DAY 70. 16 JULY. OLVEIROA TO CEE.

 A shady moment  

A shady moment  

Another super hot 30 degrees day! I get up at 5.45am and manage to leave at 7am.  It's wonderfully cool with a breeze. Fields of maize, isolated meadows, undulating hills and dappled woodland paths. I have breakfast and plenty of water at Logoso and then set out on a fairly demanding, but very beautiful route towards Finnisterre.  I reach the fork between the two routes at 8.30am; one road goes to Muxia and the left-hand one to Finistre.

 I choose the End of the Earth

I choose the End of the Earth

At 10.30am I reach the stiff 450m climb up onto a plateau; it's a tough landscape of granite outcrops and gorse. One field contains a scattering of cairns or perhaps they're the remnants of tumuli? This is a weathered, ancient place; only the line of wind-turbines on a distant ridge intercepts with the Modern world. This area is famous for dolmens and megaliths but I don't see any on the route of the Camino.

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I meet a very elegant couple en route; they introduce themselves as Brazilian although he is Spanish by birth. They met in Santiago 23 years ago and have come back to walk the Camino de Finisterra together. We pass each other several times throughout the day.

 Heather on the hill tops

Heather on the hill tops

It's scorching hot and dry and I'm relieved to reach the spring of San Pedro Mátir just after descending the ridge. As I fill my bottle and cool next to the fountain an Australian couple introduce themselves. She walks with an umbrella to provide some shade which is an excellent idea. There are very few people about.

 Suddenly there was sea

Suddenly there was sea

After a steep descent, a view of the  sea suddenly opens up and the Brazililan couple walk-on by and I call out 'Mar' pointing frantically. She turns towards it, calls out in amazement and bows to it.

 Arrived  

Arrived  

I arrive at the village and port of Cee at 12.30pm and find the very nice private Alberge Moreira. I'm the only one there and it's spotless and well equipped. The hospiterlo is helpful but doesn't speak English, but we managed to ascertain that today it's a Fiesta of the barcos (boats) and he directs me to the adjacent village of Corcubión about 1.5km away.

 Party time

Party time

The fiesta has a fun fair, a concert stage and down at the quay hoards of people are being packed into the sardine-fishing fleet of modern trawlers all decked out with bunting, evergreens and blue hydrangea. It's very Spanish; the boats list over as the crowds throng on board for a voyage around the harbour; several large trawlers and lots of little boats trying to avoid one another, successfully thank goodness, but with lots of siren blasting and sudden changes of direction. Then the fireworks start.

At first I thought they were safety flares; almighty flashes and bangs that resound, thundering off the surrounding mountains. I expected them to be released from the Life-Boat, but no. A man in a small white van is letting them off on the quay side. He holds the stick-end of the rocket in one hand and lights the fuse with the other; then WHOOSH to several hundred feet.... BANG. That's more like it!

I find a bar and order a beer, wait for the heat to die down and walk back to the Albergue. The hospitalero tells me there is a Procesion at 8pm so I go off to a restaurant for a quick meal, but no sooner had the Galician cabbage soup arrived, I heard the sound of bagpipes and somber drums and the Procesion was approaching along the street. Lead by altar boys in white robes carrying the Cross, followed by an elderly priest in a white base-ball cap.

 Very beautiful and moving.  

Very beautiful and moving.  

A crowd of women escort the statue of the cream-veiled Virgin and Child, which is being carried by four men. It's followed by the bag-pipers in the black and white Galician costume. I am spell bound; it's unbelievably ordinary and very beautiful at the same time.

 Wearing traditional costumes

Wearing traditional costumes

I follow them down to the quayside where a choir sings the 'Ave Maria' and about thirty rockets are let off my the rocket-van man. This is to bless the sea and the boats that land the sardine catch.

 We watch the rockets whoosh and bang. The sound rebounds off the mountains all around.  

We watch the rockets whoosh and bang. The sound rebounds off the mountains all around.  

At this point I begin to feel nauseous and weak and have to head back to the albergue; perhaps dodgy food, but more likely too much sun. I'm really miffed, I really wanted to sample the sardines that were being grilled over vast charcoal fires on the harbour (the fire brigade were on hand) and dance the night away to local bands. Instead I'm fast asleep; the only other pilgrim in the dorm is a German guy who ate a whole chorizo sausage the night before and has been ill all day! Perfect pair.

 Midnight fireworks

Midnight fireworks

I get up about midnight to watch the fireworks from the dorm window; with more rockets being let off from the quayside.

 

 Fiesta to bless the sardine boats  

Fiesta to bless the sardine boats  

The bands finish playing in Corcubión across the water about 3pm; thank goodness for ear plugs. It's been a very special day.

 It wouldn't have been the same without him! 

It wouldn't have been the same without him!