Camino Finisterre Day 7: Finisterre to Lires – mainly Jane in Spain

Wednesday 8 May 2024 – It was clear, immediately we awoke, that I was not going to be able to cope with a 17km  walk, even if it were on the straight and level, which it very emphatically wouldn’t be.

I was therefore going to take a cab. As Clint Eastwood said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Given that the forecast for the day was benign – sunny, mid-20s Celsius, It seemed selfish to rob Jane of the chance to hike what we had been told was a beautiful walk by suggesting she come with me. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough efectivo (cash) and so we buggered about for a bit with how to get to an ATM first, but the hotel reassured us that the fare would be just €20, which was fine.

The hotel staff, I have to say, were magnificent in their support for us, and in particular me. They provided isotonic drinks, arranged the taxi, allowed me to have a late check-out so I could stay in my room and thus within sprinting distance of a loo, and took our bags down to the taxi (I’m not sure why the normal baggage pick-up didn’t work, but that’s not important right now). So I was entirely sorted and comfortable with the plan for the day.

The only ripples in the otherwise smooth current of my transfer to Lires occurred at the “getting into the taxi” stage.  The taxi had turned up and been loaded and the hotel manager had come with me down the steps, but the taxi driver was Over There, apparently having a chat with someone.  When he turned round, it transpired that he’d been importuned by the leader of a group of three people who couldn’t be arsed to order their own taxi, as they wanted to get back to Finisterre town.  So it was that three somewhat overweight people joined me in the cab. I don’t know where they were from (somewhere like the Philippines, at a guess), but their leader was obviously accustomed to taking things over and running them his own way. He even asked the driver what would be the fare to Santiago, which alarmed me. But they eventually got out Finisterre and left the driver to take me to Lires.

That’s my contribution to the day. Let me hand you over to Jane, who has a much more interesting narrative.

Secure in the knowledge that Steve was all set, I started out with a spring in my step into a glorious morning. Blue skies, a cool breeze and beautiful valedictory views of O Semaforo, the lighthouse, and Cape Finisterre.

There were not many peregrinos walking in either direction so I was able to take my time as I retraced our steps of yesterday back down the Cape into the town of Finisterre; the views and especially the colour of the water in places were wonderful.

Curious to see nasturtium flowers running wild, nowhere near any gardens!

The route led up through the town past some colourful artwork then out into open country.

From our previous experiences on the Camino we are used to the kilometre-posts showing distances to key points (usually Santiago for the main paths, or Finisterre or Muxia for those heading to the coast). On this road, between the twin “end-points” of the Camino, Finisterre and Muxia, they do things differently: as peregrinos might be travelling between the two points in either direction, they simply make sure you continue heading the right way!

The going at this point was quiet country roads through farmland and tiny hamlets. Lots of horreos – some even being used for their original purpose!

I was quite pleased when, around halfway through my walk, the nature of the way changed from open country – it was getting hot! – to shady woodland paths

although I was mystified by the appearance of small pilgrim rock “statues” all of the same general design with a stick for a staff. They were perched on the kilometre-posts, sitting on the verges and the walls, for quite a distance. Then the mystery was solved when I passed a ramshackle building proclaiming itself to be “The House of Pilgrims” and displaying a bewildering selection of the little stone pilgrims!

Soon the way opened up views of the coast and the sea

and continued through woodland (mostly pine, a relief after the relentless eucalyptus)

to the outskirts of the village of A Canosa. It was at this point that my personal GPS map, courtesy of our organisers Walk The Camino, let me down. The map has a black line (sometimes more than one if there is a choice of route) which exactly indicates the route we should take. At a T-junction, the black line went left, the signposts most emphatically went right. Since we had always found the black line to be a reliable and sometimes preferable route to the direction markers, I decided to follow it.

This proved to be a mistake as the path went from bad, to worse

to impenetrable, so I had to retrace my steps and shamefacedly follow the arrows… which led through the village and onto a much better path which eventually rejoined my black line. Ah well, serves me right for trying to be clever!

Eventually I reached the outskirts of my destination, Lires

and our hotel

where I found Steve with his taxi story to tell!

[Steve again…]

Once we were reunited, we spent a little time resting in the room, me because I was still feeling somewhat ropy and Jane because she’d just toiled over 17km in hot sunshine,  As ever, this led us to fall foul of the Spanish eating calendar and the local restaurant had stopped serving until 7pm.  Our hotel does have its own restaurant, but its closed on Wednesdays.  However, the friendly and helpful chap at front desk sorted out a couple of snacky items which, as it turned out, were all we needed for the rest of the day.

And so to the morrow: for me to walk it would be too ambitious, based on our experiences so far – weather maybe a degree cooler, but with a reasonable ascent and steep descent to be undertaken – for me to contemplate it.  So the profound hope is that the hotel can help us with a taxi, and we’ll travel independently and meet up in Muxia.  Why not come back soon and find out how it went?


3 thoughts on “Camino Finisterre Day 7: Finisterre to Lires – mainly Jane in Spain

  1. Judy

    So sorry to hear that you had to miss out on a couple of days – but much better that you did for getting well again sooner. Hope you’ll be back to good form soon.

  2. Karin Wennås

    So sorry for you Steve, but when I read this, 10 May, you’re hopefully up walking again. And Jane, some lovely photos there!


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