Jose Antonio Garcia has become known as ‘The Pilgrim’ in his native country of Spain, after spending the last 11 years of his life walking over 100,000 kilometers to various pilgrimage sites on all continents except Oceania. This year, his amazing journey has finally come to an end.
Born in Puerto de Santa María, in the Spanish province of Cadiz, Jose Antonio Garcia spent most of his life on water, working as a sailor. He wasn’t the most religious person, but after going through a near-death experience, he decided to dedicate his life to an epic pilgrimage to as many holy sites as he could walk to. In 1999, the fishing boat Jose was working on capsized off the coast of Norway, and he was the only survivor out of a crew of 17. He spent hours in the freezing water clinging to the bodies of two fellow sailors, and it was then that he turned to religion, vowing to the Virgen del Carmel, the patron of sailors, that he would walk to all of the world’s holy shrines, if she saved his life.