Right now we are sitting on a bus on our way back from Finisterre, “the End of the Earth”. We’re going back to Santiago to be tourists now and get our Compostella but going out to the Atlantic is something that’s been on my list for this trip. Originally I had thought we might walk it, but it would be another three days of walking and I’m ready to doff my boots for a few days I think. They are safely loaded in the bottom of my pack.
The walk into most of the other large cities we went through was usually kind of unpleasant but Santiago was the exception. We walked through a bunch of leafy tree tunnels and for an approach to a big city, you’d never know.
We stayed in a lovely B & B in Lacavolla the night before we came in, within a few miles of Lacavolla International Airport, 6 miles outside Santiago. We will fly from there to Paris on Monday. Historically, Lavacolla was the place outside Santiago where the faithful would wash themselves before entering the holy city. Lava (wash) colla (your bits). I like how the Spanish are very literal in their city naming. It felt kind of fitting to stop there, although I didn’t know the history at the time I made our reservation. One of the things I’ve most enjoyed about the Camino is the sense of fellowship. While we were waiting for the dinner hour to commence the other night, we were sitting by a lovely fireplace in what used to be the kitchen of this 200 year old structure. We chatted for a few minutes with our fellow travelers and by the time we were called for our meal we were all seated at the same table rather than 3 smaller ones. Several Canadians, two sisters from the Netherlands and us. The common greeting for overtaking another hiker is “Buen Camino”.
All in all, we hiked about 450 miles I think and walked through 5 regions of France and Spain, Acqutaine, Navarra, Rioja, Castilla y León, and Galicia. Several people have asked me if I would do it again. There are tons of people here who are Camino Veterans who’ve done this 3, 4, 5, 10 times. I’ve loved it, but I don’t think I would do this same one twice. I wouldn’t want this experience to become ordinary. There are other roads to Santiago and so many other beautiful places left to explore.