During our adventure in Sierra de Gredos, part of the Sistema Central, the 500km long cluster of mountain ranges in Central Spain, we interviewed Raúl, the guard at the shelter in Laguna Grande de Gredos and a wonderful person. Thank you, Raúl, your kind words reached our hearts!
Here you will find the transcript of the interview. Don’t miss it!
JAVI: Hello, friends! Here we are with Raúl, the guard at the Laguna Grande de Gredos shelter. We are going to do a little interview with him to learn about his thoughts and experience, everything! So, Raúl, tell us about yourself. What is your experience in mountaineering? Is there anything you would highlight?
RAÚL: Well, I got to this place three years ago through a friend. And well, we spent the season up here, mostly taking care of the shelter, carrying out the typical chores in the shelter. And well, we spent long days here with a group of work colleagues, we live like a family and we really enjoy it here! I have always loved the mountain, since I was young, but anyway, I have not done big mountaineering challenges, I only practice it to enjoy it, to meet up with friends and that stuff.
JAVI: As the guard at the shelter, what are your thoughts about impairments? Have you seen many people with disabilities around here?
RAÚL: Well, actually not too many people have the courage and the strength that Javier shows, that he has been showing us since yesterday. When I met him yesterday, I thought that what he is doing is so amazing. The truth is that unfortunately not too many disabled people come here to practice mountaineering. Also, Gredos is a difficult, very difficult mountain for a person like him, who is blind and deaf, because only reaching the shelter is already complicated due to the access, the paths and the rocks, it gets complicated. When I heard that they were climbing the Almanzor peak, well, it was really… well, very satisfying to know that there are so many people with such courage, like Javier has in this case. It is true that two or three blind people came a few years ago. They came with their directional tools. And last year, and also two years ago, a guy from Talavera, who had only one leg, also climbed it with the help of a guide and his friends. His dream was to reach this place, the shelter, and he has made it twice in two years. Last year he left saying that he would not do it again as it was really hard for him, but of course we are expecting him this year, we would love to see him around here again.
JAVI: And regarding blind and deaf people, did you know anything about them? Did you know that there are people out there who can’t see or hear properly? What are your thoughts on this?
RAÚL: Well, I did know that there were blind and deaf people, but I honestly can’t imagine what it is to walk in your shoes, Javier. I can see that it must be really hard, but seeing you, getting to know you and spending time talking to you, I can see that you are made of something else, you are definitely so much stronger than the people who can see, who can hear. And I really… I really am speechless! Sharing these moments with you is being so incredible.
JAVI: Now that we know each other a little better, that we have told you about our project in which I, a blind and deaf person, want to touch the sky, what are your thoughts about it? What do you think?
RAÚL: Well, from here, in my opinion, I think what you are doing is absolutely amazing. I wish you all the best. If I or we can help you with anything, from the shelter, you can count on us. If I can do it, and also if the Laguna Grande shelter can do it, likewise, you have all our support and our courage! Because I am sure that with the spirit and the great attitude you are showing us, you will get to touch the sky, you will get to reach the bottom of the ocean or you will get to fly whenever you want, of course you will!
JAVI: And finally, do you think that this project could be important for other people? If so, why do you think so?
RAÚL: I am totally certain that this project will be very important for other people. You will surely bring hope to other people who suffer from the same impairments; you will give them motivation to do what they really want to do. Because if you have the courage and the will to put in the effort, you will totally achieve what you want. And yes, I believe it is really important for people to see that being blind and deaf doesn’t stop you from achieving your challenges, your objectives and from moving forward the way you are doing it.
JAVI: Thank you so much, Raúl!
RAÚL: Thank you!
JAVI: It is nice to meet people who would like to help and support this project. We really appreciate it!