Camino dos Faros Lighthouse Way Spain

Day 3: Lires to Muxia

Today was a day of 3 parts, split into morning, afternoon and evening – two were enjoyable, the third certainly wasn’t. The weather forecast said 100% chance of heavy rain today, so I had to decide whether to take the 15km “easy route” to Muxia, mostly inland, that is followed by most pilgrims when walking between Fisterra and Muxia, or the 34km Lighthouse Way route that mostly follows the coast, but also up and down.

I had agreed with the lady running the hostel, that breakfast would be at 8am instead of 8.30. I evidently wasn’t the only one, as there were three other walking groups that also came down at 8am. I was on the road by 8.15 and it was 19 degrees. The first kilometer was shared by both the long and short routes, so when it came to decision time, and it was perfect walking weather, I decided for the Lighthouse Way. I suppose I knew I would make that decision, unless it was absolutely pouring down.

I had a pleasant morning. In general the paths were wide enough to have both feet next to each other and level enough so it wasn’t necessary to watch every step. At one point, I had to pass a herd of cows walking along the road. I was wearing a red T-shirt and they had horns. Didn’t seem like a good match.

I made good progress along the coast, across a beach and passed a surfer village of VW campers, huts and tents,. The surfers were on their way out to surf. I continued up and down a couple of slopes. and reached the lighthouse at Touriñán just after 11am. As the sky was getting darker and I felt the first drops of rain, I followed the road up to the lighthouse, instead of following the paths. As it happened, the rain would wait another couple of hours.

Touriñán is the place where, from March 21st through April 25th and from August 13th to September 22nd, the sun sets later than anywhere else on mainland Europe. A lighthouse has stood at this point since 1898 and the current one since 1981. The light shines for ca. 45 kilometers.

Back on the paths after the lighthouse, I met four Spaniards walking towards Fisterra. They warned me about the next ascent, a 200m rise in elevation, but very rocky steep and said I should do it before the rain set in, as it would be very slippery. By 12.30 I was on my way up the slope, which was both steep and rocky. I needed to use both feet and hands to get up. I’d made good progress and it had been a good morning.

Almost at the top of the ascent the rain started, and almost without warning, it turned into heavy rain and accompanying wind. I started out with my poncho and completed the climb. But it wasn’t long before it was no longer enough and changing into my rain jacket and trousers took time. I was out in the open, with nowhere to shelter and was even more soaked by the time I set off again. I met seven walkers who hadn’t started the descent when the rain started. I was thankful it wasn’t me, and I hoped they made if safely down the slope.

As the rain at times was torrential, I packed my camera into my backpack, so there are no pictures from the afternoon. After every climb, there is a descent, but luckily it wasn’t too steep and generally along narrow paths, not directly over rocks. However, the rain water wasn’t disappearing due to the rocky surface, so the paths were often blocked by small lakes which filled the path and were difficult to get around. Whilst my body and legs were fairly dry thanks to my rain trousers and jacket, but my Goretex coated shoes didn’t hold up, and I could feel the water squelch with every step. (In the picture below, one can just see the rocky path to the left of the bush – taken before the rain started).

Whilst the ascent was fairly easy, no more than 10m from the bottom I slid and ended on my backpack protected backside. The rain stopped, but started four or five more times during the afternoon, and when it rained it was fairly heavy. I took a detour and didn’t walk  to the edge of the Buitra Peninsula, saving a couple of kilometers. I was making good progress along the main road to Muxia, when I made the mistake of turning off the road to follow the official path. I should have stayed on the road that led to Muxia. At one point I had to climb another steep rocky path ascending 90m over 300m – I was walking in a river, as water gushed down the path with nowhere else to go. I made it back to the road and stayed on the road to Lourido before following a path past the very posh Parador Costa da Morte hotel, with great views over Muxia (at least in good weather!), walking across the beach and along the road into town.

I made it to the hostel soaked, not least my feet were soaked, the rest of me cold and damp. Yet again, this was a hostel without a reception and when I checked my phone for the entry code, and found a message, from a couple of hours previously, that they were not able to collect my payment and they had cancelled my booking. Not exactly the message I wanted cold and wet. I called a number on the door, and spoke to a lady who arrived a few minutes later. We worked it out and she showed me to my room.

I took a long and warm shower, before taking my clothes to the laundromat, where I wrote most of this text. Today’s stage did not live up to yesterdays, or perhaps I’m just getting used to the spectacular views. The fact that many paths flood in the rain means, in my opinion, that stage 1 and 2 are fair weather stages. I arrived at Muxia after 7hrs15, and ca. 30kms, not a great afternoon.

The weather cleared up whilst I was in the laundromat, and I went for a pleasant walk to the church, Santuario da Virxe da Barca and the lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula – the two last kilometers of today’s stage. The church was packed – it was Friday evening, but the service finished just as I arrived, so I got a chance to take a look.

There is a 0.0 km marker here in Muxia, just as there is in Fisterra and a massive sculpture, “The Wound”, symbolising the wound caused by the Prestige oil tanker when it broke apart off the coast in 2002, spilling thousands of tons of oil into the sea.

I walked back into town and sat in the port. A rainbow appeared. The restaurants that opened at 8pm, were already packed, so I waited for one to open at 8.30pm. I had an excellent dinner of fish soup and steak. I chatted with a Swedish couple who sail 3 months a year – Gothenburg to Amsterdam, next year to La Rochelle and this year to Lagos. The restaurant had Pedro Ximenez sherry and the burnt cheesecake I loved in Pontevedra. I convinced the Swedish couple to take both, which they thanked me for.

All in all a good end to the day, and the sun is supposed to shine tomorrow.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *