I´m on day 19 of the Camino de Santiago. My blisters have, for the most part, healed. My boots have broken in and my body has become accustomed to the daily grind of hiking each day. And even my mind, with occasional lapses, has becomes used to the slow pace of walking for hours and hours.
And when the day finally came that all of these things came together and I felt like I had finally mastered the Camino, I and several other pilgrims made the mistake of drinking the water. Drinking the tap water is the norm and I´ve been doing it from the start of the trip. In fact, Spain installed public water fountains along the trail so that pilgrims wouldn´t go thirsty. But the rumor is that some farmers (those bastards) because of a mild winter, had sprayed the crops to kill a rodent (mouse looking creatures) from destroying the crops. In doing so, it got into the water system, into the tap water, in the fountains and the taps, into my water bottle and into my stomach for the last couple of days.
Some people became sick immediately, diarrhea & vomiting that very night. But I was fine. The next day, we found out the water had been contaminated but it had only given me gas. I figured that whatever bacteria I got from drinking the water in Costa Rica was eating whatever pollutants they had here in Spain, mere child´s play.
And so I tracked on to the next town not giving it much thought. Well, at about 5:00pm that night, I started to feel really tired and decide to take a afternoon siesta (God bless Spain.) It was then and there that it hit me like a freight train. Fever, chills, upset stomach, etc. I was so exhausted, I didn´t want to get up to go to the bathroom. It was bad news. Luckily no diarrhea or vomiting though!
Fortunately, I felt better the next day, at least enough to walk about 10 miles to the next town to get some rest. I´ve been taking it easy since then. Each day gets a little better.
By tomorrow, I will be in Leon, Spain.