Via Francigena

From Rome to Finisterre covering 2,700 km at the age of 70

Joaquin Balibrea, pilgrim by profession. “Chimo” is from the Spanish city of Murcia, and in July 2022 he completed an itinerary of almost 3,000 km that took him from Rome to Finisterre in four months, at an average of 22 km per day. And this was certainly not his first walk: ‘Chimo’ has walked a dozen routes or so, of around 1,000 km each, to reach the same destination over the years: the Tomb of Santiago in the famous cathedral that attracts millions of pilgrims every year. This time, intersecting stretches of the Via Francigena between the Alps and the Via Aurelia with the Spanish Way, Chimo went further to reach Finisterre, believed to be the end of the world in ancient times.

I started walking 20 years ago out of curiosity and now I can say that I spend more time walking than at home!” he said in a recent interview published in a local magazine. A way of exploring the world, which has become his life: “it’s a much cheaper trip than the plane or the car, depending only on your feet and allowing you to challenge your fears“.

Travelling by foot, as the story of Chimo teaches us, is not just an activity for experienced hikers, but a possibility for anyone wishing to explore the world with their own eyes (and feet). The All Trails app, as a partner of EAVF, was created with the very aim of helping walking “professionals” and novices not to get lost both in the preparation and during the route, providing downloadable maps and information as well as the possibility of joining a community of outdoor activity lovers who share their experiences with tips, photos and travel stories.

The staff of, with which the EAVF association works to promote cultural heritage along the main European routes, contacted him for an exclusive interview, which you can read here.

May Chimo’s story be an inspiration to all those who would like to embark on a walk but don’t know where to start: good physical preparation, a light but complete backpack (here are our tips) and… all that’s left is to put one foot in front of the other and set off!

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