October 22nd, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Malcolm Bott

Mid-May in Galicia. I was expecting rain and gloom but at five in the afternoon the sun is still high as I come down from the dusty hills into the town of Fisterra. Here, the path along the beach into town is made of flat stones that shine so brightly I can barely see. I want to stop someone and ask if this is heaven. I haven’t spoken a word out loud for hours.

The government hostel is in the oldest part of the city, nestled at the base of a long hill that looks like a creature’s back rising out of the ocean. An old man in a panama hat yells to me from a plastic chair in the doorway of his shop and tells me I won’t find any cheaper prices up the street. I tell him I’m hoping to meet friends, and he spits on the ground and shakes his head as if he’s tired of people not taking his good advice. The buildings here are painted in faded pastels and misshapen into the curve of the hill. I have to rush to the side whenever a car pulls up behind me to keep it from honking for space.