Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bedbugs, Bags, and Bungles

Samos to Barbadelo, 19.5 km

Well, this morning started with someone telling me that my hives were actually bedbugs.  At the time, I was sure that she was wrong, since I am so susceptible to any kind of skin reaction, but when I got to Barbadelo this evening, the "hives" on my ankles were looking more and more like bug bites on steroids.  So, to keep from passing bedbugs on to the next place, I am currently in the process of washing every stitch of clothing I own except that which I am wearing, as well as my sleeping bag, travel pillow, and backpack. I only hope that everything is dry before time for bed. 

See what I considered to be hives around my ankle, since they were weeping?  They actually got worse and look like a bunch of little blisters the size of a pinhead on the back of my right ankle, and are even more red and angry on my left ankle than you see in the picture, which I took last night. If it weren't for the fact that they were weeping, I probably would have recognized them as bites...

So, if you have noticed the km at the top of the page, you are probably wondering why I walked more than I was planning...  Two nights ago at the Mass in Triacastela, I met a nice pilgrim from South Africa, and we hit it off and began to talk.  I figured I wouldn't see her again, since I'm doing such short sections.  Then, in Samos, I ran into her again, and we continued the conversation, and when we left the Albergue this morning, we walked together. Neither of us wanted to part ways in Sarria, and MaryAnn has to be in Santiago by next Monday.  Since she was only going to go another 4.5 km, and my ankles were feeling ok, I decided to walk a little further.  I might be regretting it tomorrow, but I am glad that she was with me when I found my huge mistake.

When I emptied out my backpack to wash it, I forgot to check the pocket where the water bladder goes.  In the process, I ended up washing EVERY SINGLE POSTCARD I had bought to date.  All of the pictures of Our Lady of Hope from Leon are no longer flat, and some of them are peeling off of their cardboard backing.  On top of that, my receipt from the doctor that I need for my claim is also wet.  And, a whole bunch of pamphlets and papers I got from different churches were ruined completely.  All I could think was that I had ruined the one thing I wanted to give to everyone when I got back.

Once again, I cried.  There is something about the Camino that seems to pull my emotions to the surface, making me more susceptible for waterworks.  I can't say that I like that aspect of my pilgrimage, but I can't seem to change it either.  Every time I feel like I have found some sort of equilibrium emotionally, something happens to draw out the tears once more.  The people I meet here must think that I am a total emotional basket case, and there are moments when I wonder that about myself as well.  

This is MaryAnn beside a statue of Santiago Peregrino as we were leaving Samos this morning.  

At the same time, MaryAnn has been carrying 10 kilos on her back for her Camino, so on the way in to Sarria, we stopped at a picnic area and went through her pack.  We then sent a package ahead to Santiago of some of her things--we were able to eliminate 3.35 kg... She was carrying three toothbrushes, among other thing!

MaryAnn and the bag of elimination... I did something similar in Leon, but had less to get rid of, since I had less to begin with.

My bag of elimination... Rather than send it on, I just abandoned it for the maids.

I am not sure why, but MaryAnn seems to think I am a wizard at this process, so I will be helping another pilgrim do the same thing shortly.  Helping people is better than moping, so, on with the evening.