Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I looked, I couldn't see forever, but it wasn't a clear day at the lighthouse perched at the very tip of Cape of Finesterre. Walking along this rocky coast they call the 'Costa da Morte', the Coast of Death, with all of its mystical Celtic folklore was hardly the easiest of these daily promenades I've enjoyed over the last 80 days, but hardly the most difficult, either.

The rain came in sheets from the west and mixed with the upthrown oceanspray from the tall crashing waves below. At least it wasn't too cold. The filtered sunlight through the thick moving fog gave an impression of a grainy black and white photo to the scrubby vegetation on the crags, the churning sea below, the fast-moving clouds in every shade of grey. The setting begged the names 'Heathcliffe -- Cathy' to be despondently shouted into the howling wind. Only the screeching gulls were my companions on the trail.

Under the conditions of the moment, I dismissed the idea I had had to dive into the Atlantic when I reached the end of the land. I didn't even attempt to find a path down to the sea from the height of the lighthouse. A convenient café instead gave a more civilized perspective to watch the fierce waves, though the puddle that repeatedly formed under my draining jacket didn't do much to please the proprietress, who, frankly, had little else to do but mop it up periodically as I ate my fish soup.

My long winter walk has come to an end.

I started where Charlemagne had his 9th-century vision of Saint James beckoning for aid in the northwest corner of Spain. This dream set in motion a series of events that shaped Europe, and thus, the world, which continues to this day. And I've been part of it. How cool.


Amawalker said...

Well done Ann-e!!
And now, to cope with the PPBs - Post Pilgrimage Blues. You'll just have to plan another 'great trek' to keep you sane!
How about the Shikoku 88 Temple pilgrimage in Japan? Or the St Olav's pilgrimage in Norway? Or, better still, St Paul's Way in Turkey!!
abrazo peregrina,

mom said...

Congratulations. Love Mom

Compostelle 2008 said...

Hey Ann,

Thanks for the memories and congratulations! I enjoyed every virtual minute!

Michèle from Ottawa (Canada)