Camino dos Faros Lighthouse Way Spain

Day 1: Cee to Fisterra

I was up early. After breakfast, I walked a couple of kilometers to the bus station and asked for a ticket to Cee on the 9.00 bus. The lady behind the counter looked at me blankly and then said “Oh Cee”, but her C sounded like a combination of C, S and X!

There was a fairly long queue, but there was plenty of room on the double decker bus. The driver was surprised that I was going to Cee, when everybody else was going to Fisterra. The bus seemed to fill the whole of the small roads along the coast, but given the speed the driver was going, he was evidently used to it. Two hours after departing, I arrived at Cee, a small village, sitting near the southernmost point of the Death Coast, part of the Las Rías Baixas or lower sea estuaries. with many long cove-like inlets.

I went into a packed cafe next to the bus station for an espresso and cola. The waiter told me that I would fly to Fisterra. When walking I usually take a cola and coffee after 10-12 kms, and I find it gives me a massive energy boost.

Today was my start of the Lighthouse Way, which officially starts in Fisterra. As I already know that I will be taking a 10km shortcut at one point (due to time constraints), I decided to walk the 15km from Cee as compensation. It was an enjoyable trip in nice weather. This stage is part of the Camino Fisterra that goes from Santiago De Compostela to the lighthouse at Fisterra, so there are Camino signs along the route.

Finisterre, in Galician called Fisterra, is a mythical place on the rough Costa da Morte (Coast of death, due to the many shipwrecks). The name of the village comes from the Romans who saw the village as ‘the end of the world’. Today, Finisterre or Fisterra, is for many pilgrims the end point of their Camino, taking 3 days from Santiago.

The first seven or so kilometers was a mix of road and paths with views over the coast and towards Cape Fisterra and it’s lighthouse – where I will stay tonight. The path then follows coves and beaches towards the town of Fisterra, a small fishing town and port with several restaurants. I walked through the town and considered stopping for lunch, but decided to continue towards Cape Fisterra, 3kms outside the town.

Leaving Fisterra, along the only road to the lighthouse, I met a number of people walking back from the cape.

There is a small hotel next to the lighthouse, with a few rooms and a restaurant. It’s difficult to get a room, but I was lucky that they had one, single room available when I planned my trip. I arrived at 15.00, precisely when they opened, and spent the afternoon looking over the Atlantic, and watching the many pilgrims and tourists who make the trip here.

The lighthouse of Finisterre was constructed in the year of 1853 at the tip of Cape Finisterre. The lighthouse is a reminder of numerous marine battles and countless shipwrecks that rest on the bottom of the Atlantic, which is the reason for coastline being called the Coast of Death. In ancient times, the cape was also a place where Celts would worship the sun and perform other rituals. Some similar traditions live on with the burning of shoes and belongings at the end of the Camino, though this is now illegal.

The Lighthouse of Finisterre is the westernmost lighthouse in Europe. The beacon stands approximately 241 meters in height and has a range of up to 57km in good weather. Next to the lighthouse is a fog horn, it emits two shrill sounds each minute, with a range of 25 miles. Although some sea mist/fog rolled in at one point during the evening, luckily the fog horn was not needed – I imagine it would have been difficult to sleep!

The cape and lighthouse is also famous as the spot to be to see the sun set! Not today, clouds appeared on the horizon about 10 minutes beforehand, and spoilt the spectacle of the sun entering the sea for the hundreds of spectators. I cheated the camera for one orange skyline. I also spent 30mins together with another man trying to get a picture of the lighthouse after dark. After messing around with many settings, the result can be seen at the top of the page.

The restaurant said they had the fantastic baked cheesecake which I tasted in Pontevedra – but it wasn’t the same. And not even Pedro Ximenes sherry to go with it. How can you not get sherry in Spain?

I walked 15km, and climbed 320m. A good warm-up for what is to come with ca. 5.000m climb in the coming days.

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