In 2019, after 3.300 km (around 2.000 miles) of walking, I arrived in Santiago de Compostela and finished my camino from Austria to Spain. I fell in love with the simple lifestyle and was looking forward to walk all the different routes in Spain and Portugal throughout my lifetime.
Unfortunately, last summer I was diagnosed with CRD. Cone-rod dystrophy is a group of inherited eye disorders that affect the light sensitive cells of the retina called the cones and rods. People with this condition experience vision loss over time as the cones and rods deteriorate. Its caused by genetic changes in one of the 35 genes identified so far that primarily affects the normal function of cone photoreceptor cells in the retina.
Nobody can tell me reliable how bad and how fast my vision will deteriorate. This uncertainty is the worst part, but at the same time it pushes me more than ever to be active and to use my God given time here on earth. So I decided to walk my seven favorite routes this year from back-to-back. In total, around 3.800 km or 2360 miles.
No doubt, I’ll walk this long way for myself. Cheapy, my loyal companion - a small guitar I bought in Santiago to help out a friend - will come with me. But, besides sharing my songs with fellow pilgrims, I will also try to raise awareness for this unknown disease Cone-rod dystrophy.