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Hello from the end of the world!

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Hi, everybody!

We are currently in Finisterre, aka Fisterra, aka the end of the world. It´s a beautiful small city with all kinds of history. You know, the kind of history that makes America seem, like, maybe 5 years old.

We´ve been really enjoying the Camino thus far. I will come back another time to walk the entire route. But for now, our mini-Camino has been perfect. We left Santiago on the 26th of May, and here we are in Finisterre on the 1st of June.  We´ll take two or three days to get to Muxia (moo-she-ah) which will be the end for us. In fact, both Finisterre and Muxia are considered ending points, and the towns have a rivalry going over which is the real Camino end. So, we´ll just go to both!

Finisterre has been a pilgrimage site for millenia, and there are still places intact here where people went to honor various elements of nature, mostly the sol. Some ancient rituals have recently been revived, including the burning of something personal at the end of one´s pilgrimage. Last night I hiked to the far end of Cabo Fisterra with some fellow pilgrims (peregrinos) to watch the sun go down from the westernmost point in this region (the end of the world, remember?) and I helped a few with their fires. Some burned their hat, gloves, written sentiments, but mostly they burned their smelly socks. Which I wholeheartedly supported. After a month or two, socks can really start to reek (some of them were stiff!)   Yikes.

Anyway, after the burning of the putrid socks, we watched the sun go down over the horizon. Or did we? We don´t really know because a big, fat cloud bank rolled in and completely obscured our view of the sun and the horizon. So, we just watched the clouds get darker. And talked and laughed. And drank wine. And ate granola bars. Some of these folks had stepped out their front doors (literally) two or three months ago and had been walking ever since to get to this place. I was deeply moved, and humbled, by every single person there, and the beautiful, pure emotion they were sharing.

I had been worried that we would be judged for being short-term pilgrims, you know, like weenie peregrinos. But everyone was totally open and accepting and welcoming. Every single person we´ve met on the Camino has been absolutely beautiful.

Three days ago, Hamsa and I met two fellas along the way, and one of them had his pack with him. A pack of dogs, that is. Brut, Jacko, Pusa, and Roch. They´ve been walking for 9 weeks now, all the way from Barcelona.  We instantly fell in love with all of them, dog and human. So, we´ve been walking with them ever since! Oh, yeah – the humans have names, to: Isacio and Cristabol. We love them both. They are so kind and helpful, and I am really grateful to have traveled with them for a little bit.

When we walk, we talk, and it´s funny because I speak English and no Español but a wee bit of Français, Isacio speaks Español and no English but a little Français, Cristabol speaks Español and no Français but a little English! So, we speak this funky amalgam of the three languages, with lots of gesturing thrown in, and repeating things, trying again, ¨no comprende¨ try again, gesture some more, oh, oh, ¨si comprende¨ and success! It takes an hour to have a five minute conversation, but its okay, because we enjoy every mispronounced word of it!

When a pilgrim reaches Finisterre, they are given a Compostela – a gorgeous certificate to commemorate their journey. And because the dogs had made the journey, too, they were given their own Compostela! I´ll post a picture when I have more time. The ¨ciber-cafe¨is about to close, so I have to go soon.

Hamsa and I will stay here for a couple of days until our blisters look a little less like something from a B-grade zombie flick. Until then, we´ll limp around town, visiting sacred sites and watching seagulls.

We love you all!

we are here

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

We have arrived in spain at like 10 pm, we are out of the airport with our bags and we catch a bus to Plaza Catalunya where our bus (the S1) is to our hostel but guess what… we can´t find it anywhere!!! Everyone we ask does not know where it is and we ask a information desk but he just points and says go that way……. we try to find where he pointed but NOTHING DUN DUN DUUUUUUN… we then see a train station [subway station] we go down into it and ask someone at the information desk but guess what she knows like 2 words of english but she points us in another direction…. we go where she pointed and NOTHING, we go back up out of the station and then go back to information again, he then points us in a different direction and we find a station (yay!) but hey as we go down i notice out of the corner of my eye another station that says S1/S2 which was the train we needed… we thought it was a bus but it was indeed a train so we get on it and go to the exit we needed but guess what…… we can´t find the sign that leads us to the hostel and we almost go the wrong way but then finally we see it and walk 10 minutes up a steep hill while jet-lagged with like 2 hours of sleep because the plane was hell [will explain later] and we have to lug like 70 pounds between us and we trudge up the hill as slow as slugs, but we finally make it to the hostel, we get ready for bed and then we go to sleep =]

this is mondays post a day late because we were to tired to write this -HAMSA WROTE THIS and when i write a post a hamsa will be at the end [so original]