Tag Archives: sick

Walking and Walking and…More Walking

Silly girls

Silly girls

Just Keep on Walking

June 30, 2014

We thought we would walk about 4 miles today. I woke up very rested. I slept through the whole night and didn’t wake until 7 am. We are usually out the door by this time. Guess my body had another idea. I blame it on having a shot of the Irishman’s golden elixir. Worked better and tasted a lot smoother than the nasty NyQuil. Abby is still teasing me about having shots with the Irish.

Poor Abby. She spent the night in the bathroom with the porcelain throne goddess. Not quite as bad as what I had, but anytime you have to spend with a gassy, turbulent stomach that will not allow you to leave is not fun at all.

So we got up this morning not sure as to how far we would make it. Our legs, knee joints, hip joints were protesting. My stomach and back muscles hurt from all the heaving. Neither of us could think of food, let alone stand the smell of food wafting through the air. We just kept drinking…water, Aquarius…no more shots.

And we kept walking and walking. Slowly. But we saw friends we had met over the time we have been on the Camino. They would stop us to say hi, catch up with what has gone on and then they too, would walk ahead. It is never, “Good- bye” here on the trail, it is a ” See ya later Alligator” way.

We came to the one little place to stay, and it looked ratty. We decided to press on. Half- way to the next place, our bodies decided that they had, had enough. Tummy rumbling. Hips hurting. Feet growing tired. We were done. But we had to go on. No choice. As we walked by a bar, a group of women on the opposite side of the street at another bar saw us. A couple of them jumped up and took our picture. In fact one woman video taped us! Who were they and why were we singled out to be photographed? No idea.

We finally made it to Santa Irena or is it Ileana?. If we were in better condition we could have gone just 3Km more to the large town, but Abby was done. We stopped at the Xuntra (a government ran hostel with the basics- washer/dryer, hot shower, bunkbeds, a kitchen with no pots or pans) for 6€ each.

When we headed out this morning our goal was to walk 4 miles. We walked 17Km. Quite a distance. Way more than 4 miles. So we will rest up. Go to the bar next door for dinner (scrambled eggs and toast…if we can figure out how to say it in Spanish). Tomorrow, July 1, we will walk to the outskirts of Santiago and on July 2, we will descend to the end of the line.

Pictures are of us laying in our double bunkbed. I am hating bunkbeds. Can’t sit up straight. Waiting for the top one to collapse on us due to the two people above us doing things…ya…no manners here.

 

Hit Me With a Your Best Shot

 

Sick as a dog

Sick as a dog

Humbling Experience

June 29, 2014

Sick…just awful sick. I have had horrible stomach, lower right back pain for 4 hours. I have been throwing up for 3 hours. What I haven’t been able to purge from my one end, it is going out the other end.

It is early Sunday morning. I am two days away from Santiago. Right now, my eye is focused on the destination at hand. And here I sit, at 2 am in the toilet stall, on the floor, with my face pressed against the cold tile on the wall. The restroom smells of mold due to lack of ventilation. I am listening to the snoring coming from the sleeping room and faint Spanish music wafting up through the walls. Weird. Bizarre.

This does suck. No way to put it in nice friendly humorous terms. It is all part of the adventure/journey. I don’t like this part. This is the way we started our Camino. Abby was sick. And here we are, just shy from completing it, and I am sick.

I’m sure people in the dorm are just thrilled to hear the echoes of my sickness, just as much as me. I am embarrassed by the sounds coming from my body. I would apologize to the other pilgrims as they get up in 3 hours, but I do not speak French. Yes, all the beds on this level are filled with French people. I spent 10€ for a bed on the bathroom floor. That should be a headline for a commercial.

I am hoping to walk…oh…who am I kidding? I can’t walk today. Let me rephrase that statement. I am hoping that this Albergue will allow me to stay another night in order to regain my physical strength to be able to move on.

Abby will have to play nurse and negotiate for our extra day. All I can muster up is a Linda Blair look, complete with spewing from the pie hole. Ah…my humor is returning. Perhaps the worse has passed?

2:30 pm. I am beginning to feel semi-normal. Not 100% there yet, but getting things together. The thought of eating doesn’t send me running to the bathroom to heave.

Abby was able to convey to the owner that I was sick and made arrangements for us to stay another night. The owner (?) came to clean the room and look in on me. She told me to sleep and stay in bed and not to come out of the room. And they kept checking in on me throughout the day to make sure I was sleeping and not dead or dancing.

This morning, a Polish man staying here heard me in the bathroom (who didn’t?) and said that he was a doctor. He went through his medicine bag and loaded me up with drugs ( anti diarrhea- which I threw up) and electrolyte drink mixes. He also checked my stomach out to see if I had appendicitis or any problems with my kidney. He sat on my bed to examine me. I told him that he had good bedside manners.

Then this afternoon, an Irish family checked in. They could hear the sounds coming from the bathroom and expressed sympathy and set about right then and there to fix me up. Phillip- the dad- poured me a shot of Spanish alcohol ( really…he has a shot glass) and in spite of my saying no to it, insisted that this would cure me. “Kills all the bugs inside your tummy.” He said. I drank it. Whew! It was strong for me as I don’t drink alcohol, but it was sweet too. “It is made with herbs,” he informed me. When he comes to Spain, he buys a case of it before leaving back to Ireland as it cures all that ails you.
And then he too went through his med bag to find me some Alka- Seltzer. Afterwards, he read me a poem he wrote about the 9-11 First Responders. He is a very talented writer.

The Camino does provide. Even on a Sunday with all the markets shut down. Abby walked all over town looking for an opened one to buy herself food and me some mineral water. I’m making do with cans of Aquarius ( a type of sparkle water/soda) that she obtained from a vending machine.

And that is that. Sleep. Rest. Let others help take care of me. I can’t do any more than just turn myself over to others.

6 pm. I took a walk up to the end of the street. I look like a zombie. But I am going to walk a few miles tomorrow and rest. Just keep plodding along.

 

 

Sleep..kinda..Between a Rock and a Hard Spot

Abby the airport sleeper

Abby the airport sleeper

May 30, 2014

“Money Can’t Buy You Love…but it can buy you a warm bed”

To update, plane leaving LAX was delayed by 4 hrs. They ended up replacing the original plane we were supposed to go out on due to some mechanical part that they were unable to fix. Due to this delay, our connecting flight to Bilbao was bumped to a different time and thus we found ourselves in Bilbao airport at 11:00 pm or 23:00.

We had made arrangements to stay with a couple who were hosting us via Couchsurfing network, BUT, it was sooo late, and they hadn’t received our original message sent from LAX and the wifi at the Madrid airport only allows you 15 min free AND when those 15 min are up and you are traveling within the same day to another airport in Spain, the wifi system is connected all the way around the country and therefore you can’t access the wifi for 24 hrs.

Basically, we had no way of getting in touch with our hosts. Though the nice woman at the information center kept calling them, but there phone was busy ( turns out they were trying to find us a hostel to stay in).

So we have a choice, ride the bus to Bilbao where we no nothing and it is raining and it is the last bus as it quits at 12 am OR stay at the airport for the night. Ahhh, yes, there was an option of taking a chance to stay at a hotel, but we didn’t know if they had rooms and the cost was like 60€. That is a lot of money!

We opted to stay in the car rental hallway. One long concrete walkway, connecting the parking lot to the airport with a glass ceiling. And the benches are of the industrial style…metal…with hard plastic cushions. But, it was FREE and even though the rain pounded away on the ceiling, we were safe and warm. The car rental lady had to stay way late too due to airplanes being delayed and she had to remain until the last reservation showed up. So she was nice enough to plug in my IPad to charge. Yeah Hertz!

Apparently, we were not the only ones stranded, as around 2 am about 20 people straggled in to occupy the benches. We kinda slept. We had a bathroom. We had our sleep sacks and what else could we have wanted?

We left the comfy benches at 5:30 am and went up to the main airport to seek some information. Well…long story short, we took the bus into the city ( free wifi on the bus) and pulled up the Couchsurfing people and discovered their messages. We called them at 7:20 am, but making a call from a pay phone to a cell phone costs a whole lot and I ran out of coins to feed the phone. We thought we would take a bus out to their place, drop off the English teaching games I brought for her to use in her class and hope that they would let us crawl into bed. But no…the bus never showed up to take us. It is raining BIG TIME and we have yet to buy our ponchos. We are frustrated. Abby is puking. Yes…on top of all the adventure, her body has decided it has had enough.

And so…we sit. At the bus terminal. Watching people come and go. And no art museum tours. No meeting Couchsurfer people. We booked our tickets to Bayonne on the bus and from there we will catch a train or bus to SJPP where we hope to crash for two days before climbing the Pyrenees.

So we sit. From 7 am- 1 pm. Watching the world go by. Money can’t buy me love, but it has bought us a coke and some good Spanish kinda sandwiches, even though Abby puked hers up.

Stay tune…we are having a fun time. Really.