Welcome on Willie on Camino to Santiago de Compostela

12 July - Melide to Santiago de Compostela, 75 km, total 2760 km

A dream came true today. After an emotional trip I reached the square in front off the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela this afternoon at 12.15. Upon arrival, everyone who has any way sympathized was in my mind, especially of course my wife Bernadette, Fleur and Mark and Donnie. Tomorrow I will continue in this spirit through burning a candle for everyone's intention in the Cathedral and by participation in the pelgrimsmis at 12 hours. This intention will also be for a safe continuation of the camino until arriving home in Geulle.


My name is Willie Bruls, born in 1949, just in the first half of the past century and now 62 years old. Since our marriage in 1972 my wife Bernadette and I live in our beautiful village Geulle in South-Limburg in The Netherlands. We have 2 sons, Mark who lives together with Fleur, and Donnie.

After 45 years working life at DSM Research in Geleen, this period came to an end on April 1 2012. Started in 1966 with an internal education in chemistry I have worked 19 years in producing polymers (i.e. plastics). This can be seen as cooking in the kitchen to mix ingredients to produce a tasty/suitable product. For me this meant developing recipes to couple small molecules together to get longer chains, polymers, with specific properties. In 1986 I moved to the polymer material development department. Now, the challenge was to develop applications together with customers on basis of DSM polymer materials. The result of these application developments was often the production of articles used daily by everyone. Examples are Lego bricks for children to play with, synthetic corks for wine bottles, roofing sheets, plastic bumpers for cars, bathroom accessories and many more. Herein, besides many customer contacts from Portugal to Finland and from Great-Britain to Czech, it was interesting to create appliances for own use, meaning fulfilling your own needs.

Symbol of the camino

On April 1st 2012, not an April 1 joke, I retired and said goodbye to my colleagues of the Material Science Center of DSM Ahead in Geleen, of DEXPlastomers V.O.F. in Heerlen and of the "Locatie Kunststoffen" in Geleen. Bernadette and I started a new phase in our lives in which we can enjoy more leisure time.