The End of the World

Saturday, November 21 – Finisterre

I slept through the night. No more vomiting. I really hope that’s over.

Part of me had been thinking that since I was in Finisterre for two nights, I could take a taxi this morning back to Muxia, and then walk in today, and I could even leave my pack and just take myself. Unfortunately, I still haven’t really eaten, and walking up the little hill from the grocery last night about did me in. I have to accept that my camino really is over, and that’s ok. Maybe some day I’ll get to come back and finish this little bit. If I had more time I could recover, but I’m just out of time.

Another reason I slept through the night is because I was so dehydrated I didn’t have to pee. I usually pee at least once during the night.

I woke up sometime after 8 and ate fruit and muffins. I thought about going out, but it was very, very windy, and raining. I decided to stay in longer and see what happened.

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Around 11 I finally went out. It was still raining, but it looked like it would clear soon. There was a rainbow!

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I made my way toward the beach that led into Finisterre. Matthew from the albergue after the mountain hike, valcarce de vega, something like that. He said that that beach was a great place to find shells. He wasn’t kidding. I’ve never seen anything like it. Thousands of shells, and a lot of them were big. Mostly big bivalve shells, but there were so many.

It was cold and windy. I walked along the beach picking up shells, until I found my first scallop shell. It was small, about the size of a quarter, but it was a real scallop shell. A bit later I found a much larger, white, and wholly intact one. I almost couldn’t believe it. You can actually find your own scallop shells, you don’t have to buy them from someone.

I had purposely not carried a shell from the beginning. The shell grew to be a symbol of the pilgrim and pilgrimage, but originally the pilgrim had brought it back with them as proof that they had been there. I wanted to wait and get my shell at the end. And then in St. Jean I decided to carry a shell for Denise, but I didn’t mention that until I had arrived in Santiago. That is something I need to remember to do tomorrow, drop her shell off.

As I wandered along the beach, and further from town, I found more and more scallops. Not all were in good shape, but a lot of them were. I also found bottom scallop shells as well. The top and bottom halves are not the same. I actually ended up with quite a collection of all sizes and colors. White, pink, green, and purple. The largest one is pink and it’s very pretty.

I went to the grocery and bought some more crackers, and then since it was about 2 pm, I decided to try some real food for lunch.

I found a place that had a vegetarian menu. I’m still feeling a bit cautious of meat. I got some garlic spaghetti and a salad.

The spaghetti was delicious at first, but then it got more and more salty, and by the end I was almost forcing myself to eat it, like I had with the salty pulpo, and the memory of that was enough to make me stop. I didn’t finish it. I don’t think it was bad, but I didn’t want any repeats.

I decided to go back and lie down until it was time to go watch the sunset.

Something that I’ve noticed while walking, is that the sun is very different here. I only started noticing it recently, so maybe it’s more the time of year than latitude, but the sun stays very low in the sky. There is less than 10 hours of daylight. I took a picture today at noon, and the sun was very low in the sky. My shadow was taller than I was.

The lighthouse is 3.5k away from my hotel. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really thinking when I gave myself an hour to get there. Yes, I did theoretically get there before sunset, but I’d already missed most of the show. Because of the clouds, the colors were before the actual sunset, and it was hidden by the mountain as I was walking there. Oh well. I really should have planned on getting there at least 30 minutes early.

I got there late enough that I didn’t go all the way to the lighthouse. I sat on a rock and watched for a while, but I wasn’t the last one to the party.

Back in the day, before America was discovered, they thought this was the end of the world.  Looking out into the ocean, with nothing but horizon as far as you can see, it’s easy to see why they would think that.

I walked back to town in the dark, and was still feeling queasy enough that I didn’t want to get dinner. I’m not thrilled about the bus tomorrow, but I think a cab would be very expensive. I hope I survive.

I’m ready to go home.

I was going to spend a while tonight uploading pictures and finally catching up on posts, but the power went out in all of Finisterre.

As I was walking back through town, all of the bars were crowded with people watching a football game. I hope for their sake the game was over before the power went out. Probably not.

So now I don’t get to upload pics or curl up with Netflix. Actually, the power just came back on. We’ll see how long that lasts, or if the wifi comes back.

I can hear the person in the room above me snoring.  Ear plugs will fix that, though.

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9 Comments

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  1. ((hugs)) I hope the bus wasn’t too bad. Your shells are lovely!

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  2. I’m glad the power came back on.

    The shells are really pretty. I’m glad you were able to find so many good ones.

    Good luck with the bus tomorrow. We’ll be praying for you to have a smooth, uneventful journey home.

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  3. A double rainbow, too! Every photo is so beautiful, and I love the shells you found. What a journey you are on!

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  4. It has not always been easy, but you have persevered. Know that you have been an inspiration to many. May you have a safe journey home. I’d love to see an epilogue post.

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  5. That beach full of shells is a wonder. I’ve never known a beach like that. You have a selection of beautiful shells that truly are a souvenir, in the original sense of the word.
    Keep your battered shoes, too!
    May the rest of your journey back from the Camino be safe and uneventful, and may you sleep LONG on your flight back.

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  6. So many shells! Wow. That big pink one is beautiful, as are so many of the others.

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  7. Hey Betsey! Happy New Year! I was just re-reading your last couple of posts, and was impressed again with what an amazing trooper you are. You’ve been home now for over a month, and I wonder how your re-entry to “normal” life has been going.
    I am starting to consider walking sometime in the Spring, but, believe me, I have no aspirations to do more than a couple of consecutive weeks. I am very disappointed not to have been able to find any decent lodge-to-lodge hiking over 5 nights long on this continent. So we’ll see what I end up doing.
    Meanwhile, my 4th grandchild is now 3 and a half months old, and I’m busy with them all plus dancing. I hope to hear one of these days, that you are heading out to Portland! Any chance of that?
    M

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    • Megan!! I was seriously thinking about you today while I was at work. I realized that your number should work just as well in the states as it did in Europe, and I should text you! So happy to see you were thinking about me, too! I’ve just started a new job and I already have two trips planned, but I would love, love, love, love to do a walk with you sometime. I’m actually going back to France in April! But not a walk. Before I’d even known about the camino my friend and I were planning a trip to France to see the castle country, but we didn’t have a date, and the camino came up, so that happened. But the week after I got back my friend said we should set a date and go or we never would, so I’m going back in April! lol. Nuts. I think it’s a little too soon for me, but it will still be good. I’m sure it will make me miss the camino fiercely. But yes, I would absolutely love to come see you. My sister is out in Tacoma and if I went out there without seeing her she would be very upset, so the soonest I think I could do another long trip is the Fall. My new employer is very generous, but I don’t want to take advantage. I also need to post about my last day and then do a follow up “since I’ve been home” post, but I’m not sure when that will happen. I’m going to visit my other sister on Tuesday. I might be able to do it before I leave.

      I CANNOT believe it’s been 3 and a half months since Figeac? That’s amazing. It seems longer ago, and like it was yesterday, and like it never happened. Yes, I must make a post, but I also have a lot to get done before I go on my trip…

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  8. Beautiful shells! I’m finally caught up. Hope the bus went well the next day and all the travel back home to us. Glad you’re back!

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