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Linda JeffersIn a world of so many great photographers and writers, I am venturing into some unknown territories, leaving comfort zones, finally very willing to practice the art of seeing. By maintaining the practice of posting daily photos, I hope to continue learning about the possibilities that I trust are out there for the taking.

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Tuesday, September 9th – The Day from Hell!!!

Tuesday, September 9th,2014

Waiting in the emergency room at midnight for Pat to be seen after having hiked for 12 hours, Pat's longest day ever hiking and with her pack!

Waiting in the emergency room at midnight for Pat to be seen after having hiked for 12 hours, Pat’s longest day ever hiking and with her pack!

At 6am and not a minute sooner we were allowed to get up, pack up and get ready to head out on the Camino. That’s the way in Albergues. They tell you what you can do and not do. Actually this was a very we’ll run organization and the hospitaleros who volunteer their services were exceptionally nice.

Not long after our departure in the dark, in the midst of 200 other departing Pilgrams, Pat and I got separated. Pat thought I was ahead of her (remember its dark), and I had no clue whether Pat was ahead or behind. So I continued ahead hiking fast enough on the dark uneven trail that Pat typically walks very slowly on. After walking for 10 minutes and not catching up with Pat I thought I should go back to where we lost each other at the beginning. No Pat. Now I start hiking fast believing she was ahead and I just hadn’t caught up to her before I turned back. But I couldn’t see her. I kept walking and came to a small supermarket where I saw lots of other hikers outside. No Pat. I stayed at the market afraid to go inside to buy the triple AAA batteries I needed (the line at checkout was humongous) for fear she was in fact behind me and might walk by the market and not see me.

I left the market after about a half hour, stopping at the first cafe a few km along the trail. No Pat. I asked people I knew and didn’t know if they had seen a woman walking along looking like she was looking for someone she had lost.

After waiting and watching everyone but Pat walk by I started walking further along the trail, really thinking I should just hike on by myself and hope I meet up with Pat at Zubiri, 13+ miles from our start. But 15 minutes into my walk I thought I can’t not go back and find out if the Cafe had wireless to see if I could leave a message on Pat’s phone. The Cafe did not have wireless. So back to the trail surrendering the fear and worry I had about Pat. You see that morning I had offered to carry Pat’s Camino Guidebook for her, leaving her without one!

I could go on and on relating stories of all the people I asked if they’d seen Pat or to look out for her and let her know where I was.

We left hiking at 6:30am and finally way after I’d given up hope of finding Pat on the trail, I came up to another Cafe in Biskarreta. Not optimistic I scanned the few outside and then saw this lady jump up waving her arms and I breathed a sigh of the greatest. She and I hugged and said we were so happy to find each other.

The good news….. We made many good friends and now everyone knows who we are! We’d not participated in the fellowshipping with the other Pilgrims.

The trail entertained us with ever changing scenery, lots of farm animals and beautiful quaint towns. This relatively easy but hot trail was Pat’s longest to date. 13+ miles!!!

But I get ahead of myself. After reaching a roadside street vender where we took a much needed foot break we resumed hiking the remaining 1.8 miles to Zubiri with Dave and Bev and a new acquaintance from Brazil.

Just when Pat said that the rest stop did her a world of good, I heard…… Noooo!!! I immediately turned to see Pat face down on the rocky trail, obviously badly injured as blood was dripping from her face, glasses on the ground and 1.5 inch gash in between her left eyebrow and eye. Dave, Bev, Miley and I began to address her injuries. Between all of us we had enough supplies to get her bandaged up, calmed down and back up on her feet, at which time her nose started to release blood and under her eye there was swelling and blood pooling. We did make it down the remaining 1.5 mi to town only to hear no room vacancies anywhere and no local medical facilities. Pat was feeling weak and scared. We needed to have a doctor check her out right away.

Bar Baserri was where we sat Pat down to figure out a plan. The waitress Rosa, owner Maria and the bartender went out of their way to make Pat feel comfortable. They called for an ambulance that wouldn’t come because they had a more seriously injured person. They brought ice to Pat for her swollen eye. They kept coming back to check on her and then ordered a taxi to take us to Pamplona to the hospital where we could also find a hotel room.

So here we sit in the emergency waiting room to be seen by a doctor. We should have told them Pat had chest pains. Everyone else is getting called before us. It is 10:30pm. So much for me getting a taxi early tomorrow morning to do the Camino section fro Zubiri to Pamplona while Pat takes a rest day.

2:00am ……….
Finally in our somewhat expensive hotel in Pamplona.

Pat was seen by a doctor at midnight in the emergency hospital. She does not require sutures to the gash under her eyebrow. Butterfly strips will do the job. Yeah. X-rays determined her nose and check are not broken. Yeah again. She has to take antibiotics to prevent infection where pooling blood remains under her left eye but from the blood that came from her injured nose.

The nicest taxi driver drove us arovund for a half house trying to find us a hotel that had a room.

Pat is showered and almost asleep. I on the other hand am unshowered struggling with wifi and the internet to work. Always!!! It has been one hell of a long day. I must go get showered and sleep.

Rest day tomorrow.

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9 Responses to “Tuesday, September 9th – The Day from Hell!!!”

  1. LR says:

    LJ,
    I hope Pat gets better. Be careful and I hope the fun part starts soon.
    LR

  2. nicole says:

    Sounds like quite the experience, good thing you are getting it all out in the beginning. It may be the day from hell now but it makes really good stories later; just ask me about our bike trek through the himalayas! Enjoy your rest day..oxox

  3. Ray Jeffers says:

    Great writing Baby, thanks for the update. I agree with LR, hope the fun part starts soon. I miss you and love you. xoxo

  4. Joanna Pfeiffer says:

    Wow! so glad Pat is okay!! Hope the trip goes smoother from here. I have to say, you look great after the day you had…Pat also, bandages and all. love you!

  5. Mary Kay Mahoney says:

    It sounds sooooo hard! I would have turned around at the coin for a shower part! You and pat are very courageous. Fondly, Mary Kay

  6. Mario says:

    What an ordeal! Glad you’re both “ok”. Let the trek begin! Safe journeys!

  7. Susan M. says:

    Onward soldiers!!!

  8. Susan M. says:

    Just a hick up in the plan, onward Ho!!

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