Sunday, October 15, 2023

Camino Epilogue

      It is a longstanding tradition of many pilgrims to walk to Finisterre (Fisterra) ‘End of Earth’ after Santiago; sort of like an encore.  It is a three or four day walk to a cape and lighthouse that was at one time thought to be the westernmost point on the European continent.  It is customary for pilgrims to go to the point and throw their shoes in the ocean or burn their clothes.

    Esther and I had originally hoped to walk the extra days to Fisterra, but as we neared Santiago and also saw the weather forecast, we decided to take a bus instead.  So after saying goodbye to our family and getting some rest, we boarded a bus; and after 70 days of only using our feet to move, we compromised and let some wheels do the work.

     We spent a night in the town of Fisterra.  We walked the 6k out and back to the cape.  We were fortunate that after a day of deluge in Santiago, it was a clear afternoon for our Finnistere finale.   We didn’t burn any clothes or throw any shoes. ( though we did see evidence of other’s doing it). We absorbed the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean as it collided with the rocky shores of the Iberian Peninsula.  We also spent some time reflecting on our journey.

    As if pilgrims just can’t get enough walking, there is another sea town of Muxia that the Camino connects to after Fisterra.  Muxia is a picturesque fishing town on a narrow peninsula between the Atlantic and a sheltered harbor.  We took another bus there and had a wonderful day walking the town and peninsula without backpacks. Though it was drizzling in the morning, we did get some nice afternoon sun breaks.  The natural scenery is very similar to the Pacific coast, but the buildings reminded us that we were still in southern Europe.

     Tomorrow we head to Portugal and leave any traces of the Camino behind.  We have ten days left to enjoy Europe before heading home. The weather has definitely taken a turn towards fall with lots of rain in the forecast. In 70 days of walking, we had only 3 rain days. In many ways we are ready to go home now; but since we are here in southern Europe, we are going to dodge the rain drops and enjoy as much as we can.

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