard.
Just before this long gravel road, you have the opportunity to make a decision whether or not to take a more inland route. I, of course, chose the coastal route.
I encountered yet another lovely glimpse of the sea in the background of this photo, along with the horreos (granaries) in the foreground, seen throughout the Galician countryside.
Most of the Camino from Finisterre to Muxía is on paved roads, like below, but I didn't mind as they were very quiet and rural and led me to scenes like this, of village life.
The ladies here were husking some sort of bean, with the donkey eating the discarded pods, and the kitty watching the pilgrims go by.
They said hello to me and allowed me to take a picture of their work. I loved the old-fashioned aprons, to protect their clothing. Reminded me of the kind my grandmother used to wear in her kitchen, many, many years ago.
More lovely rural countryside is depicted in the photo below, with the ever-present corn fields that led me onwards toward Muxía.
Being alone for most of this days long road allowed me to ruminate and process all the happenings along the Camino
Unfortunately, my processing wasn't as pleasant as the view on this leg of my Camino de Santiago, but I voice-journaled and processed anyway. It was a necessary thing.
Noticing your tendencies is an important function of any inward journey, and I was indeed getting to know myself on this Camino from Finisterre to Muxía. For the great wise Spirit had sent me many situations for my growth, once again.
Having the long, open road and solitude helped me to take a closer look at myself and I yakked and yakked into my cell phone voice recorder, in an attempt to process what was happening in my heart. If anyone had been within earshot of my ramblings, they might have thought I was nuts.
I often wish that I didn't have to process thoughts and feelings so much, but on this day, with the ambiance of Presence, I was indeed discovering just another aspect of myself. I was at peace with my process, since I was the only one present who would judge, and in this moment I detached from judging myself for once!
As it is said, the outward journey prepares one for the inward journey. We journey onward, as pilgrimage travelers, to open our hearts to this very possibility.
Thank God the Finisterre Way was amazingly gorgeous. It helped my mood,
Eventually, I ran into some other pilgrims and was able to have a nice chat that carried me once again into the spirit of the collective Camino de Santiago.
About 14 or so kilometers into the Camino Finisterre to Muxía, a little less than the half way point, one comes to Lires. It was a great little town to stop for lunch and a café con leche with my new pilgrim friends. As the map at the top of the page shows, this a great refueling stop, just before the long, long hill climb to Facho de Lourido.
You can make the choice to do this camino in two stages, and stop here for the night as many pilgrims do. There is at least one accommodation for which I am aware. (Click here to see.)
It was a bit difficult to get my momentum going again, after lunch, for the long climb, but soon I was into the rhythm of walking once again.
I didn't take many photos of the long climb, because it was mostly on rough, rocky and dirt roads and it wasn't the most beautiful part, by any means. I just put my head down, and went into a rhythm of breath and footfalls, finding that stillness of mind and heart within the action of my body.
It is a de-efforting of the mind, and an allowing of the body to flow on its own. It is a sweet place - one that I try to teach my yoga students, and despite the climbing I felt a new freedom.
The photo below was one of the nicer sections of the climb, with the Eucalyptus forest flanking the Camino Finisterre to Muxía.
Then, sooner than I expected, the Finisterre Way turned downhill. It kept going and going downhill. I thought to myself, could this truly be the descent into Muxía? It hardly seemed possible that I had already climbed 8-9 kilometers. I had totally missed the hamlet of Facho de Lourido at the high point.
Yet, before I knew it, this view, below, came into focus. Could this be the famous Lourido Beach in the distance? Sure enough, to the right of this photo I beheld a sign that said 2 kilometers to Muxía, by turning onto the road shown on the photo below. It had to be the Playa de Lourido.
What a glorious beach the Playa de Lourido is! I did not stop, after 27 kilometers on the road. All I wanted was to get to Muxía, find an albergue and unload my pack. I kept going.
What a pity! A definite reason to take this leg in two parts to enjoy it more! Maybe next Camino, when I have more than enough time to spare?
After the Loruido Beach, the route turns northward and becomes a coastal road, and the small kilometer marker below, says one kilometer! My tiring body was happy to see it.
With the coast on my left, the field of lovely brussel sprouts on my right, and a safe, wide sidewalk, I continued my Camino from Finisterre to Muxía.
Here the coastline is rocky and rugged, and it is easy to see how it got the name, "Costa da Morte" or Coast of the Dead, that I had read so much about. Walking along it gave me feelings of wildness and freedom, on this sunny day.
I paused to take it in and to snap photos. I had arrived in Muxía.
After finding an albergue in town, and receiving a text from my Camino partner, that she was just an hour and a half behind me, I hiked onward another 1.4 kilometers to the coast at the second "End of the World." (To see a list of accommodations from Booking.com, click here.)
Below is the zero kilometer marker at the Nosa Señora da Barca church where this church meets the sea. The wild, rocky coastline is never far away here. I ambled about this land's end, waiting for Shelly, my Camino partner to join me in this most sacred place.
Here I am, below, at the same zero kilometer waymark, next to the Monument to the Prestige oil spill, where an oil tanker leaked 70,000 gallons of oil into the Atlantic in November of 2002. I saw no evidence of the spill today.
Eventually, my Camino partner and I were reunited. My last photo for this article is of Shelly, at sunset, throwing her small shell talismans into the Costa da Morte, that she had carried throughout her Camino de Santiago to this second end of the world.
These shells were given to her by me and my husband, at the beginning of our Camino. They were symbolic of our journey and the support of those at home who had allowed us to take this spiritual journey together.
These talismans were no longer needed, as our physical journey was coming to an end.
The weather held out and afforded us this most glorious sunset.
To continue with me on my journey around the town of Muxía, more photos from the "End of the World" and the lovely views of the town from the Monte Corpiño, on the point, just click on the link in this paragraph.
I hope you enjoyed your pilgrimage traveling with me on my Camino from Finisterre to Muxía. This was a very special time in my life, one which I hope to repeat again soon. May you find your own true self, on your own Camino de Santiago very soon! Buen Camino!
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