Our day three on the Camino to Finisterre was a rewarding and lovely challenge which took us much farther than we planned!
"Then too, during verily long walks, there is always that emergence through a high pass where another landscape appears all of a sudden, After the effort, the long climb, the body turns around and sees at its feet the offered immensity; or, at a turn in the path, it witnesses a transformation: a range of mountains, a splendor lying in wait. Many aphorisms are built on these reversals of perspective, these final exclamations where something else in unveiled, the secret of a discovery like a new landscape, and the jubilation that accompanies it." ~ Freidrich Neitzsche (Taken from the book "A Philosophy of Walking.")
The above quote couldn't have been more true for our day three on the camino finisterre, literally as well as metaphorically! We climbed to the coastal high point, for unbelievable views to the sea and the End of the World. Plus, we walked much farther than we planned, since we didn't know how well Shelly (my Camino partner) would feel after her recent bout with a 3-day illness. It was her first full day back on the Camino and we were going take it step-by-step. Things miraculously fell together. It just happened that way. It became a most joyous day, and a most joyous walk!
Please join us in our photo-journal of our amazing day on the Camino de Santiago a Finisterre!
The elevation map, below shows only part of our day three of the Camino Finisterre that we did. Gronze separates the stages from Olveiroa to Finisterre into two days. The map below they call Day 3a. (See the maps farther below for their final stage that they call 3b). It is a much easier to break the day into 2 stages, if you so desire. Here is the map as far as Corcubión, or 3a.
Gronze rates this part of the Finisterre Way as a 2 out of 3 for difficulty. There are no long climbs, just the long distance of 21.6 km and a pounding downhill into Cée that takes it's toll on the feet and legs, instead of the lungs.
Starting out in Olveiroa, it was a misty, humid morning. The weather report promised a sunny day, and I could tell that the mist would eventually burn off.
We had a small climb out of Olveiroa towards this ridge. The early morning light played on the mist in the lower valley and windmills were becoming a common sight.
As we climbed higher toward the ridge, we climbed out of the clouds as they hung low in the valley. It was going to be a gorgeous day.
Already we could see the sky clearing up ahead. We both seemed to have a lighter spring to our step as the fog lifted.
Once reaching the crest on the ridge, the Camino turns down again into the next drainage. The sun was bright on the other side! Another peregrino is up ahead crossing a bridge that looks like it was built for the Camino.
I remember as we climbed to the other side of the drainage and into the sun for the first time in many days, that I paused to sigh and breathe deeply as I captured this lovely pastoral scene. Even the horses seemed grateful! Sun at last.
Another glorious, old stone horreo, or granary along the Finisterre Way.
High again, the trail flattened out for a bit, and the mountain range that was to be on our left shoulder to the south, for the rest of the day, came into focus. I am not entirely sure, but I believe this is Monte do Pindo. If you know, please comment below, so I know if this is true.
Ahh, the fork in the road ahead. On day three of the Camino Finisterre, after about 5 1/2 kilometers, one has to make a decision whether to go onward to Finisterre, or to go north to Muxía. This is the famous "Hospital" that you see on the route map where you decide.
For us, it was an easy choice. We needed to see the "classic" medieval End of the World, Finisterre. Regardless, we were planning to continue from there, to walk on to Muxía. If you are unsure of your decision and are short on time, please click on my information on both towns to make your own decision.
After turning towards Finisterre, the Camino turns into a lovely forest. We couldn't help snapping this shadow selfie. The sun was warm on our backs.
Where several roads converge, we stumbled onto this cruceiro, called Cruceiro Marco do Couto. We paused, placed our stones and sent our own individual prayers for the journey.
Yet another long stretch of forest path. The young couple ahead were Japanese and making much better time than we were! They smiled as they zoomed by!
After logging in about 10 or so kilometers, somewhere at mid-to-late morning, we decided to take a break and have a snack. We were fortunate to have had a mega-breakfast at the Casa Loncho in Olveiroa, who served wonderful portions of food for pilgrims. Because of this, we were able to go farther than we could have on just the usual morning café con leche and tostada.
We loved this view, so we sat along the side of the road on the bank, to enjoy the view with our bite to eat on day three of our Camino Finisterre.
High on the ridge, even though we were only at a few hundred meters, it felt exposed here, so close to the sea. We were happy it was such a wonderful day. Here are the cultivated Eucalyptus trees that are seen throughout Galicia.
Sure enough, as things often go, just after walking about another kilometer from our rest stop, this lovely respite appeared, the Ermita de Nosa Señora das Neves, built in the 18th Century. Immediately opposite this quaint country church was a picnic grove and a fuente! There were quite a few pilgrims gathered here for their break. If we had only known!
Plan your trip, now that YOU know, to stop here. If it is a hot day, the shade from the exposed sun would be absolutely lovely! This spot is on the map, above, about 10-and-a-half kilometers into day three of the Camino Finisterre.
More feelings of exposure on this day three of our Camino Finisterre, in this place of wide open spaces. Can the sea be far away?
Camino waymark and another great vista of Monte do Pindo.
Two happy pilgrims, decide the "Top of the World" is a great place for a selfie! We certainly were on top of the world, in all meanings of the word!
And suddenly, there a last, is our first glimpse of the sea! The peninsula in the distance is Cabo Finisterre, or the Cape of Finisterre, where the lighthouse lives on the tip. Although you can't see the lighthouse, we knew this was the spot of our final destination. Our Camino is about to take a steep downturn! I feel my excitement growing in my heart, even now, as I write this many months later!
I placed these two photos together, below, so you could maybe get a feeling for the full view of the bay before us, with the town of Cée, just to the far right side, but out of view at a lower elevation.
As we walked on, the elevation drops and shortly, the towns of Corcubión (to the left), and Cée (right), come into view.
We get closer to our potential stop for the night. The Camino here is very, very steep, with no switchbacks, just straight down. I ended up jamming my toes in my boots and did get one black toe on my left foot from the banging on the boot. I laced my boots tight, but my feet still slid around inside, I guess.
When we reached town, as we walked through, amazingly we did not see an open café bar. A café con leche about then would have been fantastic. Instead, we took in the sights, such as this quaint graveyard as we walked on with nothing to draw us into the town.
The lovely promenade and beach in the town of Cée I show in the photo below. We stopped here and placed our tarp on the grass for a long leisurely lunch that the Casa Loncho had packed for us. It was now about 1:00 in the afternoon. We had made the 20 kilometers in about 5 hours, even with a stop. We were making pretty good time.
We ate, reclined, and with boots removed, stretched our feet out in the sun. We felt great. Here is Shelly, my Camino partner, posing by the sign on the beach. She was in great spirits, despite the fact that she had just been sick.
While we reposed in the sun we discussed our plans for the rest of the day. Shall we stay here and walk the remaining section of day three on the Camino Finisterre tomorrow? Or shall we push on and rest all day tomorrow in Finisterre?
Like a gift, a friendly Galician gentlemen stopped to chat with us. He told us that Finisterre was only 10 kilometers from Cée. We thought it was 12. So, 10k was "only" 6 miles, so we both determined that we had sufficient energy left to complete the rest of the way to Finisterre. We could walk to the cape the following day. That way we could have a well-deserved leisurely day in Finisterre.
(If you chose to stay in Cée, there are accommodations. Here is a link to view some of them: Click here.)
Onward we went! Here is the elevation map of day three from Corcubión.
Gronze says that it should only take 3 hours or so to get all the way to the cape, so we thought perhaps another two hour walk should get us to Finisterre (or Fisterra as the locals say in Gallego).
Full of energy after our rest and lunch, at 2:00 in the afternoon, we gathered ourselves and our stuff to walk the remaining section of the lovely promenade onward towards Corcubión. The promenade ends shortly, but the Camino turns away and up the road to the right of the picture, here on day three of the Camino Finisterre.
As we climbed the road out of Corcubión, I had to stop to take a photo of this dilapidated structure. It was very engaging for me. Can you see the sea through the broken door and window??
On day three of the Camino Finisterre, the road leaves the coast and climbs to a hamlet called Vilar, with a fuente (for a potable water fill-up) and back into the forest. This is one of the last buildings seen, in ruin, as you climb out of Vilar and Corcubión.
As we walked across the peninsula from Corcubión towards Estorde and another beach, we came across this incredible gateway to someone's property. I framed the Cabo Finisterre perfectly within the gate for a fabulous photo, don't you think?
Across the top of the peninsula and the lovely walled path, we walked toward Estorde and Sardiñeiro.
Since there was no open café bar to be found in Cée, after dropping back to sea level by the beach in Estorde, we stopped a beautiful place by the sea for a café con leche! It added a half hour to our Camino that day, but the caffeine was sorely needed for the remaining six kilometers! Day three on our Camino Finisterre was turning into a very long day.
We saddled our packs on our backs once again, and set off for another small hill climb. The views from the top of the hill here were worth the climb. The long Langosteira Beach was clearly visible now, as well as the town of Fisterra and the cape in the distance. If you look closely, you can even see the lighthouse buildings sticking up on the point of the cape. Almost there!
On the final leg of day three of the Camino Finisterre, the way follows the coastline closely and the Langosteira (Lobster) Beach on a nice path. When you first arrive on the far western end of the beach there is a nice, inviting park, but you still have a long way to go to get to the actual town of Finisterre. It was a discouraging walk for me, because the end was so visible for such a long way and I was so very tired! If you look closely on the photo below, you can see pilgrims on the path that parallels this never-ending beach!
Some pilgrims even walk on the beach, but not this one! It would have been way too difficult after 30 kilometers under our belts!
After crossing the beach, as we entered town, we crossed in front of a beach-side café bar and climbed a small hill, to see this cruceiro as we entered the main part of town. We had arrived! It was 5:00 in the afternoon.
It is at this cruceiro, called the Baixar Cruceiro that the Way to Muxia begins, so it is an important landmark to find.
We quickly found the Restaurante Teacón with a patio and a view of the sea and celebrated our arrival at the End of the World on day three of our Camino Finisterre! I must have been more dehydrated than I realized, because two beers went quickly to my head!
Because our happiness didn't allow us to see straight, and we had absolutely no agenda for the next morning, we went looking for food before we cleaned up! There were many selections along the waterfront and we chose the Pizzeria Peppone. We stumbled into several of our Camino friends from Olveiroa, and had a lovely reunion meal. It is amazing to me how the Camino brings people together, as a "family" no matter how little you have seen one another.
We drank wine, ate pizza, Italian hors d'oeuvres, Eggplant Parmigiana and dessert until we couldn't see straight! To top the evening off, the sunset on harbor across from the pizzeria was fabulous! The weather was nice enough to dine outside, and this view from our table was the icing on the cake!
I hope you enjoyed our day three on the Camino Finisterre. It was a fabulous day from Olveiroa to Finisterre, all 32 kilometers of it! May your own pilgrimage to the End of the World be as rewarding as you walk your own Way!
Need suggestions on what to pack for your next pilgrimaage? Click Here or on the photo below!
Our recommendation for the best trekking pole. Carbon fiber construction (not aluminum) makes them ultra light weight and invisible to airport security x-rays! Carry on the aircraft anywhere and save yourself lots of headaches. It worked repeatedly for us! Also hide your poles in your pack from potential thieves, before you get to your albergue! (See more of our gear recommendations!)
My absolute favorite book on how to be a pilgrim: