Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From Boadilla to Fromista

As I walked along the track that followed the channel I was not feeling all that great - bedbugs! - I still doubted it, but since I have no experience with them, maybe he was right? I remember that Theresa at the albergue the previous morning had said she thought she had gotten bitten that night. I decide a doctor's visit was a must, and walk on hoping there was a doctor in the next town of Fromista. As I enter the town I saw a cafe, and there I meet up with David and the sweet Canadian girl I met yesterday at the albergue. They looked at my hands, and both agreed - doctor's visit! A Finnish lady I met yesterday at the albergue also joined us for coffee, and she chimed in - go to the doctor! I asked the waitress at the cafe if there was a doctor in town, and was happy to hear that there was indeed! She explained how to find the medical center, and David kindly offered to come along, if I needed him to translate, but I thanked him for his kind offer. I was quite sure I would be fine.
I found the medical center easily - it was on the opposite side of the albergue as I had walked in to town, but at the time, of course, I had not noticed it. I got in and managed to explain to the receptionist that I needed to see a doctor, and she told me I had an appointment around 1 PM, but since I am not a EU citizen I would have to pay myself -somewhere around 75 Euros for the appointment. Oh well, it's only money, and I just wanted to feel better, and find out what's going on.
I decided I might as well go back to the center of town and get accommodations taken care off. I got a bunk at the albergue, after having first tried to get a private room at a hostal. However, after she had noticed my hands with all the blisters, she told me no! I am sure you can imagine, how I felt - like a pariah! At least the Municipal Albergue accepted me, for a second I was afraid nobody would let me get a bed for the night!
I went back to the medical center and found my name on one of the appointment lists on the wall, so at least I knew which doctor I was scheduled with. When it was my turn I was greeted by a kind female doctor, and of course, I did not have to explain much, for her to understand what my problem was. She said it was an allergic reaction to bedbug bites, and she would give me something for the itching and swelling immediately. She gave me a cortisone shot and then wrote me a prescription for antihistamines and an anti-itch cream. Then she told me I should wash all my clothing and sleeping bag in very hot water. At the albergue all that was available was the outside wash basins with cold water for our laundry, so I hung my sleeping bag out to air at least, and decided that the next albergue would have to be one with a washer and dryer. I did my laundry as best I could with the poor washing facilities of this albergue, then I went out to see the beautiful church of San Martin, which is considered one of the most perfect Romanesque churches in all of Spain with its many carved figures all around the exterior. Afterwards it was time to find a place for a glass of wine before dinner, to cheer myself up, after a really tough day! I met a Canadian lady named Susan outside the cafe right next to the albergue, and we ended up having a glass of wine together, and then dinner. Spanish Adrian joined us for a short while - Susan knew him also! The poor guy was not feeling well at all, still suffering with his feet, among many other ailments! He was making fun of himself, telling how he would call his aunt, who was the family's healer, and tell her about all his ailments!
After listening to his story of suffering, I sure felt a lot better, bless his Spanish broken heart!

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