Day 43 – “Day Off” in Finisterre

6/22/17 – “Day Off” in Finisterre.

We had a great time last night celebrating a monumental accomplishment. Not to mention that we’ve covered nearly 100 km since Santiago, in just three days. That’s taxing. As strong as we have become on this journey, we’re definitely tired, mentally and physically. That exhaustion manifested in a few different ways today.

I woke up with a major hunger today. I had a great breakfast with Courtney and Serrina while David slept in. Then I met up with two more recent trail friends for lunch. Then, our remaining Camino family got together with an awesome dinner at the Finisterre marina. And I had dessert at night – and somehow my body was still hungry. After weeks of simple rations and snacks, small lunch breaks, and dinners that you wolf down before passing out from exhaustion – hunger builds. When it gets a moment to itself, when you’re not pushing it to go one more mile, your body realizes how much fuel it’s been lacking.

David just slept today. Like a corpse, from about midnight until about 4pm. After six weeks of pushing your body, sometimes to its limits every day, pushing through all kinds of aches and pains, literally walking wounded, sometimes that’s just what you need.

Finisterre is an interesting town. There are of course many businesses catering to peregrinos like us. But there’s plenty of local life too. Among that local life is a small community of care-free folks that congregate around a little bar called “The Peregrino Family.” Every night they cook a communal dinner, which is free for anyone (of course donations are welcome). Some of them did the Camino, ended it here, and then stayed. Permanently. Perfectly content in this little corner of the earth. One of them was in the French military and quit after several years to become a permanent pilgrim. He just walks endlessly, with little baggage and no money. When we asked him how he can do the Camino with no money, he repeated that old Camino adage, “the Camino provides.” Floor space here, a sandwich there. And you go forward. There are millions of people living content and happy lives in ways that we might never have imagined.

In the evening, the sky was clear. We wanted to see the magnificent sunset that eluded us so far all journey, and yesterday when the clouds were too thick. Last Camino, we spent 2 evenings watching sunset from the lighthouse, and we were also there yesterday. The Peregrino Family folks suggested that we go for sunset on the beach on the Atlantic Ocean side of Finisterre, and after yesterday’s lighthousing, we were interested! So after dinner we again prepared our wine and champagne (and Peñasol) supplies, and went. We were pleasantly surprised at the remoteness and tranquility of the beach as we watched wave after wave slowly crash onto the sand. We had a great time writing a huge “Ben Camino” in the sand, and generally reflecting on how great this journey has been so far.

As the sun set and we returned home, I realized I had been dreading this moment for the past few days. Tomorrow is the last day of hiking on this epic adventure: 31 long but very final kilometers to Muxia, a peaceful, magical, and contemplative place that is perfect for ending one’s Camino. It’s been an indescribably great trip, and I’m not sure I’m ready for it to be over. Not just because it’s been fun – but because these 43 days have been in a way so easy. You just get up and walk. I’m not so sure I’m ready to return to the complex ins and outs of “real life,” but all good things must come to an end.