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.
My daughter Ella stayed at my cottage the other night en route to a festival. She sent me a video of my garden and I can see that there will be a lot of weeding to be done when I return. It’s all looking very green and healthy though. I think I will catch the best of the peonies and the tail end of the foxgloves.
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!