Burning our boots at Finisterra

Today we are going to finisterra. We want to burn our boots there. Most pilgrims would walk another 4 days for about 90 km to finisterre, which in the old days, means the end of the earth. As one faces the ocean, it does look like it’s the end of the earth.

Instead of walking, we took the bus. The blisters on my 2 little toes are just starting to dry and the dried skin has begin to slough off and nice young pink new skin has just started to form. I really have no desire to gift myself any more new blisters with another 100 km of pounding the pavement to finisterre.

Instead of just taking the regular town bus that runs a couple of times a day out of Santiago to finisterre and walk 40 minutes to the light house to burn our boots, we got ourselves the deluxe version of the tour grim.

There was about 20 of us on this bus, most are pilgrims who had just finished walking the camino either the whole camino or a section of it. Nobody from the US. Some from England, some from the Netherlands and Germany.

The bus took us first on the real walking camino up to the ponte maceira. We can see the yellow arrow on the road and the pilgrims walking on the road as we sat comfortably in our air conditioned bus. It was so weird!!!!

We got the ponte maceira. It is a magnificent miedieval bridge over the wide river tambre. It was so strange. Ed did not even want to take a picture at first bug I convinced him to take a picture anyway because we both felt like we did not deserve to be here! Our feet did not hurt a bit! It’s a whole day’s walk for the pilgrim to get to the bridge and it only took us 30 minutes sitting comfortably in a bus and here we are! It’s like we did not earn the right to be here. So strange!

Then we went on to the coast. We got to coastal region to visit coasts del morte. Which is beautiful!

We visited Muros.

We visited carnota.

Then we got to see erzaro, where we can admire the river Xallas, the only river in Europe that flows to the sea in a waterfall. The waterfall is huge!!!!! Beautiful!!!!

Then we got to finisterra. We visited the light house. This is the last place a pilgrim can get a stamp but this is also the first place that charges .50 cents for the stamp!!!!

The kilometer marker 0 is also here at finisterra. We brought our boots out to burn. Unfortunately the wind was howling. It’s very windy and raining lightly and extremely cold by the ocean. We don’t think we can bunt anything today with such weather condition. So we took pictures of our boots and we left them in finisterra. We did not want to litter the roads we walked on nor any place we visit on the camino out of respect for a clean camino environment, so instead of leaving the boots there by the ocean, we said goodbye to them and put the boots neatly inside a garbage can by the ocean. They have served us well on the camino. A pilgrim’s best friend is his pair of boots!

We went on to a nice lunch at a restaurant in the town of finisterra. I had a celebratory meal with mariscos fresh from the ocean! Spain ares love their seafood and when they are fresh, it’s excellent!

We finish the day with a visit to Muxia. The real end of most pilgrim camino. We went down to the rocks at the edge of the water. Look at the water and this is where most pilgrims end their camino either by walking back to Santiago or taking the bus back to Santiago.

I read and heard often that most pilgrim can not take the bus ride because it makes them nauseated since they have not been on a car or bus for so long. I brought along a plastic bag just in case. Luckily I never had to use it and I did not have any problem at all. I felt totally comfortable with the ride. It was very nice. No hurt feet. No blisters.

The only thing I must say though, I did get to see a lot of nice places in one day but I did not feel the connection as with the walking. There is something about a long walk, visiting all the small towns leading to a city, it makes you feel intimate with your surrounding and it makes you feel like you know the whole place or you have lived there for a long time. Arriving by bus, looking around, taking a picture then get back on the bus and leave, it’s just did not do a thing for me. It’s just a little bit better than seeing the picture of the same town in a book or on the Internet. It’s a small step up because you were there in person but it’s nothing like really taking the time and walking to the town, enter it by foot and lolling around and having a meal there. I can still remember the walk into Leon, the walk into all the smallest towns on the camino but the Muros that I visited yesterday by bus is very quickly being forgotten in my mind!

Strange isn’t it?

We slept the whole way back from Muxia to Santiago!

Well our camino is now truly coming to an end.

Tomorrow we leave Santiago.

Will I do this again? I hope so.
Will I enjoy it like I did the first time? I think so. It will never be the same way. I am sure different time of the year will bring different scenery. Later in the year the grapes would be more ripe, the sunflowers would be all out in the fields, the corns will be all ripe, the apples will be all ready on the trees. The time we walked the camino this year, the sunflowers were small, the corns are only knee high and the grapes very young and small. So many apple trees but the apples are very small. We do have lots of cherries now though. Cherries are everywhere on the camino. The weather was perfect for us. Not too hot and not too cold.

If we do walk it again another time, I am sure we will be seeing a different scenery and we will most importantly be meeting a different set of pilgrims and we will definitely be learning different lessons and living a different camino experience.

For now we loved the walking experience. It did great for our health. We are looking at another section of the camino Frances. The section the starts from Le puy in France and ends in st jean pied de port. We met a lot of pilgrims who came from Le puy and they all highly recommend that route.

Another option of pilgrimage walking is the via francigena walking from Canterburry to Rome via England, France, Switzerland and Italy! In the medieval time, this is an important pilgrimage for those wishing to see the Holy See and the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul.

We will plan for another walk next year. So this camino is ending but it’s only the beginning for the two of us. It has really wetted our appetite for more pilgrimages in the near future.

I only wish I can get shoes or boots that are more comfortable and somehow prevent blisters from forming. Other than a few blisters, I did not have any hips or knees or ankles problems. I am really blessed. Ed? He did not even have a blister. It’s so unfair. He just chomped along with a happy face. He says it’s because he has a higher consciousness and he is happier soul that’s why his feet do not hurt. I am almost there at his level but not quite yet a fully evolved soul that’s why I am still getting a few blisters that’s bothering me! Well, something for me to work on ….

Our camino de Santiago de compostella is ending today. We are going home. And that’s when the real camino will start. How we live our life. What we make of this experience on the pilgrimage.

This time I bid goodbye with …

Until next year ….

Buen camino!!!!

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