Monday, October 31, 2011

Camino De Santiago - Olveiroa To Cee

I got up early.  It was still dark outside because of a low lying fog that hugged the hills.  I walked out of the albergue and ... there was the dog, as happy as ever.  I was happy to see him ... and I was happy that he didn't follow me as I left Olveiroa.

I walked along the path watching wind turbines turning in the fog.  I passed a small farm with a mare tied to a fence.  Her colt was nearby.  I tried to take it's picture but it kept walking up to me.  All I got were pictures of out of focus furry brown spots.  It must have been hungry as it nibble my hand.

The fog lifted and the day turned out to be a beautiful day to walk.  The Camino went up a little more.  Near the top I stopped for some breakfast of orange juice and toast.  Around here I ran into the man in the orange shirt and big hat.

I'd seen him in various places in Santiago de Compostela - from the tram ride, at the bus station, at Seminario Menor.  He always had an orange shirt and a large brimmed hat.  Here he was, walking to Fisterra.  I don't know what his nationality was.  He didn't speak much English.  We took turns passing each other along the trail.  We took pictures of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows.  He caught my attention for some reason.  I don't know why.

The Camino crested a hill and in the distance you could see the ocean.  I'm not sure I have ever smiled so much in my life.  It was beautiful.  It was so different from the rest of the Camino.  I wondered what the pilgrims of old, who may have never seen the ocean before, thought as they crested that hill and saw water as far as the eye could see.

From here the trail dove into Cee.  This was probably the steepest downhill since entering Zubiri.  I turn left at an intersection following an albergue sign.  The man in the orange shirt and big hat yelled and waved at me.  I yelled "albergue" and we waved as we parted ways.  I soon realized that the albergue was too far from Cee proper and walked into town to look for a more convenient place.  I never saw the man in the orange shirt and big hat again.

The signs in Cee were a little confusing and I was off the Camino soon after entering the city.  I used my GPS to take me to a private albergue that I 'd seen fliers for.  The albergue was locked and I followed a sign to the hotel next door.  The man at the desk said it would not be open for a couple hours but I could leave my bag behind his desk until then.  I thanked him, took my camera and journal and went to the hotel restaurant where I ate ... a hamburger completo (A pattern was forming).

I walked to the nice downtown area that borders the ocean.  I walked around and settled on a bench overlooking a white sand beach.  There was a cool off shore breeze and, for the first time, I used my sunglasses (not much use for sun glasses when you are walking in the morning with the sun at your back).  Sea gulls.  Palm trees.  So different from the past thirty-eight days.

I returned to the albergue, picked up my backpack and picked a quiet corner bunk and did my chores.  After an afternoon nap I went out looking for food.  The hotel restaurant advertised Spaghetti Bolognese but I discovered they didn't serve the good food until 8:00 PM.  It was 5:30 PM  I was hungry now.  I walked back downtown to a place called, and I kid you not, Mac Rober, where I bought a chicken burger.  There were a few places in Cee and Fisterra that ripped off McDonalds' name.  The chicken sandwich was pretty good.

The hospitalero told me that there was a festival the next night.  The festival of San Juan.  The festival was famous for its bonfires.  This may be a solution to a problem I had.  It was customary for pilgrims to burn their worldy possessions when they arrive in Fisterra.  Other stories talk of throwing these possessions into the sea.  I had a Columbia shirt that had pilled up and generally looked crappy and I was going to use it to symbolize my worldly possessions.  I also had a sock that GV had given me to be burned.  These bonfires might be exactly what I needed to dispose of the shirt and sock.

Day thirty-nine turned out to be a wonderful day.  The sun eventually came out right when I reached the ocean.  I liked Cee.  It was a little too modern but the ocean and the fishing boats floating in the bay made up for the lack of old architecture.  I had one more day of walking left.  It felt a little surreal but my adventure was approaching the end ... of the world.

Total Distance: 12.75 Miles (20.52 km)
Total Time: 4 hours 32 minutes
Total Elevation Up: 1,856 ft (565.71 m)
Total Elevation Down: 2,150 ft (655.32 m)

[Click on map for a larger version]

2 comments:

  1. I agree about pilgs of old seeing the ocean for the first time..must have been a real mind bender!

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