Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The End (Of The World (As We Know It))

3:45 PM, August 10, Near the City of Cee, On the Fisterra-Santiago Bus, Seat 27

Today, Day 32, was my final day in Spain. And where better to visit on your final day than the end of the earth?

Dan and I took a bus to Finis Terrae and walked 3 kilometers (I know, even when you take a bus, you still need to walk kilometers…a pilgrim’s journey never seems to end). We arrived at the lighthouse where we took pictures and looked out over the Atlantic. No point in the continent of Europe is farther West than this point.

We then found out from a worker in the lighthouse that although there were big painted signs on rocks that said “No Fires!” we could find a place where there is little vegetation among the rocks and light a few pieces of our clothing on fire. This is a tradition that goes back to the original pilgrimages to Finis Terrae; since pilgrims were just forgiven for all of their sins in Santiago, they then went to Finis Terrae to burn their clothing and jump into the Atlantic. When they came out of the water, their new life would begin, free of sin and on a holy path. Today, we symbolized this by burning pieces of our clothing (I burned my bad socks that were one of the more glaring causes of my blisters) and then washing our hands in the water. I threw the source of my pain in the fire and watched it burn, seeing the flames eliminate the past and clearing a way to the future.

Perhaps this is the end of the world as I know it, as I start my life anew, fresh and pure. And, indeed, this was the end of the world, as far as the Romans knew. And, true, this is the end of my time in Spain. However, it doesn’t end here. I luckily have one more day of flights (from Santiago to Madrid to Dallas to Chicago) to collect my final thoughts and have one last look at this past month on the Road. More to come soon.


  1. Since you are starting anew, welcome back methinks!

  2. I hope you found everything you were looking for! I hope this great sense of renewal helps keep you going once you've returned to your regular life. Regardless, congratulations on an amazing journey, and welcome back.