View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Sunday, 13 October 2019

September 2018 Pt3

The end of the Camino – sort of.

Before leaving Santiago we decided to do the touristy thing: a day coach trip to Finisterre, or Fisterra, or The End of The Earth.

In Roman times Cape Finisterre was once believed to be the end of the known earth – hence it’s name, meaning the end of the earth.

For Norman (aged 80¼): Cape Finisterre lighthouse

About as close to the End of the Earth as you can get

This is a popular tourist spot – everyone wants to visit the End of the Earth!

The sun was beating down in all it’s gloriousness, drenching the azure sea with it’s rays. The weather just couldn’t have been better.

Rob in posing mode

 


A few more photos from our day trip to the seaside:

The Rio Xallas is the only European river that flows into the sea via a waterfall. This is that waterfall. Cool eh?

Typical Spanish Niche cemetery

The longest Hórreo in the world. Probably.

For Norman (aged 77¼): another lighthouse

Rumbles of disquiet in the ranks

So that was our trip to Spain, it was good – although not tough or challenging….apart from on the very hot days. We finished the Via de La Plate Camino which had been a lot of fun, very interesting, and quite uplifting in a funny, kind of way.

Many who do the Camino routes are pilgrims in the religious sense and they clearly get a lot out of completing the journey. I really is a religious experience for them.

I found many of the churches (when they were unlocked) to be beautiful inside. It wasn’t unusual to find a pilgrim on their knees, praying in one of the open churches on the route.

There are some who travel a Camino because it’s something that’s currently ‘in vogue’. These folks sometimes use baggage courier service to carry their heavy stuff from overnight stop to overnight stop.

We met loads of lovely people, saw some wonderful sights – both natural and man-made, drank loads of fizzy beer (or in Rob’s case, fizzy beer AND wine), and ate some wonderful food.

Like I said, it was good….although I’m undecided as to whether I’ll do another Camino – there a loads!

There are a few reasons for this indecision:

a) The walks aren’t particularly challenging – in fact there’s often significant amounts of tarmac.

b) They’re becoming commercialised – I noticed a significant  increase in the levels of commercialisation from when I started walking in Spain in 2014, to date.

c) Bloody Brexit. If BoJo and his band of followers get there way it’s going to make European travel messy, to say nothing of losing our entitlement to healthcare in Europe.

Also, nothing embarrasses me more, as an Englishman, when I have to explain the folly of ‘the will of the people’ to folks who think we’re quite barmy.

They’re right, of course – but I try hard to point out that I only have half a dozen or so friends who voted ‘Leave’….or at least admit to voting that way, and that our electorate was so blatantly lied to by ….well, I won’t go on, I’ll just get a headache.

Let’s just say there are a lot of gullibles out there….although there are some (two friends in particular) who have a perfectly valid reasons for wanting to leave – and that is absolutely fine. 

Anyway…

Then we went to Portugal, but that’s in the next posting.






























9 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Excellent blog John, come to Shetland instead, there are no roads to speak off and no problems with the heat! Plenty of music and beer. now where did I leave my boots?

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    1. Thanks Neil!
      Shetland sounds wonderful - the coast (and music!) in particular...maybe one day :-)

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  3. I've enjoyed this Spanish trip. For similar reasons you outline I am not motivated to ago abroad again and as you say, and I suspect, the Caminos will now be even more commercialised.

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    1. I think the very popular French route is the most commercialised, I gather the Via de La Plata is quiet in comparison. Others, like Del Norté are much less frequented.
      Rob and I did a couple of days on Del Norté in September. The bit of coast we walked on was pleasant enough but lacked the drama of the SWCP and the Welsh Coastal Path etc.

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  4. Excellent pics John and I've thoroughly enjoyed your journey. I was quite keen to do the Camino then when I saw how many people were doing it and the problems with accommodation and as you say how much tarmac there is, it has put me off a bit. Would still like to do some of it but ….

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    1. I think if you looked at the less popular Caminos, like the Via de La Plata or Camino Portuguese, you'd enjoy it far more than the wacky races of the very busy Camino Francais - and you'd be unlikely to struggle with accommodation.

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  5. Some lovely photos there John. An impressive trip, it looks fantastic.

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    1. Thanks Dawn, the blog posts are a bit higgledy-piggledy I'm afraid, but it should give you an idea of what it's like.

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