ISLAS CIES, SPAIN. A single sunray briefly cracks open my heavy eyelid. Like every morning, I turn, burying my head in my pillow. But instead of a comfy cushion, grains of sand exfoliate my lips. A sudden reflex makes me spit. This isn’t my bed.

Gazing at the North Star, I had fallen asleep on the Playa de Rodas.

There are no hotels at the Isla do Faro. If you want to stay overnight, you have to reserve one of the 800 spots on the island’s only campground. Yesterday, I, too, dutifully made a reservation, but I hadn’t slept in the tent I had pitched.

The rest of the campers still snoring, I venture out on my own. To the lighthouse, the Faro de Cíes.

The wind and water have left their mark on the wooden signs, but they stand strong, proudly showing me the way: 3.5 kilometers to the lighthouse.

A Nature Reserve since 1980, the Isla do Faro keeps human interference to a minimum. A discrete concrete bridge lets me cross the lago (lake). Squinting through swaying algae, I fancy spotting a dorada (gilthead) or lubina (sea bass), but can’t be sure.

Down here, the vegetation is still dense; an evergreen forest, nurtured by Galicia’s frequent precipitation. But as the ascent begins, tall pines are replaced by shrubs and rockroses; terse, resting. The gravel road zig-zags 175 meters above sea level. A short stop at the bird observatory; yellow-footed gulls and European shags are up to get their daily prey.

At last, the Faro. I plump down on the stone ledge. The Atlantic reigns down below. I dare not approach the edge; the cliffs are steep, sharp, fatal.

I am alone, but a squawking seagull kee犀利士
ps me company. Together, we look up to the azure, cloudless sky. A sunny day is dawning.