To the End of the Earth

Today my journey officially ended. After spending a rest day in a cat-like manner- laying in the sunshine in the various rooms of the house, reading a Camino-inspired novel written by the hostess at the retreat house in which I was staying- I gave a final push and trekked to my intended destination, Finisterra- “the end of the earth”. I’m glad I did. My journey feels complete. I have walked for 14 days, averaging 24.5km/day, for a total of 343km. I had only 2 blisters and some foot cramping, but otherwise I feel great physically. The Camino Portuguese was, for me, pretty much a solo trip. It was quite different from my first Camino which was more about fellowship and friendship- which was much more suited to my extroverted personality. However, this one was a very mindful journey- with time to appreciate the things often taken for granted- like toilet paper, toilet seats, warm showers, the luxury of a bath tub, bird songs, beautiful flowers, enchanted forests, ancient pathways, sunshine, the kindness of strangers, yellow arrows that marked the way, pilgrims you just met who greet you like family the next time you see them…
There are unseen mysteries along the way that make one wonder about the forces that draw us to certain places at a certain time. Just this evening, I had dinner with an older woman named Chris who I ate with on my first night on the Camino, met again when I arrived in Santiago and is now here at the same time and the same place at the end of my journey, though we have both taken different means and routes to get here. There was also a man at the guest house whom I had met for one night on my Camino two years ago. I still had a photo of him on my phone and was able to show it to him (he was wearing the same shirt coincidently!) Those who walk the Camino often feel drawn to return, but can’t always articulate the reasons why. Perhaps we are all searching for “God only knows”- beauty, love, connection, kindness? Or maybe as the sign at the “end of the earth” says, peace- that “peace may prevail upon the earth”. Thanks to those who have followed this blog for walking with me on this journey. I may still add a few reflections here and there- until next time the Camino draws me back- Ultreia and Buen Camino!

6 thoughts on “To the End of the Earth

  1. I have enjoyed following your journey. Safe flight home. It’s always bittersweet when the journey comes to an end. But I guess that’s why you return…the journey is never over.

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  2. Wow janette! I am so impressed with your accomplishments!! Loved the way you kept meeting people over and over again – to me that is God’s way of saying; “I am putting you in the path of certain people for a purpose; 1. to bless them in some way through you; 2. to show you that I am alive and well and see you, know you and love you with a passion!” It is my sense that He has been with you every step of the way, protecting, encouraging, guiding and filling you with the wonder of His creation! I bet you are returning a very different woman than when you left. One more step in your growth towards being ‘truly human!’ Love and blessings bob

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  3. Congratulations! Quite a journey. I followed your trek closely through your postings and I am inspired by your tenacity and ability to make such a journey solo. Best wishes (from Bruges at the moment). Enjoy Spain and have a safe journey home. I shall raise a Belgian beer to you today at your accomplishment.

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