Yes it happened. I got sick. Very sick. Too sick to carry on.
So what’s it like being sick on the Camino?
The short answer is miserable. The long answer is interesting. Because you’re a long way from home. And on a mission. But you can’t get ahead with walking 20 plus km a day, or even do much at all. So the fretting kicks in. About getting it done and wasting time. And you’ve got a lot of time to think. That’s why it’s miserable. And interesting. And very very challenging.
But the truth is the Camino stretches us. It needles our weak spots. Be they feet, tendons, muscles or willpower.
In my case, it turned out to be my chest. For a week, I was a disaster of tissues, potions and pills. Definitely not the Camino I’d imagined.
It started with a feeling of tiredness, then a vicious sore throat and then full blown pharyngitis.
By this stage I was in Santo Domingo and my travel companions had hastily said goodbye. After giving me funny looks and backing away from me looking for escape routes… That’s how bad it was. I became a pariah.
So I checked into a hotel (to limit embarrassing encounters and keep my bugs contained). Not just any hotel, but the Parador. Step aside Martin Sheen, I can do this my way…
Anyway, Parador notwithstanding, things got worse. I got bronchitis. I took antibiotics. I taxied to Burgos where I spent seven days. Four of them sick.
And then. I got better!
And Burgos was incredible. Amazing! But more about that next time.
When you said you had caught the “travel bug” this wasn’t quite what I thought you meant. You were right just to hunker down and recover. Can’t walk 20km with the flu!