Those Darn Rocks!

100km from Santiago

100km from Santiago

Guided By the Spirit

June 23, 2014

This morning we prayed to find an Albergue to stay at. We understand that on this part of the Camino, beds are at a premium. People are reserving via the phone. We font have a phone. Come to find out ( and this is how we were able to get our two beds that night in Sarria when they were full) people are reserving beds at the private places, then when they come to town they go to see if the municipal ( less expensive) has openings. If they do, then they cancel their reservations at the private one. Sometimes the people call to cancel, or as in our case, they didn’t and the owner called them and found out they weren’t coming that night.
This can and will make it difficult for us.

We walked through the most beautiful scenery ever. This is the place I could live at. The stone homes with slate roofs are large farms with green pastures and gardens that are encased with rock walls that have moss and clovers and wild flowers growing out of them. We saw plenty of slate roofs covered with clover and moss.
When you see pictures of European countrysides, this is the place you see in the magazines. We walk through hamlets, not villages. The livestock smell permeates the air. Cows have deposited major explosions all along the trail/road. You can’t call them ” cow pies” as these cows are not making pies. More like “poop spray.”

The number of pilgrims has greatly increased. The attitude is about one self. People walking with cell phones pressed against their head having loud conversations. The smell of perfume and cologne about knocks me over as hikers rush past me. Loud groups of people. Families walking together. Youth organizations traveling in herds. Just not the same.

We reached our one destination only to find out that the place was filled. We walked to the next place, and that too was booked up. All by 10 am. People had reserved the rooms in advance. The one place we stopped at just opened last week. Very new. Super clean. The owners have done the Camino and decided to open a place. They opened the bar/ cafe last year and this year they have completed one room with 6 beds (primo bunk beds each one with their own charger station), showers, bathroom and a great gathering place outside. Casa Do Rego is the name of the place just before Mercadoiro. But, the owner called ahead for us to another Albergue and was able to get us reserved.
We were disappointed with not being able to stay at either of the two previous sites, but Abby said, “there is probably a reason why we weren’t able to stay there. Never know.”

As we were walking a very rocky dark part of the trail due to the over- hanging trees, we found out why we were meant to walk on. A man was laying in the middle of the trail with several people around him. I moved past to assess the situation. Abby stopped right in the thick of the group. People were talking in Spanish, German, Italian and French. I picked out some words. Looked at the man to see if he was having a stroke, heart attack…then I saw his arm. Broken at the wrist. Should have been compound the way it was broken, but no skin was broken. Just a very nasty break (he had tripped over a rock and his arm fell onto another rock when he went down). Well people were on the phone to the emergency number and it became apparent that he was going to have to walk out. People were in a frenzy. They didn’t know what to do at that point. Abby took control of the situation and told the people to wait. I broke a tree limb off, gave Abby the stick. She showed people that she needed something to wrap around his arm with. Someone found gauze/ Ace type bandage. Abby wrapped the stick to his arm. I was going to give him Ibprofine for the swelling, but he indicated that he had a heart problem and was taking meds for it. A woman, gave him her scarf and Abby and a Spainsh woman created a sling to keep it elevated and mobilize the arm. Then Abby picked up his pack and along with hers, walked with him. The Spanish couple kept beside him and the four of them went down the trail.

The ambulance took almost an hour to come. We all made it to the one and only Albergue ( the one that Abby and I had been able to reserve a room at). The medics were impressed with Abby’s skills. The French man was extremely grateful. The little international group all felt good with the outcome.

Our a First Aid training was finally able to be put into practice. Lesson learned, keep those First Aid skills fresh. Be prepared. And don’t be afraid to step in and take charge of the situation.

We will continue to allow the Spirit to guide us.



4 thoughts on “Those Darn Rocks!

  1. SM Monroe

    As I said on another site – Now Abigail, the American girl with the hair – will become a Camino Legend . I’m sure the man will think of her as a saint. If you could get benefits, it might be great to become a travel writer Shawna.

  2. Mormon Soprano

    It’s such an awesome story! Now I have to add “refresh first aid training” to my growing list of things to do to prepare!

  3. Kristina Wilkening

    You both were so calm and collect! Excellent job taking good care the man that needed your help!


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