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Live from the Camino!

After a rest day in Santiago (after finishing the Camino Portugues), we are enroute to Murxia and then Finisterre. Tonight, we are staying in Negreira. We don´t sleep well in albergues (and can afford to stay in Pensions and Hotels) so we are spending the night in the Hotel Tamara (48 euros for a double with ensuite). The Tamara has a discount for peregrinos. They also do a menu del dia which consists of three courses, wine, bread and coffee for 7 euros (and the servings are generous). We decided to stay at the Tamara because they actually made the effort to advertise themselves at regular intervals along the route. The Tamara is 50m off the camino, however, the road that it is on joins the camino lower down.

The route itself is VERY well way marked so far. There are only a few places where we needed to consult the Alison Raju guide which we downloaded from http://www.csj.org.uk/guides-online.htm
My only complaint about the guide is that it would be nice to have a map and topo included as well as more information on bars and cafes along the route. For example, when you come to Alto do Vento just before arriving in Ventosa, there is an excellent bar restaurant (the Meson Alto do Vento). They have a nice sello. On the other hand, the second bar mentioned between Ponte Maceira and Barca (the one after you go under the arch of a bridge) doesn´t seem to exisit. As we always start in the dark, it is nice to know where you are going to get your first coffee.

The route itself is very nice. We left in the dark and so were treated to a great view of Santiago lit up in all of its glory before we hit Pineiro. There is a bit of up and down on this route and I was glad that I had my walking poles. Of special mention is Ponte Maceira, which is a beautiful place. If it hadn´t been raining at that moment, I would have dug out the camera to take pictures of the river and the bridge. Of course, it is sunny now!

The pizzaria that you hit just after entering the village has internet. The albergue is 1km on the far side of Negreira. We have friends from the Portuguese route who will be staying there tonight, so I will report back on the albergue when we meet up again.
 
We did day 2 today, from Negreira to Olveiroa today, which is about 33 km. The route marking is very good. There is an error in the guide with regards to the kms between Zasa and Rapote. It is not 22.5, but probably between 2.5 and 3km. We only needed to consult the guide a few times and this was to figure out where to look for markers in the predawn hours and to also see where our next coffee stop was. The day started in narrow, tree lined lanes. As we climbed, we had wide panoramic views of rolling hills, then a nice lake and finally rolled into Olveiroa. After Vilaserio, most of the route was on the road (so a bit hard on the feet). The guide suggests that there might be a bar in Maronas. If there is, it isn´t on route. However, as reported, there is an albergue run by the Bar Antelo. Yesterday in Negreira, the albergue was full by 2pm, so the rest of the peregrinos stayed in sports hall. There were a lot of early starters today keen to get places in the albergue in Olveiroa. This filled up by 4:30pm. Tomorrow, it is off to Muxia (which I have found out is pronounced Moo-shee-a).
 
I am now back in Santiago. We left Fisterra this morning. I can HIGHLY recommend going to Muxia first and then onto Fisterra. So, here is my report on days 3 and 4.

On Aug 22, we went from Olveiroa to Muxia. I learned that the correct Gallego pronuncition is 'moo-shee-a´(with an emphasis on the shee). We had another pre-dawn start and were delighted to see that the bar at Hospital was open (he opens at 6:15 am). I would recommend getting a sello here as non of the bars we stopped at on route had sellos. We found this very surprising. This is a nice day of walking, but there is a fair bit of up and down. Thankfully, there are also a number of places where you can stop for coffee. I was very glad that I had the downloaded guide as there were a few places where the way marking wasn´t obvious, particularly between Quintans and San Martin de Ozon (where you pass the longest horreo in Galicia). In Os Muinos, we didn´t find the bar mentioned in the guide. The first glimpse of the ocean is amazing!!! The Capilla de San Roque as a total zoo as it was his saint's day. The place was packed with families have picnics. There were cars every where and the way marking was obscured. However, everyone pointed us in the correct direction. The way marking after San Roque is a bit confusing. I managed OK, but met a number of peregrinos in the albergue who got lost.

The guide says that you can get your Muxiana (certificate of completion) from the albergue. This is NOT the case. You have to get it from the tourist office on Rua Virxe de la Barca (open Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm then 5pm to 8:30pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am to 1:30pm and then from 5pm to 8pm. It is a lovely certificate. The stamp is also great. It says ´fin do camino Muxia´. As far as they are concerned, Muxia is the end of the camino. The man at tourist information was amazingly helpful. He gave us a city map with the route out of the city drawn on (and the route to Fisterra on the other side) and he gave us information about hotels and pensions. I mentioned to him my surprise at the number of bars along the route that didn´t have sellos. He said that to the the Murxiana, all he needed to see was your credencial that you used to get to Santiago, the stamp of completion in Santiago and stamps from Negeira and Oliviera.

We stayed in the Pension Santa Cruz, which you pass as you enter Muxia. The man at tourist info said that they do a peregrino special where you can get a double room with a bath for 30 euros. When we arrived, the man at reception told us that all of the cheap rooms were gone. So, we paid 50 euros. The hotel was OK, but not worth 50 euros. We then went onto Santuario de la Virxe de la Barca. This was amazing! It is very close to town and I had a great time watching the sun set!.

On Aug 23, we went from Muxia to Fisterra. The guide says that this isn´t very well sign marked, but we didn´t find this to be the case, even with a pre-dawn start. Some helpful people have painted arrows with M for Muxia and F for Fisterra in places where there might be some confusion. Still, I was very thankful to have the guide as I could see that you could get lost without it (and we met people who did). The only place we got off track was the turn off for Rial. Up to that point, I had been carefully looking at the guide and confirming direction changes by looking out for arrows. After the bus stop in Buxan, my boyfriend started off down hill following a bunch of peregrinos, as I was chatting to a peregrina, I didn´t double check to see if this was the correct way to go. By the time I did, we were part way down the hill. However, a helpful local told us just to continue down hill. At the junction, there was a sign pointing to Fisterra. We followed this and then got back on route at Hermedesuxo de Abaixo. From here, a shell points to San Martin de Duio. However, we continued straight as yet another local told us that there was a bar where the road we were on hit the main road and that if you kept on going straight, you hit the beach. So, we had a drink at the bar, took a narrow lane directly across the road, hit the beach in about 100m and turned right to walk into Fisterra via the beach. So, this is a nice alternative. Once in town, you pick up the camino again, which leads to the albergue.

We stayed at the Hotel Mariquito near the albergue. This place was great. We had a double room ensuite with a sea view for 35 euros. The hotel also has an internet cafe. We picked up our Fisterana´s at the albergue (the sello says ´fin do camino Fisterra). After a rest for a couple of hours, we walked out to the light house. Before doing this trip, I didn´t know anything at all about Fisterra, apart from the fact that it had a light house. I had romantic notions of going out to the lighthouse to watch the sunset. Boy! Was I ever glad that I did my sunset watch in Muxia. The way out to the lighthouse is a very busy road, with hardly any space for walkers and it is 3.5km of uphill. I couldn´t even imagine what it would be like to try to walk back from the lighthouse in the dark. It was definately worth the bother to walk out to the light house. It was quite touristy, but it was great to get a photo next to the 0.000km bollard. In Porto, I picked up a stone at the beach with the intention of leaving it at the lighthouse. So, I left my stone on top of the final cross. I picked up a stone to take back to Porto. We also had a drink at the bar. While I will never get to eat at the 'Restaurant at the end of the Universe', I did at least get to have a beer at the 'Bar at the End of the World'.

A final word about Lires. Lires is about halfway between Muxia and Fisterra. This is a lovely place with a restaruant and Pension. This would be a nice place to stay. It is also the only place on the route where you can get something to eat or drink. The man at the Murxia tourist office told me that you need to get a stamp here to prove you did´t travel between Murxia and Fisterra by bus.

If you come from Muxia, just before Lires, you encounter the infamous river crossing. Even after two days of total sunshine, the middle blocks were submerged. I was glad that I had proper walking sandals (not flip flops) and walking poles as the submerged blocks are slippery. You definately have to take your boots off for the crossing. I can imagine that this crossing gets hairy after a lot of rain. The nice thing about going from Murixa to Fisterra is that you do the crossing and then get to sitdown to lunch in Lires. It is also good to finish the walk at the end of the world!

I hope that other peregrinos find these notes of some help. I am so glad that we had time to do this this year! One of the things I liked about the route was meeting peregrinos from a variety of other routes (as well as seeing some of our amigos from the Portuguese Route).

Next year, we plan to do the Routa Ingles!

Buen Camino!
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Hola Peregrina Nicole!
I just wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed your trip along with you. I think you have talked me into walking the Fisterre-Muxia route next year. I drove it after my Camino Portuguese and thought how lovely it would be to do a Camino-by-the-Sea.
Buen Camino!
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 
Hello Tracey! It is a great walk and a lovely conclusion to the Portugues. However, there are some long days involved if you do Santiago to Fisterra via Murxia in 4 days. I would be tempted to try to break it up into 5 days if you had time. The first day was about 20 km and then the three remaining were about 30km each.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Please everyone - send notes like these to the CSJ - you can e mail them: http://www.csj.org.uk

The idea of the online guides is that they form the architecture of usable guides which will be constantly updated by pilgrims who walk the routes. Information/experiences like this are gold dust in helping improve the guides for future pilgrims. And they are available on a purely donativo basis.

Please help.

John
 
Hello Johnny,

As you suggested, I have cut and pasted my post into an email for the people at the CSJ. I went to their website to look for an email address and found a general address which was listed as: office*csj.org.uk . I cut and pasted this into my email address area and it got bounced back. I replaced the * with a @ and it went off with out a problem.
 

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