We arrived in the town a bit later on Tuesday than we intended due to a bit of confusion with the GPS, which initially took us to another town called Finisterre that is two hours south of where we wanted to be. Apparently we were supposed to know to type in the Galacian name "Fisterra." Still, we got there eventually and had enough time to go to the beach once we finally located our accommodations. Really, all of the small setbacks enhanced the overall experience; I'm sure pilgrims hundreds of years ago also got turned around and confused at time. Thank goodness for kind locals who are willing to help with directions!
After spending some time on the beach and wandering about the small town itself, I was able to more fully understand why people are drawn there. Santiago is impressive, overwhelming, and indeed busy; the quiet here on the coast was a welcome relief. Most of the group arose early Wednesday morning to walk to a lookout point and watch the sun rise. We followed the Camino all the way through the village in the dark, along the water and down the old cobblestone streets. As we walked, the sun began to appear behind the wall of clouds in the east. Finally we sat in the grass on a high hill overlooking the sea.
The sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below, the chirping of a few early-rising birds, and the rustle of the wind in the grass made for an experience just as moving as being able to view the relics in the cathedral in Santiago. I could have spent quite a bit more time there simply reflecting and absorbing everything I'd seen and learned on the journey so far. The walk back through town was also pleasant and by the end I was refreshed and ready to continue on with the trip.