About this Site

Welcome to Walk Pura Vida—a site dedicated to the simple pleasure and 'pura vida' of the walk. The purpose of this site is manifold. 

  • Provide inspiration, encouragement, and experience to other would-be walkers — and some idea of what to expect on the trail.
  • Document and share my adventures, and allow family and friends to follow along on my journey — so they know I'm still alive and haven't gotten lost!
  • Introduce and say thank you to all the amazing people I meet on my walks that help me on my way.
  • And to say thank you. Your comments and encouraging messages are what keep me going on those long days when I'm tired and sore. So thank you!

About Me

It seems that I've been walking all my life, but not with this much passion. Like normal Austrian babies, I first crawled in my native Vienna. Even after coming to America at the age of ten, walking seemed second nature. I'd walk to all of my schools—never caught a bus, even when it was farther than a mile. College was different. My Vespa was a godsend for commuting to UC Berkeley in the 60s as well as parking on the campus. Every trip was an outing, a small adventure that kickstarted each day.

Then came a 20-year military career where walking turned into jogging, probably at the moment of entering jump school at Fort Benning, Georgia. And so it was how crawling led to walking that led to jogging. During my Army career, I served in Germany, Viet Nam, Belgium, and many places in the US. After the Army, I worked another 17 years at various aerospace companies, ending up with Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, CA. I kept up jogging nearly to the end of my working career.

My three grown daughters saw me re-marry in 1991. An instant growth in the family resulted in four daughters and a son. Ten years later, I retired to Ventura, CA, a veritable paradise for walkers—the weather, the scenery, and its sheer friendliness. I completed my first Camino de Santiago in 2004, but didn't really understand "pura vida" until spending 7 weeks with my lovely wife, Rose, in Costa Rica in 2005. We both saw the ticos (as Costa Ricans are called) enjoy life to the fullest. "Pura vida" is their catch-all phrase for "plenty of life," "this is living," "going great!" and "awesome!" —all what walking mean to me today. Three more "Caminos" followed, but in between in 2012 a reality for what was a twinkle of a dream twenty-five years ago: my 800-mile throughwalk of all 21 California missions.

After four Caminos and the California Mission Walk, another dream became reality: to experience how pilgrims might have managed longer distances, for example from Eastern Europe on the Via Regia or pilgrimages to Rome. In 2015 it was a short hike along the Via Regia from the Polish border via Leipzig to Eisenach (226 mi.), and in 2016 a much longer version of it that started on the Poland-Ukraine border. The longer version was over 2,000 miles--what an experience. Most recently in 2018, I walked from Innsbruck, Austria to Padua, Italy, connected to Florence by train, and walked on to Rome (via the Assisi Way)--551 miles of walking. In 2019, I customized a 180-mile walk along the coast in Croatia coupled with the 300-mile Camino Sanabrés from Salamanca to Santiago. In 2020, COVID made its ugly appearance that shelved plans until 2022. The next Camino, a Hungarian Camino, in April/May 2022 took me from Budapest to Bratislava, a relatively short, but adventuresome 170 miles.

It's become my passion. I walk to recharge the spirit and to be one with the earth. It doesn't get any better than that—pura vida.