Backpacking Teacher

Travel, teaching and things in between. Saigon is the focus for now.

I went to the end of the world today and burned my clothes

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I went to the end of the world today and burned my clothes. My Camino closed as my clothes burned and flames flicked into the air while in front of me I saw nought but ocean. While Santiago de Compostela is the end of the Camino many pilgrims in the past continued to the end of the world, as it was known then. Here, at Finesterre, they would collect a shell, symbol of the peregrino, to show they had been to the end of the world. I’m not sure where the clothes burning comes from but it is a tradition to do so.


I had arrived at Finesterre with a few fellow peregrinos. As we drove out of Santiago I would occasionally catch glimpses of yellow arrows or shells and my body would lurch as my feet and mind willed me to walk. The speeding car scared me a little and it felt a travesty to be travelling so quickly through such beautiful countryside. When we arrived in Finesterre we proceeded to the waymarker and the lighthouse that mark the end of the world. There we symbolically burned some items we had brought with us. I burned my silk sleeping sack brought from Vietnam that symbolized my travels to a different place every night, I also burned my socks as a symbol of the pain I’d had to endure from my blisters to get to the end of my Camino. It was as I watched the flames flicker that I finally felt my Camino coming to an end and, as the last flames finally died, I said a fond farewell to a fantastic, deeply felt experience.


Ps. My last two days in Santiago were bittersweet as I finally said goodbye to many friends I’d made along the way. On the last days just hours before my flight I met up again with my Lithuanian friend. It was great to see her again and my Camino would have felt slightly empty if I hadn’t had the chance to say goodbye to her. We had travelled much of the Camino together and shared many similar experiences. Once again, the Camino delivered when I needed. Even though it was finished.

— Posted from my phone

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Written by backpackingteacher

August 4, 2009 at 2:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. These last 2 post seem like a nice relaxing and fitting way to end your long journey across Spain.

    Rita

    Rita

    August 4, 2009 at 8:43 am


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