He remembers the first time he heard about the Camino: it was on television, Luc Arbogast sang a song he liked a lot, then they interviewed him and said it was a medieval song on the Camino de Santiago. He also remembers that shortly after that, at Christmas time, he saw a television broadcast on Compostela and then he no longer hesitated: he thought he had to investigate and learn about the Camino de Santiago.
A year later, while in Les Cévennes, he met two pilgrims. He asked them about their experience and they said: “You have to do the Camino to understand it”. It was the year 2015 and in the month of August he did the French Way from Burgos to Ponferrada, being able the following year to complete the stages between Ponferrada, Santiago-Finisterre. That second year, in 2016, he already suffered from respiratory problems and had to do the Camino with backpacks of oxygen, just like this year, in which he has traveled with a cart in which he carries the oxygen.
His respiratory problems do not prevent him from living a normal life, he continues to practice sports. He goes out walking every weekend and cycles every day. So on the Camino he does not suffer any pain in his joints or muscles, but he suffers breathing problems and it is terrible for him. He is expecting to undergo an operation, maybe this year, but this does not stop him leading the life he wants and he does not fear going on the Camino.
This year he traveled the Portuguese Way from Porto and his experience was different. When he traveled the French Way he lived his experience more as a retreat, he was more closed in on himself, he did not want to talk to anyone. However, this year he felt much more open and spoke with all the people he has met, people from all over, every day he ate with different people. It really has been fun, he really liked finding people from all countries and conditions.
He is Catholic, he comes from a Catholic family, and he believes that this has been a factor in his decision to do the Camino, every year he needs a little time to retire from the world and approach religion and that is possible on the Camino. Also this year, despite his openness to the others in the meals and the hostels, when he walked he did it alone, he greeted the others but he maintained a certain reserve, he needed that time of solitude.
He loves the Camino because for him it is a spiritual experience, he can walk in Belgium but the experience has nothing to do, the Camino is a different experience, that is why every year he wants to return, he just returns and arrives home and thinks about returning.
He prefers to do the Camino alone. Once he did it in a group and the experience did not like it, it’s difficult, you can not choose your rhythm, your desire. As for his health problems, he is willing to suffer if necessary, there are people who want an easy experience, but he accepts whatever is necessary. For example, when he arrived in Ponte de Lima he found that they were at parties, the city was full, there were no beds, they saw that he had health problems and they tried to find a place for him but it was impossible. He just loaded his oxygen and slept in the porch of a chapel, he did not feel bad, he saw the sunset and the dawn in front of him, where he chose to sleep there were apple trees, it was beautiful. Do not protest Finally it was beautiful.
The rest of the days had no problems, he could always find places to sleep without having booked before, yes, it always arrives early: if you arrive early, he says, there are never any problems.
His Way is not over yet, today he is in Santiago but tomorrow he continues to Fisterra. Will walk 4 more days. Of course, the arrival in Santiago has been very important, when he arrives he cries a lot, he cries excitedly. The arrival in Fisterra is different, everything is more relaxed, respect tradition, bathe, swim, burn something symbolic and watch the sunset.
His youngest son is 11 years old, he has brought him to Santiago to visit the cathedral and he wants to come and walk with him. That would be his dream: to walk with his children.