The Pull of the Ocean

Last year at this time Peggy and I were only a month away from our departure to Spain. Although we did not walk from Santiago to Cape Finisterre, I, too found Santiago wonderful…but not the ‘finish’ I expected. Our days at the ocean fed my soul and helped bracket my days on the Camino.

camino times two

ocean The pilgrim’s boot at Finisterre

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”

 – Jacques Cousteau

Most pilgrims and hikers on the Camino set out for Santiago. But for me, the walk was always about reaching the ocean. I would walk west until my feet touched water, and there was no more “west” to walk.

Santiago was a nice stop, with lots of great traditions, but it wasn’t the end. I didn’t get sentimental or reflective there, even as I watched the botafumeiro swing and hugged St. James himself.

But on the rocks of Finisterre, watching the sun set over the ocean that I’d only ever seen from the other side, the journey felt complete, and the enormity of what we’d done finally hit me. We had walked to the End of the World.

We lingered in Fisterra (the town that is closest to…

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