Final day getting to Santiago de Compostela | Camino del Norte – Day 32
On the Day 32 of our Camino de Santiago del Norte we got from the village O Grove to the city Santiago de Compostela.
The night was windy and the rush of wind were very strong so we had another bad sleep night. Also we were running out of food and hoped for the supermarket to be open in the morning. So we decided to pack everything up and cook the breakfast at some beach on the way.
The camping we liked quite a lot, it was spacious and big, had a lot of plots to choose from with the cold water source in each. The only downside compared to the last camping we stayed in it didn’t have any view from it. The price was again very reasonable.
So we went out of it and headed straight to the supermarket. We were very upset to know that it was closed even on Monday mornings and there aren’t really other shops close to us, there was one just at the end of our planned trail. So we had nothing else to do but to cook all the rests of the food that we had(some pure and dry mushrooms) at the nearest beach. We still felt half hungry but at least for several hours we could walk without a problem.
It was our last full day befire getting back home and we wanted to enjoy it as much as possible nevertheless. So we did, we saw the trail going along the coast starting on that beach Praia de Canelas and it seemed a good one to follow.
At first we were hiking along the gate of some military land but it looked like an old one with really antique guns, they were just protecting it for some reason. But the gate was see through and it didn’t affect the landscape too much.
The trail was very scenic with lots of rocks standing on each other and overall very unusual landscape and paradise beaches with white sand and turquoise calm waters. We still were quite astonished by how calm the water was in what it looked like an open ocean.
Most of the trail was walking on sand that sometimes was hard deeping down but for the rest it was very easy with just several gentle uphills and downhills. The fern around was very dry and it looked scary like if it was dying but we hoped that it was because of the autumn season.
Then we walked out to the other side of the island and there were lots of floats in the water that from far seemed like something used for military purposes but up close we thought that it was most probably used for fishing industry. It just looked quite unusual to our eye having never seen this. So we understood that probably in this bay or river flow there are no waves whatsoever. So we couldn’t even hope to see them anymore unfortunately.
Then we continued our way along the coast and the trail continued as well. At that point we were already very hungry and all we could think of is just to get at the camping and run to some shop for the food. The last few kms were the hardest.
But we checked in quickly, chose the plot that we liked the most and headed to the supermarket which was 3 kms further at the town O Grove. We bought two ice creams to calm down the hunger at least a little bit and it gave us powers to get to the town.
When we bought the food we spent some time at the embankment river walk on the bench eating our yogurts for the snack and saw the other little island in front La Toxa connected to the main one by a bridge. Looking at the map we saw that there was located a golf course and a casino so we didn’t really felt like we missed much by not visiting it.
The town itself seemed quite touristic as well having lots of catamarans and boats offering different tours and lots of commercials with artesanal things and sea food. We had a look at the bus station we had to take a bus from tomorrow and started our way back to camping.
We chose a different route suggested by a gps and were glad we did it because it was much calmer almost without car traffic. We wandered quite a lot through the tricky town streets -that was a challenge to do without navigation – before we got out to the eucalyptus forest and finally could walk in nature.
This last part was very nice going close to water with the nice warm evening weather. Then we had to cross the bridge going over the river that now was almost dried up because of the falling tide but before when we were leaving to the town it was full of water and looked like a beautiful lake.
Suddenly we saw some movement down the bridge in the seaweed and it was a crab! Then we saw lots of big and small crabs moving around – and it was fascinating to observe their life. Also there was a hernet hunting for the little fish and crabs. So we spent a great half an hour there observing this unique fauna and felt happy that we got to know it and less upset about leaving the ocean. This evening was very quiet and beautiful, a nice final evening to remember. We had a quiet dinner, tried to really take our time to enjoy it and peacefully went to sleep.
Camping was ok, not too big and not too small, quite deserted and not having enough of big trees and greenery. But it was clearly overpriced especially comparing to the last 2 campings we stayed in this place. So nothing really special about it.
The next day we had a very little time before our bus at midday and we woke up early to be able to walk slowly the distance to the town O Grove. We crossed the same river bridge as yesterday but it was still a falling tide unfortunately so we couldn’t enjoy the view of the lake. We said goodbye to the cute little crabs and moved further ahead along the bay in direction to the town. We said thank you to the eucalyptus forest for being a great company throughout our journey.
We arrived to town and had half an hour to spent watching catamarans and boats departing with lots of tourists on board. It turned out to be quite a busy place – the port in O Grove.
We took the bus to Pontevedra and then changed another one to get to Santiago. So we repeated the same journey that we had before when we were getting there several days ago.
In Santiago we had several hours to spare and we decided to visit the square of the Cathedral of Santiago (that is a goal for all the pilgrims). The place was beautiful and filled with light with a unique atmosphere of pilgrims coming and walking around with their backpacks. The only thing was a bit disturbing and confusing is the amount of policeman with the guns guarding the place. Also there were lots of people offering different tours and accomodation that were quite annoying.
After spending some time there we tried our luck at the pilgrims tourist office to put our final stamp and we were dissapointed to see that there were too many people and too long line and we didn’t have time nor desire to spend there at least couple of hours. Also we saw there an ambulance with couch bed called for some pilgrim feeling bad probably. It was really scary. So we left also because we weren’t even sure whether they would put us this official final stamp or not as we didn’t do the last part of Camino. So we decided to go to a local tourist office to put us a usual stamp just to remember that day in Santiago. Because in the end the destination doesn’t matter but all the way does.
This hour and a half passed very quickly and we had to go catch our train. Fastforwarding to the future the night in the train hotel was terrible because we had to sleep on the inclinable seats and for a human it’s impossible to sleep well in such a position. We thought there would be real beds when we were buying the tickets and there was no such information on a website.
The whole Camino was a wonderful adventure for us – full of new discoveries, insights and inspiration. Make sure to watch our final video where we share our final impressions and thoughts.
Here is the link to Google map to follow the hike:
Merci pour le gentil commentaire, notre ami! Heureux de savoir que vous avez trouvé notre série Camino agréable à regarder. Nous essayons d’équilibrer les vidéos pour qu’elles soient suffisamment informatives mais pas trop longues. Parfois, il est difficile de ne pas inclure de beaux clichés de la nature, c’est pourquoi ils peuvent être un peu longs. Nous espérons vraiment pouvoir faire de la randonnée cette saison à Los Picos et retourner dans les Alpes l’année prochaine. Merci encore.
Angelina et Dima.