Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oct. 8, 2010 - Finisterre

Decided to spend one more day here. Our hostess served breakfast. There were 7 of us. I had met everyone before at one point along the way (except Nadine the German girl who was my room mate). It was a lively discussion with everyone talking about where we all met. After breakfast they all left to buy their bus tickets.

I went looking for my walking stick which I left somewhere the day before. Ran into Teresa from Austria. Sat and had cafe con leche with her. She also was feeling sad. I am glad I ran into her one more time to say good bye. I keep thinking I have seen everyone in the last couple of days that made up my camino, but I still keep running into people. Even though I walked most of the way by myself, I have met so many people who made a huge impact on my journey.

Sat on a rock watching the waves for a while when all of a sudden I got a panicky feeling that I should go. Just before I got to the marina it started pouring rain. There was a bar close by so I went in and sat at the table just in front of the open doorway. There was a street market just outside the bar and they were scrambling to cover their tables and racks with plastic tarps. The rain came down so hard and fast there was an inch of water in the street. The wind blew over a rack of clothes. Felt bad for the marketeers. In spite of the plastic tarps, everything was soaked and they all packed up and left.

Had an excellent view of the huge waves crashing into the breaker in the harbour. Actually sat there for 6 hours watching the rain and the ocean. At times the ocean looked so rough and turbulent that even the locals just stood in the doorway and watched. It was scary and exciting at the same time. I thought how could something so soothing and peaceful be so dark and rough and angry and frightening. I think that life is like that at times as well.

Never did find my stick. At first I was really upset. I carried that stick everyday for 37 days. It helped me climb up and down the hills and mountains, countless stairs, it saved me from many falls, it was a leaning post when I needed a rest, support for walking when my ankles hurt, and sometimes a pole to hang my coat when I stopped for a break. It had become a third arm and it served me well. Funny how as long as I was walking the camino I didn't even think about it, it was just always there. Yesterday, three times I had to go back for it because I kept leaving it behind. Guess I no longer needed it so it was time to let it go. I really wanted to keep it as a souvenir, however now I think of what a hassle it would be to take home. Maybe this is another life lesson. So many times I hang on to things that weigh me down that I should have let go of a long time ago.

Sitting and watching the ocean was mesmerizing. The waves got higher and the water kept coming closer. Felt like I had front row seats to the best movie in town. An emergency patrol vehicle kept driving by. At one point 4 men in orange fluorescent  suits got out and put rope blocking walkways where it was no longer safe to walk (not that anyone was out walking).

After a couple of hours a van pulled right up to the doors. I was annoyed because it obstructed my perfect view. An elderly man got out of the drivers side. He was using crutches and had a hard time walking. It took him 5 minutes to walk the 10 feet into the bar. I thought he must be some kind of celebrity because everyone in the bar stopped talking. Several men (it was at this point that I realized there were only men in the bar) jumped up to help him or offer him their chair. But no where was good enough. He wanted to sit at my table. Everyone looked at me. I said of course he could sit there (or rather I pointed to the chair beside me because I could not understand them and they could not understand me). He ordered a drink and  bought me a glass of wine. He shook my hand, told me his name, I told him mine, and then we sat for the next hour in silence just starring at the ocean.

I wondered if he was a fisherman at one time. He had such a far away look in his eyes as he was looking out to the ocean. Everyone who came into the bar nodded or squeezed his shoulder. At one point he fell asleep in the chair. He woke up and apologized for falling asleep. I said that was ok.

Another hour went by. I saw Renata walk by. I waved and she came in, ordered a glass of wine and sat and starred at the ocean with us (she decided not to go to Mosia Mosia because of the bad weather). The waves were getting higher and coming closer. If someone stood in front of us, the fisherman (I call him that because I did not understand what his name was) would say something and they immediately moved out of the way. The water had come so close the ground had become covered with crab like looking bugs that jumped. They started coming into the bar. The bar tender dumped soapy water in front of the door so they wouldn't come in, but the rain washed the soapy water away and they kept coming. Everyone was standing around looking at them and trying to catch them. Renata and I sat with our feet on the chair rungs just watching. The fisherman said something to one of the guys. The guy caught one of the bugs, brought it over and put it on our table so Renata and I could get a close-up look. The only thing I understood the fisherman say was "this was not normal". I had already gathered that.

Shortly after, the van came back to pick up the fisherman. Everyone in the bar stood up when he got up. Renata said "I think this was a special event". I thought so too.

I no longer felt lost and sad, but am feeling calm and peaceful and am now ready to say that my camino is finished even though I think it will take a long time to process the last 5 weeks.


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  2. Congratulations!

    Your Camino may be done, but you'll always be a pilgrim.

    Buen Camino!