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Day 35: Hiking My Camino de Santiago

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

August 23, 2018 - Part I


Day 35 finally came and is now over. When I started planning my Camino, I thought I could walk from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela in 31 days and an additional four days to walk to Muxia and Finisterre. But to be safe I built five days into my schedule just in case I wanted to take a day off or if I needed to take a day to allow blisters to heal and aches and pains to diminish.

I am thankful I never had to use my free days for those reasons. I escaped significant blisters and aches and pains. I am surprised that my mind and was not screaming at me one single day. This has truly been a great experience. If anyone is contemplating this in the future, I would be glad to talk.


I saw the image you see in this photo on today’s 21.11 mile walk from Muxia to Finisterre. Buen Camino is a term pilgrims tell each other and a term many locals tell to pilgrims when they walk by. It means “Walk well, happy trails.”


However, when I saw this it really hit me that today was my last day of purposeful walking on the Camino. It seemed that the Camino’s message to me was “Good-bye, Gordon. Thanks for embracing the spirit of the Camino. Thanks for listening to my messages to you. Walk well as you continue your Camino elsewhere.”


I knew today was the last day of walking but this made it real. It is over, but it continues. I am going to miss the Camino, miss the people who have been important to me during these 35 days, and miss learning about people on the Camino. I am beyond grateful that I had the opportunity to complete this walk on the Camino de Santiago.


Today may have been my longest day on the Camino in terms of time. I got up at my usual time but rather than start walking, I walked to the lighthouse at Muxia to wait for the sunrise and write yesterday’s post. Unfortunately, the sky was cloudy so there was no sunrise. Therefore, I started walking at 8:00 AM.


Outside of Muxia I connected with Marcos from Germany. He quit his job as a software developer and started training as a physical therapist. He is taking a big pay cut, but likes making an impact in the lives of people because he saw how it helped him. Marcos grew up in a religious family; his father is a pastor. He says he fell away from God as an adult and has sensed God’s hand during his Camino. He shared some instances when he felt God’s hand. It was cool to hear them.


We split after a break. I met Philipp and Basil for lunch. They were walking from Finisterre to Muxia. Muxía is there turnaround point. It was a long break for lunch but it was worth it since I won’t see them again. I miss them already.


I eventually made it to Finisterre, took a shower, hand washed my clothes, and met Astrid, Denise, and Angela for dinner. We then went to watch the sunset but it had become too overcast. So we came back and shared some wine as we sat on some rocks. We will connect to say good-bye tomorrow.


By the way, I choose to make Finisterre my turnaround point because the Romans called this area “finis terrae” which means “the end of the earth.” To me it made sense to stop walking here and to let the Camino experience continue to impact me in the months and years ahead.


August 23, 2018 - Part II


Thank you to everyone who has been following and supporting me on this incredible experience. I also want you to know that it is not over. It is not over because I will post a photo daily with some commentary while I am in Spain. And most likely, there will be additional posts when I get back home.

I will be spending tomorrow (8/24) in Finisterre and will take a bus to Santiago the next day where I am going to reward myself with a stay in a very nice hotel. Normally, I don’t care for expensive hotels since I typically say I just want a bed. But after walking for 35 days and staying in places with no amenities and normally hot rooms, I am ready for a more relaxing experience as I decompress and reflect. I take the train to Madrid on August 29th and fly back on the 30th. I will stop by the office after I reach Dulles International Airport but will not even look at my desk or email until I return after Labor Day.


The photo in this post is part of yesterday’s trail. When I left Muxia yesterday a local Spanish man stopped me. It was clear he was trying to be helpful but I spoke no Spanish and he spoke no English. However, I am pretty sure he was telling me there were two routes to Finisterre—a more direct one or the scenic one that followed the coast. He was advising me to go right and take the scenic path.


I knew there was a coastal path. As much as I wanted to take the coastal path, I wasn’t interested in multiplying the distance to Finisterre by a factor of 1.5 to 2 times. I shook his hand and thanked him for his advice.


Lastly, I will most likely do an ASK GORDON episode in the next 24 hours so post any questions you have to the previous video.


To Advance to the next post, click here.

See additional photos from August 23rd below:

Brief descriptions of the photos:

  1. This is a view from the trail.

  2. These are some stones that formed part of a wall I walked by. Buen Camino is a term pilgrims tell each other and a term many locals tell to pilgrims when they walk by. If you don’t know the meaning, it means “Walk well, happy trails.” Seeing it today may have created my saddest moment on the trail. I knew that this day was the last day of purposeful walking, and I was already missing it. To me, Buen Camino carried a secondary message today. I felt the Camino was saying to me “Good-bye, Gordon. Thanks for embracing the spirit of the Camino. Walk well as you continue your Camino elsewhere.” I miss the Camino and miss the experience. It was the greatest experience of my life.

  3. These are some stones that formed part of a wall I walked by. Buen Camino is a term pilgrims tell each other and a term many locals tell to pilgrims when they walk by. If you don’t know the meaning, it means “Walk well, happy trails.” Seeing it today may have created my saddest moment on the trail. I knew that this day was the last day of purposeful walking, and I was already missing it. To me, Buen Camino carried a secondary message today. I felt the Camino was saying to me “Good-bye, Gordon. Thanks for embracing the spirit of the Camino. Walk well as you continue your Camino elsewhere.” I miss the Camino and miss the experience. It was the greatest experience of my life.

  4. This is part of the trail I walked.

  5. This is part of the trail I walked.

  6. This is a view of from the trail.

  7. This was my first view of the ocean even though I am still over eight miles from Finisterre.

  8. This is another view of the ocean from a different angle than the previous photo.

  9. This is another view of the ocean ten minutes later from the previous photo.

  10. This is part of the trail I walked.

  11. This is a view of the Harbor at Finisterre.

  12. This is a view of the Harbor at Finisterre.

  13. This is a view of the Harbor at Finisterre.

  14. This is the lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula at Finisterre.

  15. This is the certificate I received from the Pilgrim's Office in Finisterre.

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