When you arrive at Finisitierre, it’s easy to see how medieval humans considered it both literally and figuratively to be the end of the world. At night, there appears to be a vast nothingness. While Columbus set sail from further south (Canary Islands), most of the Spanish conquistadores embarking for the Americas left from Finistierre. Even a modern human, with our state-of-the-art navigation techniques, is likely to feel unmoored upon setting sail to the west from here.
Camino de Santiago pilgrims often make the 61 mile trek through nrothwest Galicia from Santiago de Compostela to here, to add a coda to their long pilgrimages. The terrain is hillier than on the regular Camino, and there aren’t as many towns or places to bunk down. We slept in an abandoned school one night.
But it is a beautiful walk and well worth the effort. This is probably the poorest area in all of western Europe. But the people are matchless in their authenticity and hospitality. Finistierre itself, has a Key West like exoticness to it–a cosmopolitan village in a deeply provincial area. By all means pilgrims, please continue your journeys on from Santiago to Finistierre.
Bill Walker is the author of ‘The Best Way–El Camino de Santiago (2012)’. He is also the author of Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail, as well as Skywalker–Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail (2010). Walker, who is nearly 7-feet tall, is currently working on a whimsical book on the subject of height.