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Follow here my journey and stories around the World. 


Day 1: St. Jean Pied de Port - Roncesvalles - Part 2

Ivan Blanco

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Please refer to the Part 1 to read the full story

Vicente and I up in Croix Thibaut

Vicente is probably the most amazing person I've ever met, if I was half as strong as him, I would be Superman! Vicente suffers from the rare condition spastic paraplegia, which causes a progressive stiffness and contraction of the lower limbs which might him have to use a wheelchair someday in the future.

Vicente leaving Roncesvalles

That was why he also decided to do the Camino, it is for him a now or never game. He actually was walking 15 km uphill from St. Jean Pied de Port since 7 am and when I got to him it was already 7 pm. The sun had only one hour more to shine and seeing him walking like this I just had to ask if he needed help. He actually was so tired and his legs hurt so much that he simply couldn't go further, we then decided to call a cab with my phones that didn't have any signal up there and his without battery; the nearest village was like 5 km away. Fortunately enough, he had an external battery charger and his phone which had signal was able to call. Getting a number from the auberge where I stayed allowed us to call a taxi coming from Valcarlos, which came like 45 min afterwards... we were really up high! So while we were waiting it almost got as dark as night; I had to go with him in the taxi. Andoni, the taxi driver, left us around 10 pm in Roncesvalles where we could have our well deserved rest. This truly was one unique encounter that I will never forget, both Vicente and me we probably saved our lives up there or at least we avoided to spend one really really cold night. 

Vicente's will power, strength, energy and braveness are truly inspiring and I couldn't get more moved by his story. If you wish to help out, you may reach either the American or the Spanish association that fights this genetic condition.

¡Gracias Vicente y buen Camino!