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reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

May 19

May 20th, 2016

May 19

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My image of the end of the world invariably includes fog, so this morning’s walk out to the Finisterre lighthouse lived up to expectations. The path makes its way up out of the town onto the spine of the ridge that eventually runs down into the sea. Fishing boats were coming across the smooth water of the bay, just within the halo of mist, and once the ridge narrowed I could also see the Atlantic, the opposite of smooth. At the end a building loomed–an old hotel just above the point where the famous lighthouse is stationed. Circling down I came to the blackened stone cross, apparently the scene of bonfires, but also a place that accumulates tokens of the peregrino’s peregrinations: thriller novels, stones, flip-flops, medals, sodden photographs– all a study in human fetishism. My jaunt to the point added 5 km to an already long hiking day, so after a quick and not very satisfying breakfast, I began the long circle along the bay before turning to head inland. Another beautiful hiking day with waves crashing on my right and woodlands full of wildflowers on my left. The path would descend to sea level, then over ridges to the next bay and village. Unlike the primary route of the Camino, this part has fewer villages with cafes, so I carried bread and chorizo to eat while walking. Oddly enough, after all these months of hiking, my feet decided to act up a bit, raising a couple of blisters like a newbie. Walking always brings with it novelty. Late afternoon I arrived at Logoso only to discover the Albergue full. It seems that many of the short-time peregrinos, those who just do the obligatory 100 km prior to Santiago, continue on to Finisterre, so lodging is a problem. The owner of the Albergue drove me to his sister’s pension where I had my own room and an excellent pilgrims menu, a satisfying end to a physically hard day.

T. Hugh Crawford

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