Monday, July 27, 2015

Santiago de Compostela - Negreira

Camino Primitivo / Camino Finisterre day 16.
Distance: 20.5km (378.5km), time spent: 5:36 (118:02).
Weather: Light overcast, then sunny and blue sky.

I never got to do the Camino Finisterre the last time I was here. There was not enough time before our flight back home after arriving in Santiago de Compostela. Instead, I ended up doing something in between, where I took the bus to Cee together with three other pilgrims and walked the last kilometres to Finisterre from there. A very nice walk, but I left with a slightly bitter feeling that I did not got to do the whole walk. Now, I finally will go to the end of the world.

Standing outside the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in the morning at the start of the Camino Finisterre. It feels different standing here at the Praza do Obraidoiro and will be walking away from it.

Due to the celebration yesterday and the huge size of the breakfast in Hostal Alfonso, I get off to a late start however. In the morning, the streets are quite empty and I walk with a rather strange feeling. It is almost quiet on the Praza do Obraidoiro, but there are some few pilgrims here smiling satisfied with the knowledge that they have completed their Camino. The weather is grey and little welcoming when my first steps takes me away from the cathedral.

Camino Finisterre leaves Santiago through small and pleasant streets.

It is a strange feeling to walk away from Santiago de Compostela, the city that you have walked towards for so long. And I keep wondering if it is only me, but is it not so that every route that leads out of big city on a Camino is more pleasant than the route leading into it? Small pleasant streets follows me on the way out of the city, where the city ends the route goes down into a small valley past remains of uninhabited houses. When I emerge up from the valley, I can see back towards Santiago and the spires of the cathedral.

It is quite clear to where the yellow arrow is leading the way.

Another thing that I go and think about, is that I now will be among a complete new group of pilgrims, it is less likely that I will meet again some of those I walked together with on the primitivo. Those who also had planned to go to Finisterre wanted to stay for some days in Santiago beforehand. Already from the beginning, there are new faces to relate to, these will in turn have the advantage of knowing each other from the Camino Frances or whichever Camino they walked.

Looking back at Santiago de Compostela and the spires of the cathedral, a weird feeling.

The walk today is a pleasant one and goes mostly on a mix of gravel roads and asphalt, the hardest climb comes after a break in the bar in Augapesada. I get to know two American girls that passes me while I takes a photo of a bush that apparently is for sale according to a sign.

The Camino Finisterre goes through scenic paths like this one.

The highlight of the day is Ponte Maceira, a picturesque little village. If it were an albergue here, I would not have continued walking. A river runs through the village, Río Trambe, with a wonderful Roman bridge going over it. The sun has come out of the clouds making it even more idyllic. The restaurant here serves a juicy and tender burger, in addition to one of the tallest sellos that I have seen.

Roman bridge going over grass in Augapesada.

From Ponte Maceira, there is about four kilometres to go to Negreira. I am surprised when I pass by Klaus, whom I last saw back in Lugo. He had chosen to go straight through Santiago de Compostela to avoid the crowds of people there. I can both understand and not understand him.

Walking over the Roman bridge in Ponte Maceira.

In Negreira, there is nothing else than a baking sun in the sky. I decides to stop for the day here, gets a bed at Albergue Lua, and regrets the decision shortly after. The weather is very good and there is still a good time left of the day, so I could have nicely walked on to Vilaserio (about 12km more). What is done is however done and my clothes are hanging out wet to dry.

Ponte Maceira with the Roman bridge over Río Tambre.

The decision does not get any better that I find Negreira to be boring; there is nothing here, despite the size of the town. However, I might feel that there is something amiss when I no longer has the other pilgrims that I have got to know around me anymore. Klaus saves the evening eventually when I meet him again later. He keeps me company, while I eat the cheapest dinner so far on my walk. For three and a half euro, I get a big plate with salad, patatas fritas, two eggs and two large slices of pork meat. As well as a dessert.

Always watching over you on the Camino.

I enjoyed my first day on the Camino Finisterre with lovely Ponte Maceira as a highlight. If I would go it another time, I would go past Negreira however.

Smile, you are alive. From Albergue Lua in Negreira.

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