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Camino Day 30: The End of the Road

JUNE 3RD, 2016 SARDINEIRO TO FISTERRA: 10 KM/6.2 MILES

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The long, past few days were rewarded with a short kilometer hike to Fisterra which was considered the end of the known world, that is, until ships that ventured further did not actually fall off the earth’s edge. We were gloriously sans backpacks for a day as we were to return to our quaint hotel that night. We walked along the beach when possible, but surprisingly and sadly, encountered a fair bit of rubbish en route. As we approached Fisterra, we noted the streets were far busier than our little beach town.

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We had not reached the end point yet, as there is the requisite walk to the western most point on the peninsula that ends with a lighthouse, “Cabo de Fisterra”, in Galician (Cape Finisterre) Every pilgrim that has made it thus far, continues to this final terminus.
There was a line up for photo-ops by the zero kilometer marker. Did one lose some of the Camino mystery in the push to the finish line as we click away, take selfies, do live video while not truly seeing or feeling anything at the moment? Had life become just a series of frozen photographed moments that encapsulates that time into a hard copy which ultimately keeps us constantly outside of the present? I stand guilty as charged and have a zero kilometer marker photo and thousands of other photos to convict myself over the years. That said, these photos do help jog the memory, especially since it has taken me several years to finish my Camino writings. More on this later.

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An old tradition at this furthermost point of the Iberian peninsula is to burn one’s clothing and boots as a symbol of purification or rebirth at the end of one’s arduous Camino journey. Being the thrifter and perhaps modest person that I am, I had no plans to strip down and have my clothes turn to ashes. I was no Lady Godiva. Additionally, this tradition was requested not to be observed in respect to Nature and the environment. Half burnt clothing items scattered about indicated that the ritual continued despite these environmentally conscious intentions.

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On return to Fisterra from the Cape, the town continued to buzz. I was ready to retreat and chill by the near deserted beach I called home for the night. We opted to take the bus back as the day had heated up and we had officially reached our destination. We did pick up our rather artistic certificate of completion of the Finisterre Route of the Camino. There was no waiting line for this paper Camino validation compared to the extended waiting line we observed in Santiago.
As we walked on our empty beach later that day, a local called out to us from an outdoor patio of a bar. We harkened to his call and realized once there that he was decidedly inebriated from drinking a yellowish liquor. He enthusiastically offered us a taste of the local nectar in his very broken English. A sip was all it took to know this was potent stuff. We tried to wrangle ourselves politely away from his repeated requests to drink with him, and were able to depart after he requested or shall we say insisted to have a photo op with him. Yet another hard copy memory obtained.

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We enjoyed a long leisurely “Peregrino Menu” dinner later at the hotel. Our biker friend had pedaled onward. The sky did not darken until almost 11 pm. The moon appeared again out across the water. My feet appreciated the light kilometer day.

Posted by Shantitraveler 21:56 Archived in Spain Tagged walking hiking beach trek journey camino gratitude caminodesantiago fisterra

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