Tag Archives: Corcubion

Camino Finisterre Day 4: Olveiroa to Corcubión – and the first sunshine!

Sunday 5 May 2024 – As we awoke, the rain was still lashing down; however, the forecast was for a gradual improvement in the weather over the course of the day – from “Rain” to “Showers”. This meant that we had a day in prospect during which we could actually walk a stage of the Camino Finisterre without getting drenched! The only uncertainty revolved around how long to wait before we left; we had some 19 km to complete, which translates to around four hours’ actual walking, if we get on with it, so we had some latitude in selecting a departure time. Or so we thought; actually, we have discovered that neither of us feels at all comfortable in just sitting around waiting for the weather to improve. So we set off after breakfast, just before 9am, into light rain, which didn’t stop me from taking lots of photos as we went, so this is a long, rambling post. If you’re pressed for time but want to know how it all went, you can watch the Relive video of the day.

Light the rain today might have been; but on turning the first corner, we came face to face with a demonstration of just how much rainwater had fallen from the sky over the preceding days.

The alert among you will have noted the Camino signpost to the right, suggesting that the route was through that torrent. I had taken the trouble to put waterproof socks on for the day, but I’m sure you’ll agree that there are limits – I wasn’t going to wade through that.  It was actually easy to work our way around it, but wherever we went, pretty much for the whole of the walk, we were accompanied by the sound of rushing water as the excess rainwater gushed off the hillsides.

Often, the storm gullies built into the path did their job well

but sometimes the amount of water had simply been too much.

You’ll have deduced by this stage that it was still raining, and there was a heavy mist at times

but the rain, thankfully, stayed generally light as we walked along. We passed the village of Hospital

at about 5km into the walk, which is the sort of minimum distance we consider it acceptable to stop for coffee, and passed a café which made it quite easy to decide to stop and fuel up.

Actually, we knew that this was serious and correct intelligence, and so were emotionally prepared for the shock of having to walk nearly ten miles between coffee stops, something I don’t believe we’ve ever done on our Camino adventures heretofore. So, coffee and a banana it was, and we got on our way.

We passed this rather odd poster.


With just 30km to go until we reach Finisterre, we passed a rather charming piece of entrepreneurial initiative.

An 11-year-old girl called (I think) Xioana, which would be promouned “Joanna” – or someone pretending to be one – was offering hand-painted shells for €2 on an honesty basis. Had I any coins, I might have been tempted; but I didn’t, so we moved on, albeit somewhat taken with the proposition.  Very soon after, we reached The Parting Of The Ways.

Left turn for Finisterre, right for Muxia.  As you’ll remember, having paid attention all along, we are headed to Finisterre, then along the coast to Muxia, before walking back to Santiago; so We Will Be Back on 12th May on our return journey.

We passed this facility at this point.

The steaming lake outside it was what interested me most.  It’s a facility run by Xallas Electricidad y Aleaciones (XEAL) and it contains two furnaces, one of which is among the largest in Europe, for the making of Ferrosilicon.


Onwards, then…

We joined a path that would take us across country (i.e. not passing by any bars or cafés) all the way to Cee,

fundamentally a great surface to walk on, and one we think may be the result of resurfacing work. So, by and large, the going was good (not totally – see later) and –

was that the possibility of nice weather coming our way?  It had certainly stopped raining, which in itself was something to be cheerful about.

We passed the Petroglifos Pedra Ancha – petroglyphs. Among the reviews on Google for this rock was this gem: “you reach the stone and then you have to have skill and luck to identify the figures. We didn’t have it.”

Neither did we. Anyway, we were distracted by


To counter our joy, we entered The Dark Woods Of The Vákner!

(Had I the necessary html skills, you would hear spine-chilling music at this point. However, it’s easy to infer from the very basic layout of these pages that I don’t.)

There is a mythical tale about the appearance of Vákner. The Armenian bishop of Arzendian
Mártir or Mártiros, who walked to Santiago de Compostela between 1491 and 1493 as a pilgrim, wrote about a “terrible, anthropoid lycanthropic beast” which would terrify pilgrims in this area. Rather than being terrified, we were somewhat dumbfounded to be overtaken by a Toyota Land Cruiser which clearly had punters in it who were looking for Vákner.

And find it, they did!

This monstrously frightening statue looms at you beside the track. Actually, it’s not frightening; it reminds me more of the body language of the conductor of my orchestra when he’s trying to get the French horns to play louder.

Also at this point is another crossroads, one which is even marked by a cross.

It is another point at which one can decide to make for either Finisterre or Muxia,

or just sit down and rest, I suppose. We pressed on towards Finisterre, and soon enough caught our first sight of our eventual destination for the day, Corcubión, with its neighbouring town, Cee. No, I don’t know how to pronounce the latter.

We had wonderful bursts of sunshine, some of them lasting for seconds on end and allowing for nice views of the surrounding countryside.

The path took us past the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows

and into a section where plantations of the dreaded Eucalyptus trees seemed to stretch from horizon to horizon.

I say “dreaded” because the species was introduced at a time when the country needed wood; Eucalyptus grows straight and fast, and is ideal for logging.  It’s also hugely invasive, and the Spanish government no longer encourages its planting; but still there are huge areas of Eucalyptus, some formal plantations like we saw today and some where it’s self-seeded and very, very densely packed, hence displacing native species.

The other downside is the ravages perpetrated on the land by the logging process

and, more selfishly in this case, the damage done to the nice footpath surface by the logging lorries and machinery. For what seemed like several kilometres, the surface was broken, rocky and uncomfortable to walk on.  Still, I suppose people have got to make a living…..

We passed another chapel, that of St. Peter the Martyr

which had an eponymous spring nearby,

and, shortly after, the Cross of the Armada,

whose significance is, I’m afraid, not something I am an expert on.

Generally, the path and the countryside looked almost as if we were on Chobham Common at home, with broom, gorse and heather in abundance.

It was all very pleasant, even if the clouds had temporarily closed in again.

The final part of the path as it leads to Cee is potentially daunting, if one looks at its elevation profile.

The two-kilometre stretch from 16km drops 280 metres quite steeply.

We’d both been concerned about how we’d get on, as this stretch has a bad rep for being steep and rocky, and walking downhill can be more challenging than uphill.  We need not really have worried; it was certainly steep, but the surface was excellent, which is what gave us the thought that perhaps the path had recently been resurfaced. The walk down also gave us a nice view over towards Corcubión.

We made our way steadily down into Cee, and, although the quads were burning a little as we reached the bottom, on balance I think it would have been pretty tough had we been going in the other direction.

Having reached the bottom, we’d covered over 13km and it had been over two and a half hours since our last coffee, which made a coffee’n’beer stop at the first available café a matter of high priority.  After refreshing ourselves, we pressed on into Cee

with its beach (that, frankly, looks better from a distance) and its view over neighbouring Corcubión

with the intriguing artwork in the foreground. Cee is a strange place; it has an attractive jumble of houses

and a terrible beach.  However, there is a huge amount of construction work going on, so one trusts It Will Be Lovely Once They’ve Finished.

The Camino track into Corcubión offers a great view over the place

and its waterside artwork which sort of corresponds with with the one we saw in Cee

We soon found our pension, the Casa da Balea,

which is charmingly whale-themed, as one might expect from the name, even down to the welcome mat.

It’s a very lovely place, but doesn’t offer a restaurant, so we headed out only to find that, once again, we’d fallen foul of the Spanish dining circadian rhythms.  We could easily have had a drink, but there was no food on offer.

We went back to Casa Balea, consoled ourselves with tea and possessed our souls in patience until about 7.30pm, when we went out to a tavern called O Ribeiro which we knew (because Jane had asked) would serve food from 8pm.  It’s an engaging place, decorated with massive numbers of ornithological origami

and other interesting decor, such as the beer pumps.

After a reasonably hearty meal, we pottered about this attractive town taking the sort of pictures that one does after a couple of substantial G&Ts. One or two are worth sharing…

Tomorrow sees us embark on a short hike to Finisterre, and we may even be bathed in sunshine as we walk! It’s worth emphasising that our target is the town of Finisterre; the real end of the Camino – kilometre zero – is at the lighthouse, a few kilometres beyond, where we’ll be the day after. But for now, even the simple prospect of a day without rain is something to be looked forward to with anticipation.