Well I finally made my way to Finisterre on the 9.00am bus yesterday , a day later than intended. It is 90km to Finisterre from Santiago and I didn’t have time to walk the 3 days it would have taken. I said a sad goodbye to Lou and double Felix at breakfast as they were setting off to walk to Finisterre this morning. Before leaving they presented me with a small model of a Horreo that they had clubbed together to buy me as a leaving gift. They had all been amused by my obsession with photographing the Horreos and I had joked with them that I was going to get one put in the garden at home , which could then serve as my own ” Refugio”. I was touched , they no doubt think I am too. I will miss them all as they’ve been great company over these weeks of walking and staying in the Refugios.
On the same bus were Martha and a few other Pilgrims including a very fit looking 67yr old chap named Dave , from San Diego , who had also walked from St Jean. He was another whose path I hadn’t crossed on the Camino itself. I commented to him that I was surprised at the number of Americans and Canadians that I had met on the Camino. He felt that the upsurge in numbers may have had something to do with the film ” The Way ” , which was released a year or two ago.
We arrived at Finisterre around 11.30am and made our way to the lighthouse at Cabo Finisterre , around 3km from the town itself. Before the discovery of the Americas this point was considered the end of the known world so , although it held no religious significance to Pilgrims , it had a enough symbolic attraction to justify the extra days of walking beyond Santiago. It’s traditional for Pilgrims arriving here to bathe in the waters of the nearby beach , to go and watch the sunset from near the lighthouse at Cabo Finisterre and to burn an item of clothing. We took some photos at the Cape and I then tried setting fire to my socks only to be thwarted by the strong wind. So the socks are coming home after all , a little bit singed , not unlike myself.
I walked to the beach on the west side of the peninsula , the Praia Foro do Mar , and dipped my chewed up looking feet in the sea ( it was a bit cold for full immersion ). So that was that , my Camino complete and an attempt , at least , at the post-Camino rituals. I walked back into town and who should I meet but the Japanese contortionist , all smiley and friendly. I hadn’t seen her since Leon and she’s obviously long forgotten the bathroom incident. It seemed right somehow that the last person I should see on my journey should be one of the first Pilgrims I had met way back in Roncesvalles.
So that’s it , the end of an amazing adventure that has given me so much to remember and some of the happiest weeks of my whole life , give or take a few nights of no sleep : ) . I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the blog and maybe it might have inspired one or two of you to walk The Camino , either in full or in sections. I’ll stop here and write a bit more reflection in a day or two.