A Spanish Snafu

I just wanted to provide a quick update on the Camino. Day one was hard but fantastic, during which I hiked 27.7 kilometers. Day two, on the other hand, has thrown a wrench in my gears. I woke up in Hospital de Orbigo with a fever, the chills, cold sweats and body pains — the flu found me in a small Spanish village.

I somehow hiked about 15 kilometers to Astorga that day, but the journey was tough. It took me much longer than it should have, I nearly fainted at one point and let’s just say I left my mark on the Camino with the breakfast I had that morning šŸ˜¦

I arrived in Astorga before the albergue was open, but the hospitelera was kind enough to let me in so I could sleep. She put me up in my own room, told me I could stay a second night if I needed to and even made me an “infusion” with ginger and cinnamon.

I took her up on her offer of staying the second night, and in the past two days I must have slept about 21 hours. I still feel like crap and now I’m officially behind schedule. It breaks my heart to think that a journey I’ve been planning for the past seven years may ultimately be cut short or greatly altered because of sickness.

I’ve decided I’m going to cop out and skip the mountains by taking a train to Sarria. I’ll be missing the Cruz de Ferro, which frankly pisses me off because I’ve been looking forward to it so much. However, by starting again in Sarria I’ll be finishing the last 100 kilometers of the hike, which is the prerequisite to gain your compostela in Santiago. I always told myself I’d do more than the minimum needed, however given the situation I’ve been handed, I’d be grateful to be able to complete at least that much.

I’ve met people who have started in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France and are still going strong. Here I am after just two days of walking and I’m a mess. Instead of being a Debbie Downer though, I’m going to think of them and their endurance and use it as inspiration to finish my own journey.

Feel free to send some good juju my way, because I sure as hell could use it šŸ˜¦

Lots of love from Astorga,
Ashley Mac


2 thoughts on “A Spanish Snafu

  1. Oh no! I’m so sorry that you got hit with the flu! You’re still going to have an amazing adventure, but I know how hard and awful it can be to have to completely readjust plans and miss out on things you were looking forward to. Keep carrying your rocks, and create your own ritual at some point on the Camino (it won’t be Cruz de Ferro, but it will be your own thing). I hope you start feeling healthy soon!!

  2. Every Camino has its bad and good days, believe me. On my way to Conques in France I injured my knee. The local physiotherapist advised me to rest a few days. I followed his advise. The next few days I walked only 8 kilometers and slowly building up again after 4-5 days. Eventually 50 days later, 2 pair of hiking boots, 13 kilograms weight loss and after a total of 1711 kilometers I arrived at Santiago. The way and fellow pilgrims will give you energy and I am sure it will be a wonderful experience. Buen Camino.

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