Hiked 22 miles to Olveiroa, Spain. It was foggy and dark when we left town. It was also a bit foggy inside since I missed my turnoff and hiked a few extra kilometers.
Met Jamie and Christine yesterday while hiking. They are from Owen Sound in Canada several hours north of Toronto. We were hiking together and Jamie mentioned he was from a strict Mennonite background. That, of course, got my attention. His Mennonite roots don’t reach too deep anymore, but our early church years were similar. My Mennonite roots are still intact as are my trunk, limbs, branches, and leaves. Oh, I suppose some leaves have fallen off.
Actually it would be more accurate to say my Mennonite tree has been pruned quite a bit. I suppose that’s good since pruning gives what remains a better chance of growing. I did find it ironic that two men from Mennonite backgrounds met on a very Catholic oriented trail.
Tomorrow another 20-mile-plus day and an arrival at the end of the earth at Finisterre. Years ago before Santiago became the end point of the Camino, Finisterre was considered not only the end of the trail but the edge of the earth. The Pilgrims would arrive there filthy and stinking and would burn their clothing and jump into the ocean to cleanse themselves. It was an outer and inner cleaning. A baptism of sorts.
Nowadays it’s sort of a tradition to do the same. You probably know how I like to follow traditions when I do these treks. I sure am attached emotionally to my North Face pants. It would pain me to burn those. Met a man in Santiago last week who had just returned from Finisterre. He had followed tradition and jumped into the ocean only to catch a bad cold. We shall see.
Today for 15 miles, the hike was a lot like walking through Amish Country back in Ohio. Lot of farms, cornfields, and cows.
The other day a hiker came into Santiago with a streamer floating behind him. I passed him today and he attempted to explain the reason for the streamer. Something about a falling star and a poet who hiked the Camino years ago. That may not be entirely accurate, but I don’t suppose it matters why one ties a streamer to his backpack.
The last few miles today were at a higher elevation and it reminded me of Dolly Sod in West Virginia.
Tomorrow the Camino officially ends, I think. There is still a 20-mile trail that leads to a town called Muxia. That’s where I plan to quit hiking.