When I finished the official part of camino Del Norte and camino Primitivo, by arriving to Santiago, I felt weird. Honestly, I am not sure, what did I expect to feel. It surely is a wonderful feeling, that you finished something huge. On the other hand, there is always this awkward feeling, after finishing something this big. Like getting your driving license or passing the very last exam at university. Euphoria? Maybe for few moments, but at the end, it’s not that big deal and you will have to find the next big thing. Perhaps going to the end of the world…
So I left Santiago only couple hours after the arrival. Even though I wanted to see the city, I don’t regret leaving so early. I knew, I would return back there later, when I am really finished with all this walking stuff.
Santiago to Finisterre and Muxía
The original pilgrimage ends in Santiago. However I couldn’t even imagine to stop there. This was not the end, yet. I wanted to continue walking. Finisterre used to be considered to be the most western place in Europe, the end of the world in middle ages. It seemed like a nice place, where to finish my journey.
The road from Santiago to Finisterre is again very well marked, leads between small villages and is pretty easy. All these facts leads to one thing. It’s very popular. With it’s lenght of only 100km it’s an easy 4 days walk. Or if your legs are feeling good, you can do it easily in 2-3 days. But there is no need to rush, as I realized lately.
There is also a great Albergue de Peregrinos San Roque in Corcubión (donativo – you pay as much as you want) with a shared dinner and breakfast. Always nice to participate in these communal meals because of the atmosphere. Plus you get a warm meal and wine. It’s clearly a win-win situation. The albergue is also very close to the beach and this is the first time you are in reach of the ocean, again. It has been already 2 weeks, since the ocean was so close.
Finisterre – When you can’t go west anymore. Or can you?
Personally speaking, arriving to Finisterre was way better than arriving to Santiago. I think, I needed some time to realize, that the journey is getting to it’s end. Since Santiago I knew, that I will be done with walking in just few days so I started to enjoy every step. I mean I was almost feeling unhappy, that I only have last 100km to go:)
Entering Finisterre is huge. It’s so crowded, but in a nice way. Many people are staying there for multiple nights, to celebrate the end of their journey. Everyone is relaxed and full of joy. It’s simply nice place to be:) However, this also comes with a price. You might meet people there, who are maybe “too touristic” or “too much party”. Everyone will feel differently, but I don’t think the best way, how to end your pilgrimage of walking nearly 1000km, is to party all night and getting drunk. I believe, you should feel different after such an experience, then to go and kill your brain cells in alcoholic rampage. Maybe it’s just me:)
Everyone goes for the sunset on a small hill just behind Finisterre. There is a nice lighthouse (faro). Well, the expectations are surely high, this is the End of the World Lighthouse, but the truth is, it’s just nice. Well, if you haven’t seen any other lighthouse in your life, it might be the best lighthouse you have ever seen. Otherwise, nothing that special. What is surely spectacular, is the sunset and the atmosphere there. If you are lucky, you can experience the Sun slowly falling down, below horizon. With a feeling, that something has really come to an end.
I spent one night in Finisterre, because my journey wasn’t supposed to end there. I wanted to finish in Muxía.
Where to go after reaching the End of the World? To another End of the World
Muxía – The real End of the World and of my journey
It’s only some 35km from Finisterre to Muxía and it’s well worth doing it in one go. I felt really great the whole day. My legs were strong and I felt like I could walk for several more hours. Unfortunately this was the end. Arriving to Muxía is so much different to arriving to Finisterre. There is no one. You can peacefully walk into the village. And you can also get lost for the last time on the journey:) The true end of everything lies just behind the village. There is a simple, but really majestic, church. Directly next to the ocean. That’s it. Simple and powerful. I got really lucky as the sun was shining. I went to the church and stayed for few moments in silence. After that I just went outside and couldn’t stop smiling. It was simply impossible to not feel happy:)
One of the best things after arriving to Muxía is, that there are not that many people. I don’t know why, but most people end in Finisterre and do not continue to Muxía. I am thankful to these people, as it makes the arriving to Muxía so much more special. It’s hard to describe the difference is, but you could really feel it, being in Finisterre and then in Muxía. Maybe inner peace, maybe something different, but I am more than happy I ended up in Muxía. I stayed in front the church, next to the ocean, for the rest of the day and didn’t care of finding albergues or anything else. It didn’t feel important anymore.
First day without walking
I liked Muxía so much, I decided to stay there the whole next day. After 30 days without rest and nearly 900km in my legs, I woke up in the morning without the need to start walking. Sure, alarms of other pilgrims woke me up at 5:30, but I could just ignore them and sleep more. I spent the whole morning sitting on the highest hill in Muxía, which is just slightly higher than the tower of the church. And then went for the sunset at the End of the World. Life’s good:)
Making peace with Santiago
There are two buses coming back from Muxía to Santiago. The first one leaves at 6:30 from the port, the other one in the afternoon. Many pilgrims say, that the first ride in a vehicle is something special, after pilgrimage. Maybe it’s little bit weird, but you really get used to it after first 5 minutes, when you realize, that you are actually moving without moving your feet. It’s funny feeling to be back in the 21st century:) Once I get off the bus in Santiago I walked to the same place, as at the previous visit to the city. The cathedral. Suddenly, I felt differently, much more comfortable and I knew, I could go home.