The Last Day

The night before, we had decided to leave O’Pedrouzo very early. We wanted to make sure we would have enough time to get our completion documents and go to the cathedral for the noon mass. At 5:15 AM we left our the last pensión, B&B Arca. Manuel, our host, had put together a small bag of food for our trek as we would be missing breakfast at the inn. The kindness of our hosts throughout our journey has been beyond our expectations.

Walking in the woods so early in the morning was eerie. At one point, I started to question our decision. My fear of the dark began to make me anxious, so I focused on something I’d heard many times over the course of our journey, “The Camino provides what you need.” And did it ever! Unexpectedly, there was a flag of Puerto Rico on one of the markers on the way. At that moment, a feeling of calm washed over me. That flag helped me realize that my grandparents and parents were with me, protecting and guiding me as they always did in life. Everything was going to be okay.

The darkness was consuming but there was still space to see beauty in the woods.
This flag means so much to me. It’s my reminder of my roots and the strength that’s in me.

We walked in darkness, and fog, with our headlamps for just under 3 hours. As we were approaching Monte de Gozo, it hit me that we had started this journey in fog and here we were ending it in fog. The difference between the two was that on our first day, we had no idea what we would face in the Camino. Now at the end, we did not question but instead had faith. Faith that the Camino would get us to our final destination.

There are no guarantees in life. Therefore, enjoy the moment you are in now.

As we were making our way to Praza de Obradoiro, where the cathedral is located, our anticipation was growing. We were teased at one point when the church towers peeked out from the top of some buildings, but soon they disappeared. It felt like an eternity before we started walking the cobblestone streets of el casco antiguo. The same streets that would take us to the cathedral.

The cobblestone streets are art to me. I love them!

We were just about to get to the church when we saw our peregrina friend Yzaura. She had arrived the day before so she already knew the lay of the land. We hugged, so happy to see each other. She had been expecting us she said and just like that became our guide to the church and the Peregrino office. She waited for us to get our documents as well. Her generosity warmed my heart. At that moment we knew we had to see each other for dinner later in the day. Saying goodbye at such a climactic moment was just not possible,

Across from the Peregrino office is a store with her name, except they misspelled it. 😂

After we got our documents, we quickly made our way to church as we did not want to miss the noon mass. It was standing room only! Not only were there many Peregrinos attending but there were just as many locals attending as it was a national holiday. We wound up sitting on the church steps inside as there were no empty pews available.

This was about 20 minutes before the service began. Shortly thereafter, there were people standing in front of us 3 rows deep.

Mass at the cathedral was beautiful. The botafumeiro, incense cauldron, was a glorious moment to witness. Everything about this day was more than I could have ever imagined. I was humbled. The day went on with continued joy and awe over what we had just accomplished.

It takes 8 tiraboleiros (people who pull on the rope) to propel the botafumeiro in a sideways motion. It is suspended from a height of 20 meters (65 feet) and can reach speeds of up to 68 KM/hour (42 MPH). The current pulley system was installed in 1604.

Then this morning on the tour bus to Finisterre and Muxia it finally hit me. I started to cry. I turned to Jim and said, “It’s really over.” His response was, “I know.” I never suspected I would fall in love with the Camino but that is exactly what has happened. I fell in love with the places we visited, our Peregrino family, the hosts of the places we’ve stayed at, and with the beauty of this land. I fell in love with this journey and do not want it to end. But my friend Joyce Densmore Thomas wrote to me on FB these wise words, “The end is just an opportunity for a new beginning.” You’re so right Joycee!

10 responses to “The Last Day”

  1. Love you, Kathy. Your last post on the Camino has me crying. What am incredible emotional experience even without my boots on the ground. Thank you SO much for taking me along with you. 😍😘🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love you too Joycee!❤️❤️

      Like

  2. Maria McCullough Avatar
    Maria McCullough

    Yes! I love Joyce’s words to you, so many guiding signs along the way. Seeing the flag of Puerto Rico made me cry. You are truly on your own spiritual journey.. and how wonderful that you’re sharing it with
    Jim. You two are blessed. This is only the beginning! Hugs next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Maria! Hugs to you and continue enjoying your beautiful trip. ❤️

      Like

  3. Cande Pérez Barreto Avatar
    Cande Pérez Barreto

    Gracias por compartir tu experiencia con tanta emoción y detalle. Me has hecho revivir todos esos momentos que pasé en el Camino. Un abrazo y espero que nos reencontremos pronto.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me encantaría una reunión cuando regrese. Un fuerte abrazo!🥰❤️

      Like

  4. I’m so move to that deep emotional place that I have no words….simply amazing. Thank you for bringing me along. xoxoxoCherisse

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love you my friend!❤️

      Like

  5. Nancy Harrington Avatar
    Nancy Harrington

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I can only imagine what this experience was like for you two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still processing it all. ❤️

      Like

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