My contact with the Camino de Santiago was quite accidental. One day while surfing the internet, I came across a video that spoke of that wonderful journey and I was immediately struck by it. I had no doubt that, at some point, life would take me to that place. From that moment on, I began to devour as much information as possible. I saw movies and documentaries, I bought books, I read blogs, etc., etc.
After about two years of preparation, in mid-May of 2018 I quit my job, where I had already worked for 12 years, to embark on this journey. I would have loved my wife to accompany me, but she told me it was a trip I needed to make alone. So on May 23 I took a plane to Europe carrying with me only the 6 kilos of luggage that I carried in my backpack. The memory of that May 24, the day on which I arrived at Saint Jean Pied de Port still remains fresh in my mind.
After a day of rest, with all the energy and excitement of the world on the one hand, and the uncertainty on the other, on May 26 I started with my walk. That first day through the Pyrenees was very difficult, because I was surprised by a chilling electrical storm just at kilometer 13 of the route. Fortunately, after 7 hours, and although drenched and very tired, I managed to get to Roncesvalles. It would be the first of many wonderful days.
It was 33 days and just over 800 kilometers in which I filled with experiences, many learning experiences, and met incredible people with whom I established friendships that, continue on to this and I hope will last for many years more.
It has been, without a doubt, one of the best trips of my life. It made such an impression on me that, on returning, I decided to leave a record of everything that I lived through in those magical places and I wrote a book with the chronicle of my walk on the Camino de Santiago. This is how “Footprints: A path that leads to Santiago” emerged, and with which I hope to reach many people to motivate them to make that incredible pilgrimage.
Without a doubt, I hope that this was not my first and last Way. I have the desire and, to some extent, the need to return to travel another route. I would love to do the Portuguese Way from Lisbon and the Northern Way along the coast.
I firmly believe that every person who at some point in their life experiences the Way leaves it marked forever. It is a watershed; it opens your eyes and your mind to a new way of seeing life. I wish many people had the opportunity to embark on an adventure like that.