You can read the blog post about that trek here.
Here he answers questions I put to him about this uncommon, but pleasurable activity.
Q. What made you start walking barefoot?.
Q. When did you start to walk barefoot?
A. Touch and contact have always been a great pleasure for me.
Q. How did you feel at first?
A. It has always been an enjoyment.
Q. What problems did you initially have to face?
A. Life is beautiful danger. Everything you dare to do, or not do has its danger, the fears are many, but the pleasure is unique, fear is always there, but the pleasure is in the present moment. Cultivate your fears or enjoy life.
Q. What was your preparation before doing it for the first time?
A. Taking advantage of adequate places to walk such as on fallen leaves, grass, clay and humid soil.
Q. How long was it before you could walk barefoot for the whole day?
A. I started with half an hour and increased the time as I practiced, to gain texture and strength in my feet. It was so pleasurable that each time I did it for longer periods.
Q. What are the dangers of walking barefoot?
A. The dangers are endless, we are vulnerable beings, things can always happen to us, but I believe that one is always in the correct place, at the correct time, and in the correct circumstances to receive what life has for you. The only accident I have had was when my uncle, who is a guide with a walking club, suggested I put my shoes on during a walk because there were many thorns along the path, I followed his recommendation and two minutes later I slipped over the roots of a tree and was injured for two months.
Q. What are the benefits?
A. The benefits are the feelings, the relaxation one feels, being aware and conscious of the path, being a friend of nature. When one walks barefoot, nature protects you; I don’t use sun block or any protection. Someone said my feet were prayed for, are blessed.
Q. What is the reaction of people usually, when they discover a hiker walking barefoot?
A. Most people associate walking barefoot with penitence, or sacrifice, when I walked the Santiago de Compostela path in northern Spain, people asked me what my penitence was, to which I replied, just enjoyment and being happy.
Q. Have you suffered any injury whilst walking barefoot?
A. Since my feet are blessed, no, just small scratches, an injury to a muscle in my leg and once in the, Cauca Canyon, (Cañon del Cauca), in Colombia, a snake almost bit my leg.
Q. Do you feel different when you walk barefoot?
A. Completely. Sometimes in different states of consciousness, and more so when I am walking alone or in the rain.
Q. What are you recommendations for people who would like to walk barefoot?
A. Initially take off your shoes and walk on the grass, fallen leaves or favourable soils to develop the pleasure for walking barefoot, and to develop the determination to keep going.
Q. Can you think of situations when you wouldn’t like to walk barefoot, or when it is not recommendable?
A. On paved roads, very dry or very hot surfaces, and muddy bridle paths where the mixture of urine and manure favours the growth of fungus and bacteria.
Q. Do you know other hikers who walk barefoot?
A. Some time ago the footwear industry and others that spread fear took away that possibility. Some people try it but they abandon the idea at the first difficulty or hurdle.
I would like to thank Orlando for taking the time to answer these questions and for sharing his experiences of hiking barefoot.
Why don't you try it, and share your thoughts and experiences here under the comments section of this blog.
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