ROUTE MUXÍA – FARO TOURIÑÁN
THURSDAY, MAY 30
Muxía is a place with a lot of symbology for Costa da Morte. We will walk through its streets ascending to Monte Corpiño to, from there, visit its lighthouse and Punta da Barca, where the sea hits hard. We will travel along the coast on a trail of considerable difficulty that will give us rewards at every step with spectacular viewpoints over this sea. From Moreira Beach, the road smooths until you reach the Touriñán Lighthouse, the westernmost point of peninsular Spain and the end of this stage.
+- 900 m slope
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Muxía is the bride of the wind. Filed to the north and with the Barca as the point of that arrow, during the storms the humidity of the sea rises up the hillside of Monte Corpiño, soaking everything. We leave from Port of Muxía towards La Barca, but we will take a different path from the rest. O Camiño dos Faros goes up the bell tower of Santa María to Monte Corpiño, and then goes straight down to the sanctuary.
The Church of Santa María was built in the 12th century. The bell tower is not part of the main building and is built on the same rock. By its stairs we ascend to Monte Corpiño. The climb brings them but, without a doubt, it is worth it. Upon reaching the top, we have another viewpoint over Muxía and this Costa da Morte that gives so much of itself.
From there we go down to the Muxía Lighthouse, which does not impress with its architectural beauty but with the place where it is located, in Barca Point, from where we contemplate the entire estuary and the nearby Vilán. This area is spectacular to watch the sunrises or the raging sea.
Here is another of the key points of the Camiño dos Faros: the Sanctuary of Nosa Señora da Barca, end of the pilgrims’ stage that, after visiting the apostle, went to these lands of the Finis Terrae to surrender at the foot of the Virgin and contemplate some curious stones full of legend. The first hermitage was built in the 12th century and becomes very important due to the fact that it was the end of the pilgrims’ stage who, after visiting the apostle, went to these lands of the Finis Terrae to surrender at the foot of the Virgin and contemplate the Curious stones in the place where, according to legend, the Apostle Santiago appeared to encourage him in his attempt to Christianize these lands of the peninsular northwest. The cult of stones is very developed in the area. According to legend, the Virgin arrived by boat: the sail (Abalar Stone), the ship (Cadrís Stone) and the rudder (Rudder Stone) are the remains of the ship’s stone that are worth visiting.
A Costa da Morte is a magical land and at times like this it is where we realize that we live in a privileged place, where everything is art: the sea, the sun, the earth, the seagulls … all come together to create this paradise on earth.
We continue our path through Muxía, remembering one of the most important episodes in the recent history of the region: the Prestige tanker accident. At 15:15 on November 13, 2002, the Prestige ship, a monohull tanker with a Bahamas flag, launches an SOS 28 miles (50 kilometers) from Fisterra. Thus begins the nightmare. Thousands of tons of a viscous fuel that caused an unprecedented ecological disaster, contaminating our entire Camiño dos Faros. And a disaster that dragged a tide of solidarity with the Galician people: thousands of people from the farthest places came to contribute their grain of sand to the cleaning of the coast.
The monument A Ferida (The Wound) in homage to the volunteers is the first thing we found when leaving the Barca. We descend along the promenade watching with curiosity how the small plots are divided, each one with its wall of stones perfectly placed, both to divide the plots and to protect them from the hard wind and the sea breeze that ends all the crops. Presumably, in a peninsula with as little land as Muxía, these little “leiras” represent a fundamental part of the livelihood of their owners.
Before arriving at Coido Beach, we see a conger dryer, of the two that exist today. Conger fishing has been one of the main activities of the Muxía fleet for centuries. Because of this, to preserve it, these dryers appear, constituting an interesting testimony that has remained until today. Today the little existing production goes almost all to Calatayud, where it is considered a traditional product.
Coido Beach, composed of rocks and sand became, with the arrival of the first fuel remains, in Zone 0 of the disaster. Now we see it splendid, with that sea full of life as we always want to see it.
The coast of Muxía to Faro Touriñán is a rugged and almost inaccessible coast that forms a spectacular hiking route. We are in the hardest part of the path and we must take it easy until we reach the Praia de Moreira. From there, the stage softens to the Touriñán Lighthouse, the westernmost point of peninsular Spain.
The Lourido Beach, in the shape of a shell, is of very fine sand and, although it sounds topical, it has turquoise waters that are nice to watch. Anyway, be careful it is already a dangerous beach for swimming. The dunes that surround the beach, of the Atlantic maritime dunes type, are full of vegetation and go up the mountain to almost the village of Lourido.
Monte Cachelmo es una de las subidas más duras del Camiño dos Faros. Son sólo 750 metros pero se asciende de 0 a 150 metros, con una pendiente media del 23%. Os recomendamos tomarlo con tranquilidad y un par de descansos por el medio. Las panorámicas y el cuerpo te lo agradecerán. Vamos ascendiendo entre toxos y las rocas de esta mole de granito. Al llegar arriba, las vistas son espectaculares. Al fondo el Vilán y Camariñas, con toda la ría que recorrimos en la etapa anterior y que ahora contemplamos desde el aire. Delante Muxía, que desde aquí se ve hermosa y reluciente, rodeada de mar por todas partes. El silencio es absoluto, y no sabes si estas viendo el paisaje o si realmente estás dentro de él.
Monte Cachelmo is one of the toughest climbs of Camiño dos Faros. They are only 750 meters but it rises from 0 to 150 meters, with an average slope of 23%. We recommend you take it easy and a couple of breaks in between. The panoramas and the body will thank you. We are ascending between gorges and the rocks of this granite mole. Upon reaching the top, the views are spectacular. In the background the Vilan Lighthouse and Camariñas, with all the estuary we walked in the previous stage and that we now contemplate from the air. In front Muxía, which from here looks beautiful and sparkling, surrounded by sea everywhere. The silence is absolute, and you don’t know if you are seeing the landscape or if you really are inside it.
At the foot of the imposing Mount Cachelmo is the Furna da Buserana, the scene of a legend that tells us about the love between the troubadour Buseran and the beautiful Florinda. From the Cachelmo we descend a complicated path that takes us to the track of the small Arnela Beach, in an almost virgin environment.
Punta Buitra is another of the outgoing that has this rugged coast of Muxía and that makes you walk on the ocean. The dirt track that goes to the end allows us a little rest to the legs in this hard section. When we reach the end, we completely change the plane and it is the cliffs of Cuño and the tip of Cabo Touriñán that we will have very present from now on. We climb the path to the top of Punta Buitra and then descend the cliffs of Cuño, which leave us with our mouths open. The mountain falls abruptly, forming several points where the sea does not stop breaking, filling it all with foam. This part is not easy … continuous efforts that are compensated with stops, in which it seems that we fly over the sea of Muxía.
Thus we arrive at Coido de Cuño, where we are going to make a large and well deserved stop. At the end of the meadow, the stream that goes down is a gift at this stage after the effort we carry. We take off our backpacks, prepare the sandwiches and have to relax a little. This cove (caught), full of round rocks of all sizes, is of great geological interest and its origin may come from Quaternary deposits, although other authors point out that it may be due to a marine terrace.
After this relaxing time, we have to ascend through the forest to Mount Pedrouzo, 269 meters. Keep a lot of eye, because from Cuño Stream you have to go inland, do not follow the cliff coast because it is impossible and very dangerous. To reach 269 meters from Monte Pedrouzo we will be ascending 2 kilometers with an average slope of 13%. Stones crowned Mount Pedrouzo are the best meeting place to wait for the laggards. We take a short break and enjoy the panoramic views of Cape Touriñán entering the sea. As in the rest of the stage, only one thing is perceived: silence.
From here, we go on a continuous descent between gorges along this Ribeira de Viseo until we reach the biggest descent of Camiño dos Faros: the descent to Moreira (600m, -25%). Our route are sensations and this is maximum. While we are careful not to fall on my ass, which is very possible in this section, we sometimes stop to, from a bird’s eye view, contemplate another panorama that you can only see if you are a stranger.
Finally we arrive at Moreira Beach, a beautiful cove with round stones and sand, where we will make a small stop to rest. We had already passed the toughest section of the route, ten kilometers without truce in which it seemed more that we were in a mountain range than walking a route along the coast.
This final part of the stage is practically flat and will allow us to walk in parallel, something that is not very easy on this trail. We leave the villages of Touriñán and Campos on our left. They are typical villages of Finis Terrae, with lots of granaries and people specialized in surviving the harsh winters. Keep in mind that years ago communications with this periphery of the periphery were virtually nil.
Located further west than Finisterre itself, Castelo Island in Cape Touriñán is the westernmost point of peninsular Spain. This huge cape on the coast of more than 2 km was duly marked with the construction of a lighthouse in 1898, to guide the boats during the crossing through these dangerous waters. We begin our journey along the entire cape along a small path that brings us closer to the cliffs of Gaivoteira, which we will see very carefully. You know what happens in these places, with care you can see almost everyone, without care you should not see any. First of all, security.
The original Touriñán Lighthouse was not initially planned but, due to the numerous shipwrecks of the late 19th century, it was inaugurated in 1898 taking advantage of the old Vilán lighthouse’s optics. Located 50 meters above sea level and with a height of 8 meters, it is attached to the house of the lighthouse keepers and reached 10 miles, with a white fixed light produced by a paraffin lamp. In 1918 it was exchanged for a pressurized oil vapor, increasing the range to 20 miles. The new lighthouse, built in 1981, is an 11 meter high concrete tower with a light that reaches 23 miles, emitting 1 and 2 flashes every 15 seconds.
For two months a year, from the spring equinox, around March 22 until April 25, and then, from August 13 to September 22, the last sunset of continental Europe sets in Touriñán.
Thus, contemplating the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean from the westernmost point of this trail, we end a hard stage that has taken us along the entire coast of Muxía.
|Port of Muxia
|Church of Santa María
|Sanctuary Virgin of Barca
|Monumento to volunteers
|O Coído Beach
|Coído de Cuño
|Ribeira de Viseo