Since no bus to the next albergue was available and there was no way to catch Nando by foot, I decided to return on first bus of the morning to Santiago and then take the bus to Cee, to rejoin the camino to Finisterre there. I had trouble leaving the camino and not walking for the normal 3 full days, but it felt like the right thing to do. It helped that Yuni & Sun-Hwa were also on the bus as well as two new-to-me Canadians also from Nelson, BC! The busride was lovely, much of the way along twisty, turning roads on rocky cliffs above the Atlantic Coast. Still, it was a relief to get off the bus at Cee at about 1:00 and start walking. It was a gorgeous day, a little warm for my tastes, but scented by pine, eucalyptus and salt with mild breezes. Almost immediately, while trying to find the waymarked path, I ran into Eduardo and Irene! They reported Nando was ahead of us. Walked with them and had a good conversation with Eduardo that was the end to one never finished en route to Villafranca. I left them when they stopped for food. The path, like the road, more or less hugged the shoreline, sometimes high on cliffs, sometimes on boardwalks along the dunes and sandy beaches.
Cee was a fairly large town, but the ones beyond smaller, though lots of new sprawl in beach houses back from the shore. Descending one hill there was a brief glimpse of the lighthouse on the cliffs of the Cabo Finisterre and the town in a protected harbour at the base of the hill, both partially obscured by pockets of mist.
It was so beautiful, took a long while to get to Finisterre as I went out to the water, took photos, etc. Very satisfying walk.
At Finisterre saw Karl from Germany (as always clean and impeccably dressed) but otherwise no pilgrims anywhere in person, although lots of sleeping bags and backpacks at the albergues were evidence of their presence. Left mine and headed out towards the lighthouse. Soon met Nando coming downhill en route to Praia do Mar de Fora, for the prescribed bathe in the sea. Joined him. Took awhile to find the beach, but it was well worth the search. Dunes, a wide sandy beach bookended by rocky cliffs. Enormous waves. Only 3 other people visible. Nando took a thorough and lengthy bath in the water, then I went in up to my knees. Water much warmer than the showers in the Seminario Menor in Santiago, and the sand was very coarse as it squeezed through my toes.
We then burned our segments of Guylène’s scarf and Nando burned some of his clothes, this being a traditional pilgrim ritual. Got a good fire going! (Unlike me Nando reads his guidebook before he gets to each town so knows what to do and what is special about each place.)
Then we just sat and watched the sun set over the powerful, long, rolling waves.
Back at the albergue we went through his book, starting at San Bol – which is where we parted from being in daily contact – telling stories of events and feelings in the towns and albergues we stayed in, which is rather remarkable considering he does not speak English and I do not speak Portugués.
The bath, the fire, the ocean, the conversations. Beginning to have a sense of loose ends being tidied up. Closure.
A perfect ending to another practically perfect day.
26 Oct 2009