Last Days of the Camino

I wanted to write this a day or two ago but haven’t had time. At the end of the Camino I stayed three nights in Santiago. It was a fun atmosphere in the city since I knew someone around every corner. Our Camino family had dinner together every night. Knowing that when you see pilgrim friends in Santiago it may be the last time you see them is hard. You’ve spent the last five weeks seeing these faces over and over. Sometimes just in passing and sometimes over a beer. No matter how little you talked to them, they made an impact on your life. 

One day was spent exploring Santiago. The last day I rented a car and took four of my Camino family members with me to the “end of the world.” Many walk the additional 3-4 days to visit Finisterre and Muxia. With limited time, I needed to drive out there on a day trip. Seeing the sea really made it feel like the journey was complete. I was so happy to have my friends there to share it with. 

First we visited Finisterre. The village wasn’t all that exciting itself but the lighthouse point beyond the village was definitely something special. The views were incredible. Many pilgrims burn their Camino clothes there. Wearing the same clothes every day for 5+ weeks does get old. It felt good to be there and just reflect on the walk and the relationships built along the way. 

After that we headed to Muxia – my favorite of the two villages. The views and the white sand beaches around the town are amazing. One of the goals of the day was to jump in the ocean. Three of us did just that despite how cold the water was (it really wasn’t that cold for this Idaho girl). 

Finally in Santiago our family of seven went to a nice dinner together. It may be the last time we are all together (but hopefully not). After dinner we met up with other Camino friends at a bar. It was here that the end became real. Our three singing friends sang some beautiful songs. We shared some laughs, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

The next morning as I walked around Santiago by myself I realized it was over. I didn’t recognize faces around town anymore. I saw the familiar look of pilgrims every where I went but this was no longer my Camino. The town belonged to the next group of pilgrims. 

I’ve spent the last couple days exploring Madrid and London. Two new cities for me, though I haven’t had enough time to fully explore either. Tomorrow morning I head to Boston for a long layover and then back to Seattle. Though I’m sad this adventure is over, I’m excited to get home. I’m interested to see how this experience changes my daily life. I don’t know how anyone could be quite the same after experiencing the Camino. 

10 thoughts on “Last Days of the Camino

  1. Thank you so much “little Annie” for sharing this journey the way that you did. I looked forward to each and every post and will reread often in hopes of someday planning my own pilgrimage to my namesake. I’ve know of the intense fleeting friendships of which you speak as I’ve experienced them on long Grand Canyon treks… knowing that your final post left me in tears. I hope you found a little bit more of yourself out there. Take care.

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  2. Among all of the others, I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog posts and stunning photos. I admire you so much for setting such a lofty goal and then putting in all the hard work — in preparing for the journey and, of course, in achieving your goal. I’m very curious to learn how this adventure has changed you spiritually, in your relationships with others, philosophically. I hope you will keep blogging about this profound experience. Safe travels back to the beautiful PNW.

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  3. Annie, after reading your post today, I couldn’t help but think about your backpack. Your dad told me that he had suggested that you put related items into individual containers.
    As one who stuffs things into wherever they will fit, I thought that sounded like a pretty reasonable idea, if only one could stay disciplined enough to follow the concept from start to finish.
    Your method of backpack organization could serve as somewhat of a metaphor for your life journey in general.
    You have used those items and have assembled another unique and meaningful package to fit in with memories of all the other amazing adventures you’ve accomplished throughout your lifetime.
    The people you’ve met, the sights you’ve seen, the difficulties you have encountered, the lessons you’ve learned and the overall memories you have collected—-all will certainly fit together nicely in a unique, priceless mental package labeled “Camino,” always reminding you of one very special segment and magnificent achievement in your life.
    Congratulations. And, you did by following another suggestion from your dad—by putting one foot in front of the other.

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  4. I think, I know, that I am not quite the same after reading your blog. And I thank you for that. I didn’t know what the Camino was until tsun posted that you were on your way. And then it kept coming up. Sunday before last, the guys of “I’ll Push You” were interviewed on Boise PBS Dialogue. Another amazing Camino journey.

    Thank you for bringing this into my life and enriching it.

    Liked by 1 person

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