Today we had a setback as Sandy’s cold worsened. It went into her chest which made high level physical activity (like bike riding) impossible. She wanted to continue on, as we were in the middle of our four day bicycle rental, but I reminded her good health trumps everything.
We were actually very fortunate that we were in Condes when this happened. Condes (population 2,000) has a nice little hospital which was close by. For centuries this town had treated sick and injured pilgrims. At one point little Condes had an amazing 14 pilgrim hospitals as peregrinos suffered badly crossing the Meseta.
So, we decided rest and a doctor’s visit was in order. First, we booked another night at our current hostel, the Santiago. The owner was understanding and very worried about Sandy, even offering to call an ambulance. I thanked and assured him we could walk down to the hospital.
We then walked 10 minutes to the hospital where we checked in and were given an appointment to be seen by the doctor at 1240.
Next, we headed to the hostel and contacted bicigrino.com and our bicycle rental representative Tomas. We told him unfortunately we were not going to be capable to complete our bike portion of the camino. We were scheduled to drop the bikes off at a bike shop in Leon on Thursday but Tomas agreed to come and pick up the bikes at the Hostel Santiago tomorrow.
For the past several days we have noted the numbers of pilgrims has tripled on the camino. This is likely due to this holy week being a national holiday in Spain. Consequently, there are lots of teenagers now on the way. We have heard (via posts) that albergues are filling up fast. As a result of this and a recommendation from Tomas, we reserved a room at the hostel in Leon a few days ago so we could drop off our rental bikes there. No need for the bike drop off now, but we still kept our reservation due to the burgeoning crowds on the camino and expected crowds in Leon on the day we will arrive – Maunday Thursday.
Nice, modern hospital facilities
We then walked back to the hospital for the doctor’s visit. The doctor gave Sandy a standard checkup and seemed please she wasn’t worse off. He prescribed two medications, one drug to help her breathing and another to help with the cough. Back to the pharmacy and now we were set.
On the way home we took advantage of the market coming to town, and bought bread, fresh fruit, tomatoes, meats and cheese items for today’s lunch and dinner. Total cost just €7.
Our lunch guest enjoyed some of our cheese.
After lunch the medication kicked in and Sandy took a much deserved long nap.
Later in the day I went down to the bar at the town’s main entrance to have a cafe con leche and to purchased the two bus tickets (which will take us to the hostel we previously reserved in Leon). Sandy expressed her sadness and disapointment that unfortunately we are not going to be hiking or biking every kilometer of the camino, but we both understood that our health came first.
This Condes main street action reminded me of where I grew up in Davie, Florida.
Tomorrow at 1145 we depart for Leon. Hopefully these two rest and recuperation days will be “just what the doctor ordered” as we need to get back to good health before we complete hiking the remaining 250 miles on the Camino de Santiago.
400 km down, 400 km to go!