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Day 35: Sick day in Le Puy-en-Velay

So yeah... I'm still alive! Turns out I got myself a hard case of food poisoning! I had high fever and cramps and pain the whole night but FINALLY I'm better altough totally exhausted :(

I got several theories how this could've happened, including but not limited to:

  • Maybe some of my bread got moldy in the plastic bag I carried it

  • The cheese I kept got old

  • Lead poisoning from the water I drank dripping from the roof

  • Water I drank directly from the stream

Whatever it was it really, really got me HARD! And just LOOK at all the mistakes I made! All of them completely stupid and avoidable! How could I've ever survived the PCT?!? Like a damn beginner and a fool! I'm ashamed... 5500km+ official Trailmiles under my belt and still acting like a stupid Tourist!

That's a selfie from Yesterday after throwing up, crawling with my last energy trough the Camino. I was close to just giving up and lying on the side of the road in a ditch because at that point I got almost 40 Degree fever.

Called a cab but the Guy was busy. He told me to wait but I didn't even know exacly where I was and it began to rain. Also he only spoke french and I could't make out how long I'd have to wait. So I pressed on, half delirious and throwing up constantly. And before you judge me and think I should've called oher cabs: I tried but two didn't pick up and I didn't had any luck with UBER either. And when one is so dizzy, rationality isn't the most important factor... I needed to keep all the little energy that was left to move forward!

It was only a couple of Kilometers before Le Puy that I completely lost it. Couldn't think or walk. And then: a Miracle!

Behind me came two Pilgrims! The only ones that day! AND one of them, Bernhard, is swiss!! They immediatly saw how bad in a condition I was and helped me sitting down. The other Guy spoke french and tried getting some cab immediatly when all of a sudden ANOTHER miracle! The Guy I was calling before stopped in front of us! Turnes out he understood I was sick and drove along the Camino looking for me! The other two Pilgrims decided to come with me to translate (and get out of the rain probably). So away towards Le Puy we went!

What followed is just a blurry mess. They brought me to the little studio I rented when I was desperate and booked it in the morning shortly after I started to feel sick.

It was closed but we somehow managed to get hold of them so I could get in earlier. I collected the very last of my energy and got some pills from the pharmacy nearby. Of course the clerk was a total douche who didn't speak any english and did't even offer me a chair despite me being obviously nearly unable to stand up straight!

After I came back I couldn't even take them because whenever I tried to get up I fell down on the floor. Yes, that's how bad it was! I was only once as sick which was ALSO foodpoisoning and ALSO in France more than 12 years ago... intertingly enough that was when I first heard about the Camino when a Albergue took us in when we couldn't move another step and when I told myself for the first time I'd do that one day. And so the circle is closing...

I don't remember much from the hours that followed but than Miracle Nr. 3 happend: Bernhard came over to look if I'm still alive and who else has he with him but Lili! I was so happy to see her! Just to have somebody I knew a bit made me feel so much better! Turns out they met by shere coincidence in the Basilica and found out they both knew me!

She went buying some groceries for me like Coke and a bit of Zwieback. She also helped me taking the pills and drink a bit of water. I must've stunk awfully now that I think about it because my whole body rebelled against the poison and I sweat and gassed like crazy 🫢. So if you read this: I'm sorry dear 😭!

During brief periods of being semi awake I managed to write two or three words or have little calls to my friends and family to tell them I'm still alive. That's the last I remember before falling asleep for 10 hours straight, waking up WAY better.

And here we are. Nothing more to write. I'm lying here, drinking fluids and gnawing on a bit of Zwieback. I'm thinking about what to do next. I probably should take another day off to get back on my feet. I also haven't seen anything of Le Puy yet as we drove straight to my Studio.

I dunno... maybe I should even quit. I had so much bad luck lately and now I'm even behind my schedule.

But I learned a valuable lesson on the PCT never to quit before you haven't showered, eaten, slept and drunk a beer 😬. Never make decisions while you're miserable!

And because I don't have any more pictures as I literally only lie here in the bed suffering: here's another one of Ziggs Pictures from Lyon

Later: Bernhard just texted me with a foto he made Yesterday when I was so completely gaga and feverish in bed. I post it here too as a substitute for the fact that I haven't left my studio even for one second today and therefore have nothing to contribute to my Blog:

I'll try and go the pilgrim mass tomorrow. Need to connect with people again. Also I really want to check out Le Puy - I've gone trough a LOT to get here and damn I want to see some of it!

Learned a lot about food poisoning and water quality in France during my stay in bed today. Hopefully that was the last time I had to go trough this ordeal in my life! I'm thinking of making a post about it in some Forums just to spread awareness to this potential danger here on the Camino.

But y'know, I had such luck all in all! My Father told me about a cousin on my mothers side who once got food poisoning in rural India of all places and had to lie next to a water hole all alone while waiting for him to get well enough to walk on... now THAT Guy had it bad! In contrast, my thing here had the best possible outcome in hindsight.

It's all perspective man...

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16 mai 2023

Kindness of strangers, camino miracles, raging illness - what a story! That's what a plot is made of! I'm sorry you were so sick, but WHAT an adventure! I like the quote "Never make decisions while you're miserable!". I have the rule to never make decisions in the evening, because when I'm tired I'm even more anxious than usual and super negative. A few hours of sleep, a shower and a good meal can make a world of difference :) - AJ


12 mai 2023

Don't Quit!!!

12 mai 2023
En réponse à

I don‘t think I will. But I sure thought about it last night when the cramps got so bad that I started crying from pure exhaustion. At the moment I plan to do an additional day in Le Puy and - if everything turnes out good with my health - starting sunday for the Via Podiensis.


12 mai 2023

Gueti Besserig! P.S: Lueg mal öb paar Paddel findsch😁

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