As Guru Micho explained after the yoga session at the Albergue Verde: The Camino doesn't end in Santiago. True rebirth is awaiting at Cape Finisterre - in Latin "finis terrae” - the end of the earth. It is believed that long before the Christians, the Celts used to walk all the way here. They believed it was the most Western point of the known world. As worshippers of the sun, they came to watch the sunset here. Like the Celts before me, I am supposed to burn my clothes and jump naked into the ocean. The setting sun will take my old life away. I will come out of the sea like a newborn. It’s more likely I'll catch pneumonia or end up in jail.
Ending in Fisterra means I need to walk another 90 km. I want to brag “Oh, I was just warming up.” But the harsh reality is that I'm skin on bones and slightly worn out. It's not the legs that take you over the mountains, it's spirit. Yesterday during the pilgrim’s mass at the Cathedral, the last bit flowed out of me. I need it back. It's now or never. In 3 days time I will have walked all the way from the East to the West, from the Pyrenees to the Atlantic, more than 900 km. That idea excites me. Plus the prospect of pyromania and exhibitionism. Obviously.
The trip to Fisterra comes in 3 stages. Today, I only need to walk 21 km to Negreira. It’s a lovely trip through luscious Galician forests. You can immediately feel a mood change. The madness of the last 100 km to Santiago is long gone. The roads are almost empty. No plastic pilgrims, no tourists. Only the die-hards wander here, wishing each other well with a ‘buen camino.’ The quiet village of Ponte Maceira - with its 13th century bridge crossing the fast flowing Rio Tambre - is an incredible sight. It’s hot. Sticking my battered feet in the icy water is just orgasmic. I wish there was an albergue here, just to stare at the river. Instead, I need to continue to Negreira, a rather insignificant town. The Pazo de Cotton - a palace disguised as city gate - is the only sight. Some dull sculptures are trying too hard to cheer up the sad streets. Hanging here is just a mere procedure. 2 more days to rebirth.
Plenty of albergues and a big supermarket in the centre. Keep walking to the municipal, 600 meters outside town.
Albergue Xunta de Negreira - Calle Patrocinio - +34 664 081 498 - open all year, from 2 to 10 pm, 8 euro 20 single beds (no staple beds, yeah!) and top notch facilities. 8 euro. The nearby Bar Porto offers decent snacks, good WIFI and a sun-kissed terrace overlooking the Rio Barcala.
Next Episode: ‘Day 30 to Olveiroa - Almost but not quite’