Day 45: Am I allowed to be myself? – Finisterre

At some point for some pilgrims, the Camino becomes less about the physical path and more about an inner journey of personal significance. Although the specific details differ for each person, this interior Camino involves coming face-to-face with one’s own Achilles heel and an attempt to resolve the issues underneath it.

That thing you’ve been hiding or avoiding most of your life? There’s enough space on the Camino for that to show up and even heal – if you allow it.

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Day 44 (part 3) Sunsets and “Dolphins” – Completing the rituals of Finisterre

On a narrow, dusty path, I followed the woman who was my heart’s undoing. Meg and I had walked side-by-side since Santiago and we were finally reaching the very end together. Wispy clouds raced above us as we proceeded to the 0.0km sign, past the lighthouse, and to the rocky point of Cape Finisterre. We could walk no further.

Located on the Atlantic in northwest Spain, Finisterre means “end of the world.” Many mark the journey’s end with time-honored traditions full of symbolism. One is burning a piece of clothing in a pit reserved for that purpose. Another is watching the sun set. The very brave take a dip in the frigid water. All are rituals symbolic of closure, purification, and renewal.

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Day 44: Diving into the water and the luminous shell – Finisterre (part 2)

Long before I left Oregon to walk across Spain, even before I had purchased airfare, I had decided I would sing a song called Farthest Shore when at last I stood at end of the world – Finisterre – the literal (or at least historical) western-most beach in Europe.

I’ve referenced David Wilcox’s music on my blog before, but if you haven’t listened to this song, consider it my Camino anthem. For me it carries a potent message about what’s essential in life and what can be safely (if sometimes painfully) left behind.

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Day 43 & 44: Celebration – Playa de Estorde to Finisterre

My mystery illness must have been catching up with me. That’s the only thing that could explain the immense fatigue that had come over me, slowing my steps and making my breath remarkably labored. My whole body felt bone tired and we hadn’t even arrived at Finisterre yet.

My body’s issues aide, the beauty of this area continued to stun me with its craggy coastline and white sand beaches that dissolved into a gentle surf of aqua, turquoise, teal, and cobalt. Among the native pines, coconut palms had been planted giving the landscape a carefree, Mediterranean air.

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