Our evening dinner was not too far from our meger lodgings last night. (Talking about merger, have I mentioned how the basic necessities were barely provided at some of our Albergues?) Prior heading for dinner some of our group had attended a sing-along with the singing nuns, then taken a mass.
Eventually when we all sat down together for the Pilgrim meal we were 14 people in total. At our section of the table were Nick, Kate, Pete, Susan. Dinner was a multiple choice for first, second, and desert course. I had the pasta for my 1st and beef for my second. Some say we are becoming accustomed to the Peligrino menu….or the food is getting better. The meal is a reasonable success for 11 euros and we retire to the monastery for an early night. We have a reasonably hefty walk tomorrow.
Just around 2am it becomes obvious something is wrong. Bene had just gone to the bathroom down the hall and returned to the room when she bolted out of the room again. It is difficult to miss the actions of someone moving around in the night even in the best Albergue. In this case Bene brushed against my feet when she ran past. I could hear violent vomiting down the hall. Susan got up and went to Bene’s assistance. Once Susan returned I then went out to see what I could do…….of course the answer is “not much”.
Susan brought Bene a blanket to keep her warm, but poor Bene continued with the heaves all night long. Finally she was able to come to bed at 6:30 in the morning.
Although we were not aware Kate and Peter’s son Tom was also being seriously ill all night as well. Both kids were in serious condition. Tom was certainly worse off than Bene.
I should explain the rules of an Albergue. You can normally check in between 1:30 and 2:30 PM. The Albergue insists all Pilgrims are out of the Albergue by 8:00 am…..there will be no exceptions, period. Begging and pleading can buy an extra 30 minutes, but this will only be considered under the most serious of circumstances.
The town we are in, Carrión de los Condes is small town of only 2,500 people. The medical facilities appear to be non existent. Sahagun is 40 km away and is a town of 170,000. This will be a better location to be in the event medical attention is required.
We decided neither Bene nor Tom are capable the 40km walk today and in that it is now after 8 it would not be advisable to attempt this distance. The best solution is to cab or bus the 40 kilometres. Our investigation reveals this town has a single cab and the bus doesn’t pass through town until 12:45PM. The bus is out of the question and the cab cannot take everyone at the same time.
Bene is just barely able to move, but Tom is still in no shape to travel at all. He needs much more time.
The decision is made for Susan and I to take Bene to Sahagun, and find a hostel for us all. We will the send the cab back for Kate and Tom.
Everything works out well with the cab, and finding a nice hostel. We are able to check-in immediately and get Bene into bed.
This part is for Susan……..When we are being shown the rooms, Bene is given the first room, and When we are shown the second room Susan an I start doing a dance in the hall falling over ourselves. (Figuratively) The lady showing us the rooms had given Bene a room with two beds, and shown Susan and I to another room with a queen size bed. Let’s just say we move Bene into this room where she will be comfortable. I still giggle about this one…..
We then wait for Kate and Tom to come in the same taxi we had been in. They arrive in less than 45 minutes, get a room and more importantly a bed for Tom.
Both kids (sorry,….young adults) look exhausted, but it appears Tom is suffering much more.
Others have been affected in different ways. Food poisoning may be the culprit but I have a sneaking suspicion water may be at the root of this outbreak of stomach ailments.
If there is an upside to this whole situation, taking a cab today gains me about half a day on my schedule. I will be able to walk more of the Camino as a result. The other upside is we met Susanna from New Zealand in town this morning…….she may well be staying in town with us.