I last posted on Friday after arriving in Finisterre. On Saturday I had such a lazy day – I limped to the shop to buy some food and painkillers and spent the rest of the day on the bed. This is a fabulous albergue to relax in but it’s a 10 minute walk to the shops (more like 20 for me at the moment). It’s well run by caring people, a good mixture of dorms and private rooms, good kitchen and dining area, machine washing and drying if required, and plenty of tables and chairs inside and out. Lovely and relaxed in a peaceful location. Albergue Mar de Fora. https://www.alberguemardefora.com/en
Paul and I walk to the Miradoiro de Mar de Fóra to catch sight of the sunset rather than a trip up to the lighthouse (which I would have found very difficult). It was much less crowded. There were some people on the beach and a few others joined us at the lookout point. It was actually much calmer and more intimate than the lighthouse. A really good experience.
On Sunday I said goodbye to Paul and took the bus to Santiago where I stayed in my usual albergue ‘The Last Stamp’. It’s in a great position but if I ever do make it to Santiago again I think I will try somewhere different. It seems to have become rather tired over the years and I was very unimpressed with the state of the bedding which had always impressed me the past – although I have to say that pilgrims are quite easily impressed! Incidentally the bus station has moved to be next to the train station.
First stop after dumping my stuff was a glass of wine in the sunshine at the bar below the Praza do Obradoiro (Avenida de Raxoi) – the steps leading to it is one of the best places to capture an image of the cathedral. Next on the agenda was a visit to the posh Cafe Casino for chocolate y churros, and in the evening I found a charming restaurant that serves vegan dishes (amongst a choice for meat eaters) called the Greenhouse, very reasonable prices and I spent my time there chatting to a young woman from Luxembourg.
On Monday morning I caught the train to A Coruña where I am staying in the hostal Carbonara in the heart of the old town. It’s quite a schlep from the station and really I should have taken a taxi or bus, but being in camino mode it didn’t even occur to me. The hostal is fine but the weather isn’t. It is due to rain for my entire stay. I shopped for food and ate in my room and slept a lot.
Tuesday rained as predicted. I wore my raincoat for the first time on this trip and wandered to the Praza de María Pita, a beautiful main square, and across to the marina where there was moored the most ridiculously enormous cruise liner. When I ventured out again in the afternoon (in the rain once more) in order to see the beach the said liner was departing and could only just be made out in the grey mist of the horizon. The beach was long and deserted, other than for a few dog walkers.
I can think of many worse places to be holed up in the rain for a few days. My room is comfortable and there is excellent wifi, although I don’t really need it. Data is so very cheap here in Spain. I have an e-sim in my phone which leaves the physical sim slot free to allow for two different providers. I bought a 25GB data-only sim for around 14€ that has kept me going without having to rely on dodgy wifi for the whole trip.
A Coruña old town is charming. The architecture is really unusual – taken from Google…
A Coruña is a city rich in many architectural styles, from traditional Celtic, Romanesque and Baroque to Neoclassical, contemporary and downright futuristic, yet none are as iconic as the city’s beautiful Galerías. Lining elegant avenues such as the Avenida Marina in the city centre, they consist of enclosed glass and white-painted steel galleries adorned with intricately worked patterns that create a very fresh almost embroidered look.
Read more here.
The sun finally put in an appearance on Wednesday at midday-ish and stayed out for three whole hours. I moved as quickly as my limping legs would allow and got myself out in the sunshine under a beautiful blue sky. I walked the short distance to the Xardines de Méndez Nuñez where there is an abundance of statues and greenery.
A Coruña is also one of the starting points (Ferrol being the other) of the short Camino Ingles which I walked at the end of my 2016 camino (see here, start at day 32)
Home tomorrow – at last! Bus to A Coruña airport, short Volotea flight to Bilbao, then onward to Bristol. Flying direct from Santiago would take me to Stansted where I most definitely do not want to be, as it involves a very lengthy onward journey to my home city.
Many thanks for your collective company and support on this camino. I hope many of you will keep following for occasional posts in the future, and who knows – possibly another camino if I am persuaded!
Well done. Sounds like you had a blast 😁😁😁. Get those insoles sorted, then start planning the next camino. You know you want to. Maybe do the next camino by rental car? 😜🙊🙈🙉🐒
We have loved follow your Camino’s over the years, thank you so much for the time and effort put in to share your knowledge and enthusiasm. Having done 3 Camino’s, we hope to do another next year and will certainly refer to your recommendations but will definitely do shorter legs next time!
I like that the possibility of another Camino sounds a little more optimistic now!
Congratulations! Please continue to post after you arrive home. Your photography is stunning and your writing draws us all in to a world away from our own and the trials of covid. 💕
Maggie what an adventure your amazing,your garden is beautiful XXX
Glad you’re taking things easy. And your garden looks wonderful.
Have loved reading your blog Maggie.
Hope your poor legs improve quickly and that we can get together soon.
Safe journey home.
Have a safe and comfortable journey home. It is always a pleasure to read your posts and look at the lovely pictures you upload. Enjoy your garden come late spring/summer! All the best!
Thank you for having us join you on your Caminos! I just missed seeing you in Santiago by a day. Glad you enjoyed the Coast. Now you can enjoy your garden!
As always it has been a pleasure read throughout your journey. I hope once you are home your injuries heal quickly Maggie.
We 2 ageing Camino junkies leave for Le Puy in a couple of weeks to walk to Santiago, via the Le Puy, Frances to Leon, San Salvador & Primativo!
Hati-Hati will be the mantra as we aren’t as fit this time round!
Maybe, before another Camino, you could share with us Bristol and your life there?
And what happened to Andulusia and your home there?
Please keep writing and including images!
Thank you so much for all of your great blogs, they have been such help over the years. I look forward to reading more from you no matter what the adventure Maggie!!
Thank you for sharing your journey. I have often referred to your website when planning our own Caminos in Spain and enjoy your writing and photography. It was because of your influence that I blogged in 2015 when we walked the first time: http://www.throughourlookingglass.ca. So thanks again! 😊 🚶♂️
Trust you are keeping well and that your painful knee is recovering
Did you have it diagnosed? A friend of mine had severe pain in her knee which made her almost immobile but with an accurate diagnosis and specific exercises she has recovered. She has a border terrier which takes her out for daily walks. His name is Vito. I asked her if he was named after Vito Corlleone of “The Godfather” fame. She said “yes” and his full name is “Vito Andy Garcia Corlleone”. You girls!
I’ve been thinking about you and wondering if you are going to do a Camino in 2023. Re your knee: hope there has been some improvement. I was advised to have a knee rpl. a few years ago, but didn’t. Since then, it has become almost OK, possibly because the surrounding muscles have learned to compensate. I was also told that Australia has the highest number of knee replacements in the world (knife-happy surgeons or what?) I’m leaving in 2 weeks for an “easy” Camino from Burgos, with short days and some buses. Fingers crossed!