finisterre: the end of the earth
Once believed to be the furthest point west on the Iberian coast, Finisterre was aptly named “the end of the Earth”.
Finisterre is also the place that marks an end for some pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago (or Way of St James) who can walk on for another couple hundred kilometres after arriving in Santiago de Compostela.
We actually had no desire to go to Finisterre when we initially embarked on the walk. But once we started walking, we felt like it was somewhere we had to visit. And then it didn’t seem so straight forward on how we would get there.
The options for us were:
(1) to walk it: unfortunately (or fortunately) we didn’t have the time for that.
(2) to catch the local bus: this was our plan A until we met a fellow pilgrim (about 3 days from finishing) who warned us that he did that the previous year, and it was almost 3 hours on the local bus and then an additional several kilometres of walking. And this was just to get there. So add the same amount of time to come back.
(3) to hire a car and drive there ourselves: there were too many logistical things about this one, so we benched this as a possibility.
(4) to book a day trip tour on a bus or minivan in Santiago de Compostela: this was the most enticing option. And the one we settled for when it came down to decide.
The day we went to Finisterre, the sun was shining brightly and the skies were blue. Upon arriving, often as with popular tourist spots, there is an array of visitors. Yet Finisterre had a different feel to it – it was peaceful somehow. It was calm and it actually felt like we had read the last page of an incredible book. It was closure for us, standing at the end of the Earth and looking out to the horizon.
As we stare out, we can see why during the Roman time, it was thought this was the end of the known world, standing right there… the Earth looks flat and we see nothing beyond.. it’s just water as far as the eye can see.
Muxia is also another place that pilgrims can walk onwards to from Santiago if they choose. Here stands a church, Virxe Da Barca Sanctuary, which on December 25, 2013 was destroyed by fire after being struck by lightning. We were told that on the Orthodox Christmas (January 7, 2014), huge, powerful waves swept through and knocked over the church. Suspicious or freakish, either way, it was unlucky for this building built right on the edge of the surf. Since then, restoration has been underway and we were able to see the outside of what once was.
One of the highlights of this part is the healing rock. It is said to have healing powers. Crawl through the hole nine times and it is said to heal a sore back. Lucky we weren’t there for any curing. So why were we even there?
There really is no better way to end an epic journey, other than to visit the end of the Earth.
Happy Wednesday everyone!
Please feel free to leave us any comments.
23 thoughts on “finisterre: the end of the earth”
June 27, 2018 at 2:58 pm
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Camino. My sister Eileen, her friend Ola and I met you at the Hotel Akerreta in early September 2014, just a few days into our Camino. Like you, we finished our pilgrimmage, spent a couple of days in Santiago and took a local tour to Finnestere and Muxia. Buen camino, wherever you may go!
June 27, 2018 at 4:52 pm
Wow!!! What a spin out that you remember us from 4 years ago! Please do get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share some memories!
January 27, 2015 at 12:32 am
Is it the end of the Earth, or its beginning? 0.00Km to me looks like the beginning 😉
January 27, 2015 at 7:49 pm
The 0.00km is relevant only for pilgrims where the countdown starts elsewhere… i.e. for us it was 790 km 😉
But that’s a good point… what came first the chicken or the egg?? We like the way you think!
January 24, 2015 at 9:09 pm
HHHMMMmmm… crawling through that hole in the rock 9 times would be more likely to GIVE me a back problem!! But if that’s what it takes to make the End of the Earth memorable, then so be it!
January 25, 2015 at 6:30 pm
LOL – totally agree with you! We didn’t try because we too thought crawling through it that many times would bring on the back pain 🙂 Or would make your knees hurt and therefore forget about the back pain 😉
January 21, 2015 at 9:11 pm
Sometimes it’s just easiest to do on a day trip and let someone else do the driving! It was worth the effort to go this interesting place.
January 22, 2015 at 1:05 pm
We totally agree… sit back and enjoy the trip is so much easier! Have a great weekend ahead! Up to much?
January 23, 2015 at 7:17 am
We’re celebrating Australia Day on Monday with a family and friends barbecue and trivia night. With lamb on the menu of course! Enjoy your long weekend.
January 23, 2015 at 8:59 am
There’s gotta be lamb on Australia Day, right?? Hope you enjoy the long weekend too. When it ends, David is back at work… so here’s to our last hurrah for the holidays!
January 23, 2015 at 9:01 am
Me too! Have to pay for the next holiday.
January 23, 2015 at 9:04 am
That’s the way we look at it too 🙂
January 21, 2015 at 5:09 pm
I can see where it would make a fitting end. –Curt
January 22, 2015 at 1:06 pm
Thanks Curt, it was definitely a good way for the experience to end!
January 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm
The thing about the destroyed chruch is really creepy. However there on the coats they do have some crazy big waves sometimes so it should be more of a surprise that it didn’t happen earlier…but on that date 😮
January 22, 2015 at 1:10 pm
Yes!! We thought it was a little creepy and sinister…. but maybe we are just superstitious. Our guide said those to superstitious is a sign from someone saying that the building is just too close to the sea 😉
That is probably a pretty reasonable sign!
January 21, 2015 at 3:44 pm
Good to see ‘the walk’ post again 🙂 Did you see the movie ‘the way”?
January 22, 2015 at 1:10 pm
Yes, we have seen ‘The Way’ but only after we got back and we have to admit, we were not impressed with the portrayal. But that’s for a different discussion 😉
January 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm
You are the experts, so you would be knowing better 🙂 So is there any better movie on Camino?
January 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm
No, we haven’t actually seen any other Camino movies!
January 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm
Alright 🙂 I’ll update you if I find any
January 21, 2015 at 10:28 am
It does seem like quite a poetic way to end your walking journey!
January 22, 2015 at 1:11 pm
“poetic way to end…” Mani – that is beautifully said! Thank you! And it was poetic 🙂