May 4. Day 38. 20.6 km. Departed 0607 hours, arrived 1155 hours.
We decided to have a very early start to catch the sunrise. Not surprisingly, we came across several others starting that early. Torch lights/headlamps are needed.
The walk went through some forested areas early on. And then along paved roads and through villages and residential estates.
That’s how dark it was at 0616 hours as we reached the forested trail. The spot of light ahead was by other peregrinos who walked without any hesitation.
About 5 hours later, we lingered at Monte de Gozo (Mount of Joy). There was a fenced up monument as well as views of the city. We could spot the Cathedral towers.
Monte de Gozo (Mount of Joy).
As it was our last day on the Camino, personal contemplation was a priority.
We were able to make it in time for the 12pm Mass at the Iglesia de San Francisco. And confessional services too.
Facade of Iglesia San Francisco. Standing room at the back and sides of Church during the 12pm Mass.
We meet Roberto after Mass. He had arrived a day earlier and recounted his crossing paths with the same group of 76 high school kids that we came across yesterday. They were exhibiting their youthful exuberance. Roberto was on the point of fatigue as his backpack hip belt had broken at the start of his Camino in Lugo, and he had hip issues. But that exuberance motivated him to continue to be in front of this school group. He later thanked the teachers as he was initially annoyed. Strange how things worked out.
We backtracked out of the historic center to have lunch with Roberto at a pulperia that locals patronize. Great racions and riberio (wine).
After which we walked back to the Cathedral, sat in the courtyard, and visited with St James/ Santiago inside.
Us with our friends, Josephine and Richard.
A panoramic view of the Cathedral from courtyard.
There were a lot of emotions. We saw tears, hugging, shouts of recognition, taking off boots/shoes, peregrinos lying flat on their backs.
Reaching Santiago is a triumph of will power over the physical, mental and emotional challenges. But the transformation (metamorphosis) had only just begun.
Most, if not all, in the Camino forums and groups agree the Camino continues when one goes back to one’s life. Many also wonder how to retain their Camino-self.
Me thinks there are several challenges post-Camino.
1. One’s mind begins to fill up with everything that one emptied during the Camino.
2. One begins to revert to past reactions, perceptions, behaviors, etc. as these lie just under the surface.
3. One neglects to spend time alone or in contemplation.
I found that putting a ‘big and long pause’ between the triggering event and my normal reaction, helps me maintain that inner peace. And sufficient time for me to prioritize what I desire as an outcome. When words quickly fly out of my mouth, the odds are high that I will regret some words used. Keeping and nurturing the vision of my Purer Version requires discipline and spiritual assistance.
There’s more to process from this Camino. Let me close this post with some pictures from Finisterra and Muxia.
0.000km milestone marker in Finisterra. May 5.
Cabo Tourinan, Muxia. May 5.
Sunset at Cabo Tourinan.
Short video clip.