To the end of the world (on a tour bus)

I did something that normally I would never, ever do. I willingly joined a tour bus for the day.

Historically some pilgrims continued on to Finisterre from Santiago, a place that was considered the end of the world back in the days when the world was flat. (If any readers believe the world is flat today in 2018, please shut your browser and stop reading my blog.)

The scallop shell that we all placed on our backpacks traditionally was collected at Finisterre and brought back as proof that the Pilgrim reached the ocean. We do it backwards now by placing shells on our packs when we start in order to self identify as Camino pilgrims. If you will remember, my shell was literally from my house.

I decided to do this tour bus the day after reaching Santiago in order to force my feet to rest. I was very happy to have someone else drive me around for nine hours and tell me what I’m looking at. There was still some hill climbing, which oddly enough I found weird doing without my poles. Will I be able to walk without poles ever again?

First stop was Muxía. Stunningly gorgeous. The rocks reminded me of the little Oregon town Al spent some of his childhood in and my late father-in-law lived in (Yachats). Bob especially would have loved this place. I didn’t climb out on the rocks like the others because I wasn’t trusting my feet — still incredibly sore and feeling “floppy.”

Finisterre was the next stop. The beauty and the heights took my breath away. I did feel a few pangs of guilt seeing the pilgrims up there with their packs knowing they walked the whole way. Finisterre was never my ultimate destination, only a “maybe if I have enough time” idea, so I’m trying to be easier on myself.

It wasn’t exactly a quiet place to hang out. There were a LOT of tourists there. It’s those darn tour buses… oh wait…

Met a nice little fellow chilling in the shade.

We were set free for lunch in the village of Finisterre back at sea level. I didn’t explore much because I was preoccupied, unfortunately. I decided to check in to my flight Friday morning while on the bus only to discover that EasyJet cancelled my flight! Every other day I was getting junk mail from EasyJet so I stopped opening any of the messages. Turns out one of those messages was not junk but rather a “so sorry we canceled your flight” email. I fixed the situation and was able to book on Ryanair before it was time to get back on the bus, so all is well. It’s more than my original flight so I will have to mess around with a claim on that travel insurance next week when I’m home. Bleah.

I did manage to stick my hand in the water. Feeling back to myself — I touched sea water.

The only waterfall in Europe that lands into the ocean. Watch out for the rocks; they are slippery! (Yes, second fall of the Camino. I have a nice bruise on my behind now.)

More boats! I miss home. I realized on the tour today how important it is for me to be near bodies of water. I guess I am a west coast girl to the core.

The final stop was to see the second largest one of these things in Galicia.

They are for drying and storing grain. I understand how they work now: elevated to stay off the ground, the caps at the top of each leg are designed to prevent rodents from climbing further, and the ventilation is designed for water to run out and never pool inside. Pretty smart. I learned that the reason every house and farm still has one is because anything more than 100 years old cannot be removed. That might explain all of the abandoned houses and buildings as well.

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