Making the most of our time here, we rented a car to better explore this region of Galicia, the wind blown and rugged northwest tip of Spain (see our route marked in red). The mountainous coastline is dotted with beautiful sandy beaches and quaint fishing villages interspersed with forests of pine and eucalyptus and rocky fields of purple heather. The addition of palm trees here and there makes for an unusual combination of vegetation--quite unlike anything we’ve every encountered. Despite its natural beauty the region is probably not a top tourist destination due to its remote location and its savage weather: gale-force winds, fog, pouring rain, cold and thankfully, bursts of sunshine and warmth every now and then, all of which we have experienced during our time here.
We traced the pilgrims’ route backwards to Santiago and caught the city in the throes of its seasonal madness. Over 100,000 pilgrims make the 1,000 year old pilgrimage to the city each year from all over the world following “the way of St. James” to where his remains allegedly reside in the cathedral. August is prime time for these pilgrims and tourists to arrive in the city and savvy local businesses take full advantage rendering the town into a three ring circus. Nevertheless, we enjoyed strolling through the narrow streets of this ancient city before heading back to the peace and quiet of Taka Trois.