Wearing dark glasses, black snow gear, hot pink gloves and bright blue snowshoes, Begonia stands at the front of a group of snowshoers walking a trail on the side of a snowy mountain.

My name is Begoña Manterola and I’m from San Sebastian in the Basque Country of North Spain.

I used to work as a hairdresser. When I was 35, doctors told me I had Retinitis Pigmentosa – but it wasn’t until I was 50 that I had to stop working because I was becoming completely blind. Since then, I have focused my life on reinforcing my personal growth. I do theatre, yoga, Pilates and hiking.

Recently, I decided to tackle a new adventure – snowshoeing.  

On this trip, we snowshoed for almost five hours and covered a distance of 7 kilometres around the Larra-Belagua Nordic ski area in the Navarre Pyrenees. We were listening to our paths and the indications of our great guides Alfonso and Javi from Basquelands Way. They were fantastic – using their sensibility to guide us in such a free way.

I have to say that never in my life had I imagined I could do snowshoeing by myself. Walking by myself, going uphill, inside the forest, amidst a blizzard – what a powerful connection with nature!

I was feeling really strong while doing it. I was comfortable, I was confident and I want to repeat it. This was the best experience I’ve ever had in the mountains!

In the photo above, I’m 70 years old, and really happy with the experience we just had – surrounded by snow. You can view more pictures of our adventure here.

Now that I’ve tried it, I know that it is wonderful. Incredible! People around me say that they see more brightness in my eyes since I’ve returned from this snowshoeing experience.

Basquelands Way is an inclusive travel agency that works closely with visually impaired people in the northern territory of Spain. BlindNewWorld recently featured a story from another of the company’s adventurous clients, Julia Junquera, who hiked the French Pyrenees. To learn more, visit basquelandsway.com.

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