Pablo and Julia are a couple of 69 and 67 years old, respectively, belonging to the large Cuban community of Miami, and who this summer preferred to leave aside the white sand beaches and the glamor from this famous city in the southeast of the state of Florida and, instead, start walking towards Santiago.
Their route began in Saint Jean Pied de Port, in France, on July 17, to arrive on Thursday morning in the capital of Compostela, where they attended the famous Pilgrim’s Mass. All in all, although it was Julia’s first experience, in Pablo’s case this is already her third time in Compostela.
“My husband did his first Camino in 2017, and then the second in 2019. He kept telling me about it and I really loved the idea,” says Julia.
Asked how they would evaluate their pilgrimage, they lack words to describe the intensity and sensations of a trip that they could not have enjoyed more, and that they will never forget. Julia was captivated by everything they discovered throughout their stages. “It was amazing, I can’t find words. The landscapes, the fauna, the flora… Astorga, for example, I liked it a lot”.
Julia points out how the feeling of discovering all these places, completing the stages and taking those long walks was her driving force to want to keep going. Although she, above all, she points out that her greatest motivation came from within her and from her faith. “I never thought that I was capable of doing such a Path, I did not prepare myself, but God is so great and so powerful that He gave me the strength to achieve it”, she affirms. Indeed, they emphasize that her adventure was not easy, but that, above all, without a doubt, the effort is worth it.
In fact, if one thing is clear to them, it is that they will repeat the experience as soon as possible. Perhaps next year and through some other route. “If God wants, surely yes. Perhaps we will do the Camino Primitivo”, says Julia convinced, who also points out that the fame of the Camino now reaches all corners of the world and, of course, also the United States. “He was already very well known but, in addition, a very good movie was released a few years ago, The way, that was about the Way, so many more people came to know him for that”.
The film, which was released in 2010, stars Martin Sheen, an American actor of Galician descent. Even, things of destiny, the stories of Sheen and Julia have an important point in common: their Galician roots, and that is that Julia’s mother was born here.
In fact, she points out, this trip also represents a kind of reunion between her and her roots.
Now, although tired from a pilgrimage of more than a month, they plan to extend their adventure and continue discovering Galicia. “We will continue to Fisterra. We will also go to Muxía and Ourense, where my mother was born”, says Julia, who, unfortunately, suffered a small fall on the streets of Compostela on Thursday afternoon. Luckily, everything was a scare and, above all, it could not tarnish, far from it, what they experienced on this special trip for them.