Adrian Gavira walks Way of Saint James

Lausanne, Switzerland, October 20, 2017 - Spanish player Adrian Gavira and partner Pablo Herrera are one of the most experienced teams on the international beach volleyball circuit. Quarterfinalists at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna, Austria in 2017, the two players are taking some time out before returning to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour early next year. In an interview with, Gavira speaks about walking the Way of Saint James and his plans for the future.

Hi Adrian, how does it feel to have finished the famous Way of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela?
Adrian Gavira: I am just very happy. It has been quite challenging due to the small number of days we had to walk the “Caminito Inglés” from Ferrol to Santiago. We walked about 112 kilometres in 52 hours, which is a bit unusual as the majority of people who walk to Santiago have got more time to enjoy the walk and to discover the villages on the way. But we wanted to combine a touristic walk with a physical challenge.

What was your best moment on the Way of Saint James?
Gavira: I experienced so many beautiful moments, therefore it is quite difficult to name just one. I walked together with one of my best childhood friends and we had so much fun. For example, we slept on mats in a gym as there was no space in one of the hostels. On the other hand, I also remember the relief I felt when we saw the top of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral from far away as we knew that the goal we wanted to achieve was close.

And what do your feet feel like after such a long walk?
Gavira: No doubt that has been the worst. Initially we wanted to finish the 112km hike in around three and a half days, but as my friend did not get time off from work, we had to cover the distance in less time. It took me two days to recover even if I did not have any problems with blisters or grazes. My friend struggled more as he had a few blisters after the first day.

Adrian Gavira walking towards Santiago de Compostela

What was your motivation for walking the Way of Saint James?

Gavira: Everybody who has walked one of the many ways to Santiago has told me how breathtakingly beautiful it is. When I visited A Coruña, I asked my friend if we would like to try it too. I would not call it a childhood dream, but it was something I have had on my bucket list for a long time. And the Way of Saint James stood up to its reputation. I can recommend it to everyone who wants to discover this beautiful part of Spain – but maybe with more time than we had to enjoy it more calmly.

And what was arriving in Santiago like? Did you have time to celebrate with your friends?
Gavira: The walk to Santiago was tough and I was thinking about arriving the whole time on the final day. Since my friend had to cover the last 16 kilometres to Santiago by bus due to an injury, I had to walk alone. But when he joined me in Santiago, it was just an amazing feeling.

Upon arrival in Santiago de Compostela

Would you recommend the Way of Saint James to other players as preparation for the season?

Gavira: In my opinion, it was a perfect way to stay in shape. I have been working out a lot over the last few weeks; I went jogging and to the gym regularly, and practised other kinds of sports too. I think the Way of Saint James fit in perfectly with my preseason preparations. I just want to stay active because I am a person who cannot stand being inactive.

What do you think about your performance last season?
Gavira: We are one of the most experienced teams on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, perhaps even the one with the most seasons together. But we are still hungry for success. It becomes more difficult every season as we are not the strongest block team, which has become very important in beach volleyball in recent years. That is why I am proud that we can defend our spot amongst the top teams on the World Tour. Last season, we qualified for the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals and were close to a medal at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna.

What was the highlight of your season?
Gavira: One of the best moments of the season was the very last rally of our victory over Pedro Solberg and Guto Carvalhães at the World Championships in Vienna. I remember how I threw myself into the sand and started to celebrate. My mother was so nervous during the game that she shed tears of joy at the end of it. She knew the game was crucial to secure financial support from the Spanish government for 2018. My mother is an exceptional woman and very dear to me. When she hugged me after the match, it was a very emotional moment.

Adrian Gavira (right) and Pablo Herrera celebrate with Spanish fans at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna, Austria

How are preparations going for the new season? Where are beach volleyball fans going to see you next?

Gavira: At the moment, Pablo is in Castellón to enjoy time with his wife and daughter after a long season. I will be in Cádiz and would like to travel to Rome and Marrakesh and organise a motorhome trip to the south of France with my girlfriend. Of course, Pablo and I must maintain our fitness in order to be physically ready for the season ahead. Then, in January, we will start with training sessions in Tenerife before returning to the World Tour.


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