Florian is walking the Camino the way we all wish we could. So far he has walked the furthest of anyone I have met on the road. He walked out of his front door on Lake Constance, Germany – he has been walking for a month and covers approximately 35 – 40km a day.

His secret is that he is carrying a tent and is not tied down to finding a place to sleep like the rest of each night. He takes it slow, has a long break in the middle of the day, then walks to about 9 or 10 at night, at which point he just pitches his tent on the nearest mound of soft grass and beds down for the night. He is about 22, just finished his training as a medic as has 5 months break before returning to study.

We met up trying to find our way out of Conques in the early hours before anyone else is up. The best part of the day, walking in the cool morning when everyone else is just getting up.

The next time I see him I am relaxing outside a café, drink in hand and have finished walking for the day. We swap Kindle stories, debate whether to take el Norte vs Camino Frances in Spain (less people, cooler but longer more strenuous days), exchange tips on reducing weight to be carried (an endless topic of conversation with anyone actually carrying their own packs – there are plenty who aren’t!) and then he heads off again for another few hours walking to Figeac.

Unlikely we will meet again.