Some people do walk back to Santiago from Finisterre, or by way of Muxia where I had already been. I felt fortunate to have had the time to walk out to the sea, but needed to bus back to Santiago to fly home on Thursday.
I had a leisurely morning, with some breakfast and coffee with an ocean view, then wandered around Finisterre to see a little more than I did yesterday because it wasn’t raining this morning, just cloudy. I kicked myself a little because I should have looked up how far it was to walk up the the lighthouse; I could have possibly done that this morning but it was 3.3 km each way and by the time I realized that I really didn’t have time to walk there and back without making it very rushed and not enjoyable.
I’ll take my coffee with a view of the sea today, please! This isn’t the best photo, but from where I was sitting I could see the bay with fishing boats.
I remembered the quote about making mental pathways to create change; if I don’t want to operate on such a rushed schedule and with a high level of expectation to fit more in, then I need to practice that when I have the opportunity. So I had to forgo seeing the lighthouse and instead meander through town and then walk up the coast a short distance.
I walked up the coast a short distance before catching the bus back to Santiago. This is looking back down at part of Finisterre. The path following theh coastline climbs a bit as you walk toward the lighthouse.
There are regular buses from Finisterre, Muxia, and Santiago every day. As I was boarding the 11:45
bus, my Australian friend Anita who I had originally met at breakfast at the lovely Parador (hotel) about 3 weeks back in Santo Domingo. We had spontaneously seen each other twice since then, and now getting on the bus! It is common to continue to run into people with whom you’ve walked or stayed, because you’re usually on a similar timeframe. But due to fatigue, Anita had been doing some bussing days and I had been doing some long-walk days, so I was surprised we continued to run into each other. It was very nice, though; I enjoy talking to her and it was fun to recap parts of our trips on the bus ride home.
The route home was all along the coast, which was beautiful and fun to get to see the ocean the whole time, and some of the coastal towns that I had not walked through. It was a very curvy highway and though I though I don’t usually get car sick, I really started to feel crummy. By the time we arrived at the Santiago bus station about 3 hours later, I was very ready to get off!
There were about 10 blocks to walk back into the heart of the historic part by the Cathedral and where I had a reservation at a hostal. It was not an Albergue or a hotel, somewhere in between. I wanted my own room so I could pack, leave my stuff around, and get up fairly early the next day to catch the bus without bothering other people.
I got online to check in to my flight, and wasn’t able to. Long story short, I had somehow been cancelled off the first two flights that I had thought I had confirmed more than a month ago. This is difficult news to receive the night before one is planning on flying home!
I’ve had such a wonderful trip, but I am ready to come back. For the last week, I have intentionally been mentally and emotionally preparing to come back. So I felt tossed upside down when I thought I might not get to fly home the next day. It really changed how I was going to do things, and I’m such a planner that this challenged my ability to be flexible. Another day in Spain sounds fun, right? But I didn’t know if I could enjoy it by touring around, or if Id have to be tied to the phone and waiting on the airlines to re-book me. Ahh, what to do?
I did take a few deep breaths and remind myself that I have been learning and practicing flexibility, peace, and being ok with not being in control and getting to plan everything for the past 4 weeks. When the rubber meets the road, it’s still hard. But I do have some skills to draw from so it was time to do that.
I did what I could on the phone which was about 4 hours worth – not the way I wanted to spend my last evening in Santiago!, and then had to let it go. I never did get a call back with a new flight, so I did not go to the airport the next day (Thurs) as I had planned. I figured I would be more comfortable staying put in the hostal and getting on the phone to try and get another flight. Finally I was re-booked for a 1:35pm
flight that day (Thurs), which was great. The biggest draw-back was that leaving later impacted my connecting flights, so now I’d have to land in Miami at 9:45pm on Thursday
and stay overnight there in a hotel. My final flight home to Denver wouldn’t be till Friday afternoon.
This overturned my plan to return to work on Friday. I was counting on doing a few things that I feel are important responsibilities of mine, as the Director, to do on the last business day of the month. I had already had to give them over to someone else for September, and of course that went fine. I just felt like I should show up and get back to work when I had said I would, 31 days later. I already felt like taking 31 days off of work is…gluttonous! It’s unfortunate that America work-culture does often look at time off this way, and that I have fallen into that as well. I was reminded of the comment a man named Kristian made to me on my 2nd day of the Camino about how he’s observed Americans “rushing” through their vacations to try and see/do as much as possible because they don’t have much time.
Again, I breathed deeply and LET IT GO. I sent some messages to my co-workers and supervisor, and of course I let Lucas and my parents know that I’d be home a day later. I had to release this and not take on the burden of not being able to get back to work on the day I had planned. In a little bit of retrospect (I write this a day later), I believe it was worked out for me in my best interest, despite myself. My job would likely have felt very hectic and overwhelming to me on Friday, and I think I had planned to try to accomplish too much on my first day back. So God said, WAIT. And I had to. But I do think I responded a little better than I would have a month ago. I think so. And awareness is part of it. Taking the step is the next part. Making the mental pathway is the constant journey.
Thank you for reading and partaking in my journey. I don’t know who you all are, but I have felt and heard about family, friends, and co-workers all reading and enjoying my blogs and photos. I have felt your support and love, I truly have. This was a really big undertaking for me – to travel solo, internationally, and for a whole month. It was a bit scary at first. It turned out to be one of the biggest blessings and gifts I have ever received and I didn’t expect to get so very, very much out of it. My prayer and personal work now is to keep making those mental pathways and to remind myself daily that everyone is on their own journey, their own camino (remember, it translates to mean “the way”) all the time. Paths intersect, personalities sometimes inspire and sometimes they clash, but we’re all on this road of life together and need to be patient and kind. We need to do our best every day, and sometimes it’s not very much that is required or that we can do. Other times we will be called to step up in a way that really challenges us or that can make a big impact on someone else’s experience.
Buen Camino to you.
And remember “Bean Camino” when you need a smile! (*See Blogpost for Day 16, Oct 14th for that story!)
Walking near the bay in Finisterre on my last morning before leaving by bus. The streets are wet from the rain last night and a little early this morning.
A photo of the Santiago train station; I never took a train while I was here. We just made a stop here on the bus I took back from Finisterre.
It was rainy the whole time I was back in Santiago before flying out. I was so thankful to have had the 2 sunny days I had there last week. This photo shows two workers in orange suits way up on one of the Cathedral balconies doing some of the repair work on the stone. I learned about the 30-million-euro project that is going on right now to clean and repair the entire Cathedral. The almost-constant rainy and humid weather here wreaks havoc on the building materials over the years.
Looking out the window at the rain, while at the airport in Santiago. Sad to be done with this amazing journey, but also glad to be headed home to Boulder where I am thankful for the people, landscape, and work that I have there.
Used some of my last euros to buy and enjoy a final cup of Spanish coffee in the airport. There are no Starbucks around here, and I didn’t miss them at all. I will miss the rich espresso and steamed whole milk the way that the Spaniards serve their cafe con leche.