Domingo, el Seis de Octubre
Saturday had been a pretty challenging day. So for Sunday, October 6th, I wanted to make an adjustment to shorten the hike that I had planned. I had orginally intended for us to take a taxi from Casa da Vasca to Faro de Punta Nariga (the lighthouse at Point Nariga), from where we would start hiking along the coast. Then, when we got to Praia da Barda, we would turn inland, skipping the section of the trail that circumscribes the peninsula that includes the Faro de Punta Roncudo (the lighthouse at Point Roncudo). Then, because I wanted to be at the lighthouse to see the sunset, and even later to possibly take photos of the lighthouse with the Milky Way in the background, as evening approached we would take a taxi from Corme to the lighthouse, and then return to Corme by taxi after dark.
But now I realized that this would probably be too much for us in one day (As is typical, plans don’t survive first contact with the enemy.). So instead, I decided that we should skip the section of the trail between Faro de Punta Nariga and Praia da Barda, and start hiking along the coast from Praia da Barda toward Faro de Punta Roncudo. Then from the lighthouse, we would call a taxi to take us to our destination in Corme. This would swap one section of the trail for another.
So that morning, Señor Vasca served us a lovely “desayuno” (breakfast) at 08:30 am, and he gave us “pan y queso” (bread and cheese) for our hike, since there would be no services along the way. Then we said our goodbye’s to Señor Vasca, and to Jean and Giroud, the French couple we met the night before.
When our taxi driver, Antonio, arrived at Casa da Vasca, I told him that we wanted him to take us to the Nosa Senora do Faro memorial near Praia da Barda, which stands on a peak somewhat off the Camino dos Faros, and just inland from the coast, to start our hike. But Antonio appeared to be concerned that there was no safe path to hike between the memorial and the Camino dos Faros. Therefore I asked him instead to take us directly to Praia da Barda, through which the Camino dos Faros runs directly. From there, as we were starting our hike, Antonio would take our luggage on to our destination, Apartamentos Turísticos Playa de Osmo in Corme.
The hiking was challenging right from the start. We were climbing up a soft, steep hillside. Although the thick vegetation had recently been trimmed back, it was still tough going. The ground was so soft that there were places where I would try to plant my hiking stick and it would penetrate a foot into the ground (I wish I had put the ‘baskets’ on my sticks to prevent this.).
We stopped at the crucifix for a break, some photos, and a snack. It was clearly put there to memorialize someone, but we couldn’t read the inscription in the rock.
Since we had a pretty challenging morning, as we were hiking I started considering how we might shorten our hike even further. It turns out that after we rounded Monte de Alve there would be an opportunity to cut inland, through the village of O Roncudo, and then drop directly down into Corme. This shortcut would get us to our destination in time to get some laundry done that evening, and then hopefully we could also have time to take a taxi out to see Faro de Punta Roncudo. So, this was the path we took.
In O Roncudo, there was a wild fig tree loaded with ripe figs, which I took the opportunity to sample. It reminded me of Sunday mornings long ago, when my Georgia-born mother would serve our family figs at breakfast.
On the other side of O Roncudo, we started down hill towards Corme.
On the walk down into Corme, we walked past a stone on the ground that was covered with petroglyphs. I haven’t had a chance to translate the sign that describes them yet.
After we arrived at Apartamentos Turísticos Playa de Osmo, we relaxed for a while, and then we started to do our laundry using the machines in the laundry room down in the empty parking garage below the building. After we got our laundry started, and since we appeared to be the only patrons at the Apartamentos Turísticos Playa de Osmo, we left our laundry running there while walked into to town to find something to eat.
We were hungry. And in a small town that seemed to be mostly closed up on a Sunday evening, we were a little concerned about finding food. So we stopped at the first place that we found that was open. It was a bar called Cafe-Bar Faro Roncudo. They were showing Spanish La Liga fútbol on TV.
First, Patty and I ordered a salad to share and a couple of vinos. Our next round was a couple of burgers and couple more vinos. But I never got to finish mine, due to the conversations described below.
I tried to spark a conversation, in my broken Spanish, with the owner, Antonio (I was constantly trying to reach out with a, “Como se llama?”. Antonio was very friendly, and he clearly appreciated the business, but when I mentioned that we were interested in getting a taxi to take us to Faro de Roncudo, he asked another patron who could speak better English to come over and find out the specifics.
Marta was one of the few other patrons in the place. She had been sitting at the far corner from where we were sitting, working on her laptop.
I told Marta that we wanted to get out to Faro de Roncuda before the sunset. But in the process I also mentioned my interest in Galician pre-history. As it turns out, Marta was a school teacher, but she was also a lover of ancient Galician history. Thus started an engaging conversation about the storied, and seemingly undocumented, history of Galicia. In the process, I mentioned my interest in the petroglyphs that we passed on the way in to town, and the ‘dolmens’ (stone burial mounds) in the area that I had been trying to locate. It turns out that she knew all about these, and she could tell me where to find many other such relics that aren’t on any maps. I had found such information posted on the internet to be lacking, but here I was talking to a local who knew all about these things!
This discussion was so engaging that I could see that we were quickly losing the opportunity to get out to the lighthouse that eventing. This would be our only opportunity. But Marta took care of us. She called a taxi driver friend of hers, Jose Luis, who was out front and ready to take us in just a few minutes.
By the time we paid Antonio for his service at 8:18 pm, the sun had already been set for 10 minutes.
When Jose Luis arrived, Antonio came out to personally see us off. Then in the fading light, Jose Luis took us on the 6 minute drive from Corme to the lighthouse at Punta Roncudo.
When we got there, it was absolutely surreal! Not just a little surreal, but what you would image that the end of time would be like! The sun had faded. There was a warm breeze. The waves were crashing, and the glowing sky was brilliant! In the next 20 minutes, I snapped as many photos as I could, fighting the temptation to just stand there in awe!
I could have stayed there all night, watching it all fade to black. But we had laundry to pick up, and so all too soon we had Jose Luis take us back to our hotel.
The day was absolutely magical!