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Drink tap water between Burgos and Leon?

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Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
Don’t know if this topic has already been beat to death but here goes. When I walked CF this Spring there were several peregrinos and even an albergue volunteer who said that it was well-known that some of the tap water in towns between Burgos and Leon is contaminated. This came up when a very fit and very healthy friend came down suddenly with a “stomach flu”. She was taken to the hospital in Burgos and given IV hydration and meds. She recovered and in 3-4 days was back on and finished. I was just wondering if people were just talking about the water or if this truly is a thing?
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
I have heard similar rumors a few times. All the times I have walked between Burgos and Leon and Leon-Burgos I have never had a problem or ever met anyone that had a problem with the water.

I don't believe 'it is a thing'. It is probably spread by the same folks that say the Meseta is flat and/or boring.

Davey
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I knew several pilgrims that came down gastroenteritis, but it had nothing to do with water between Burgos and Leon, as some got sick earlier than that and others much later. I have walked that stretch 3 times, always drank tap water, and never had a problem.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Lets say a thousand people a day, on any given day, are schlepping between Burgos and Leon. They sleep in the same Albergues, eat in the same comedors and drink from the same water sources: and "someone" goes down with the screaming sh*ts and and spends the night talking to RAALLPH. Not 1000 people, not 100, not even 10. That isn't an epidemic or even an outbreak and it certainly isn't endemic to the locality or all the restrooms in Palencia would have kneeling pads next to the John and those little Pueblos out there on the Meseata would have been de-populated even more than they already are.

Most of the V & D bugs that strike us all are transmitted hand-to-mouth (the more blunt among public hygienists might say arse to mouth) and not by water. Good personal hygiene is the best avoidance strategy.

A viable alternative is to adopt the medieval monastic strategy of only drinking beer - as the water has to be boiled to make the mash.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
Also three shots of orujo blanco (before breakfast, lunch and dinner) per day can't do any harm. On the contrary ;)
The Sevilliano refuse collectors seem to go for three shots before breakfast (and before operating unguarded heavy machinery) with no apparent ill effects.
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
I'm in Castrojeriz right now and haven't had any issues. In Hontanas the first fuente (a really big one) had a sign saying they couldn't guarantee the water was sanitary. I moved on to the next one. No problems at all.
 

MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Don’t know if this topic has already been beat to death but here goes. When I walked CF this Spring there were several peregrinos and even an albergue volunteer who said that it was well-known that some of the tap water in towns between Burgos and Leon is contaminated. This came up when a very fit and very healthy friend came down suddenly with a “stomach flu”. She was taken to the hospital in Burgos and given IV hydration and meds. She recovered and in 3-4 days was back on and finished. I was just wondering if people were just talking about the water or if this truly is a thing?
It happened to me and several others I met in September 2018 - almost all of those, including me, seem to have drunk, stupidly perhaps, from water fountains near Carrion de los Condes. While I was staying at an albergue there, they had quarantined off a complete dormitory block due to an outbreak of a gastrointestinal type infection (according to the nuns who run the albergue). But the others I met who had similar symptoms were staying at different albergues.
My advice: bottled water only, no ice in drinks!
I'll probably get shot down for this post, but it's just my opinion, that I hope will help someone avoid what happened to me and many others.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
I refilled my bottles with tap water from faucets in restrooms where I stopped for coffee or food, or from the sinks in the albergues where I stayed. From SJPP to Santiago. Never used a fountain, never bought water, never had a problem.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked part of the Camino Frances and plan to start over in April 2018.
Don’t know if this topic has already been beat to death but here goes. When I walked CF this Spring there were several peregrinos and even an albergue volunteer who said that it was well-known that some of the tap water in towns between Burgos and Leon is contaminated. This came up when a very fit and very healthy friend came down suddenly with a “stomach flu”. She was taken to the hospital in Burgos and given IV hydration and meds. She recovered and in 3-4 days was back on and finished. I was just wondering if people were just talking about the water or if this truly is a thing?
In April I became very sick from eating or drinking something in Carrion de los Condes. I also ended up in a clinic with an IV drip. I recovered after 2-3 days of resting.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I have drank countless litres of tap and fountain water while walking the Camino. Have never had any ill effects from it. The rumours you heard are no doubt BS.
Certainly do not buy bottled water. Waste of money and terrible for the environment.
 

MichaelF4

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal 2017
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Frances, Camino Invierno 2019
It happened to me and several others I met in September 2018 - almost all of those, including me, seem to have drunk, stupidly perhaps, from water fountains near Carrion de los Condes. While I was staying at an albergue there, they had quarantined off a complete dormitory block due to an outbreak of a gastrointestinal type infection (according to the nuns who run the albergue). But the others I met who had similar symptoms were staying at different albergues.
My advice: bottled water only, no ice in drinks!
I'll probably get shot down for this post, but it's just my opinion, that I hope will help someone avoid what happened to me and many others.
I got sick from tap water on a Saturday once so I never drink water on Saturdays now just to be safe.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
In all the times I have walked the Camino France, I have never been sick from water.
I've been sick from rude people who were sick who slept in the albergue and gave their bug to us all, but not from water.

Here are my two rules about water from fountains on the Camino:

1) If it is raining so hard that the streams and rivers are running "brown" then I purchase water. I do worry about the run-off contaminating the supply then. Probably unfounded.

2) If it says "no potable" then I don't drink. However, a funny story about that is that one year Joe and I came upon a fountain with two spigots. I can't recall where. I began drinking from one. He from the other. After a good long drink, we both realized my spigot had a sign above it that said "potable" and HIS spigot had a sign that said "NON-POTABLE!" We rushed to the nearest bar where he had several shots of straight whiskey. He was fine. Never had a reaction at all except to be happy from the whiskey!

I feel safe drinking from ANY fountain along the Camino. Much of that water is treated. This isn't Mexico. The infrastructure in most of Spain puts the USA to shame.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
It happened to me and several others I met in September 2018 - almost all of those, including me, seem to have drunk, stupidly perhaps, from water fountains near Carrion de los Condes. While I was staying at an albergue there, they had quarantined off a complete dormitory block due to an outbreak of a gastrointestinal type infection (according to the nuns who run the albergue). But the others I met who had similar symptoms were staying at different albergues.
My advice: bottled water only, no ice in drinks!
I'll probably get shot down for this post, but it's just my opinion, that I hope will help someone avoid what happened to me and many others.
It's much more likely you had the stomach flu from being exposed to someone with the flu.
The water in Spain is excellent.
 

Ed Aster

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May 2017
I did the Burgos to Astorga stages this May and had no problems drinking the tap water at all. I don’t drink alcohol so water is my drink of choice. Enjoy!!!
 

MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
I got sick from tap water on a Saturday once so I never drink water on Saturdays now just to be safe.
Ok, very funny. I must admit I was expecting to get shot down worse than that.
Mind you, I was answering the OP to the best of my knowledge, but I understand there are many different points of view out there.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
I'd like to say, in addition, that those darned plastic bottles used for bottled water get spread all along the Camino too! With the ocean having an island of plastic in it (literally) and animals dying from ingesting plastic, I try to avoid it at all costs. If you ARE paranoid about the water, please take a personal water filter instead of buying more plastic to add to the problem.
 

MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
It's much more likely you had the stomach flu from being exposed to someone with the flu.
The water in Spain is excellent.
Not really, I live in Spain and I've travelled all over Spain during more than 7 years. I've also been travelling back and forth to Spain since the 60s. There are places where water is not good quality. Some people, including locals, are more resistant to the waterborne bacteria, newcomers might not be.
Some areas have very hard water others don't. Some water comes from mountain reservoir sources and others from coastal salt desalination plants. Some water has higher chlorine levels than others - I know, in 5 years from 2005 to 2010 I used to measure it as part of my job. I installed mains water treatment systems in a chain of health clubs, mainly to reduce risk of legionella.
Besides my own experience, what makes me a bit suspicious is the number of people I met at the time, and that I've heard of since, which appear to report almost identical symptoms and from the same place: Carrion de los Condes. There has to be a reason for that, surely. Or is it just coincidence do you think?
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
99.5% of the public tap water in Spain is considered potable (safe to drink) according to Ministerio de Sanidad that is responsible for the quality of the water. Every local provider has to report certified lab tests every 6 months resulting in over 40 million reports per year available from Sinac. Each water company is also obliged to provide a test report about the quality of the water when requested.

On the other hand, millions of people in the USA are drinking unsafe water, with results more long-reaching than stomach upset: https://www.businessinsider.com/toxic-chemicals-tap-drinking-water-2019-4#lead-poisoning-was-at-the-heart-of-the-flint-crisis-but-its-also-a-problem-in-places-like-detroit-pittsburgh-and-washington-dc-1
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
Not really, I live in Spain and I've travelled all over Spain during more than 7 years. I've also been travelling back and forth to Spain since the 60s. There are places where water is not good quality. Some people, including locals, are more resistant to the water born bacteria, newcomers might not be.
Some areas have very hard water others don't. Some water comes from mountain reservoir sources and others from coastal salt desalination plants. Some water has higher chlorine levels than others - I know, in 5 years from 2005 to 2010 I used to measure it as part of my job. I installed mains water treatment systems in a chain of health clubs, mainly to reduce risk of legionella.
Besides my own experience, what makes me a bit suspicious is the number of people I met at the time, and that I've heard of since, which appear to report almost identical symptoms and from the same place: Carrion de los Condes. There has to be a reason for that, surely. Or is it just coincidence do you think?
Marky, I think it is coincidence. Too many pilgrims do NOT get sick in those places. The sickest I've been along the Camino was in Sahagun, and once in another village (Calzadilla de la Cueza) where a woman with a high fever refused to go to a private lodging. In that case, a week up the road, there were many pilgrims who were sick who had been exposed the two days she stayed there, upon investigating. I'd probably be looking at where those people ate or if there were people with the flu in the lodgings where they stayed within 3 days.

I have heard that when people vomited in the albergue in Carrion, that the hospitaleras cleaned it up with paper towels, not disinfectants. This could explain a lot if the place isn't being cleaned properly.

I agree, some people may be less resistant. Those people probably know who they are. But I just don't think it's an issue to worry about. I'd be more worried drinking the water in Fresno, California or even Hanford, where my mother lives, due to the chemicals that have been slathered on the land for generations.

But that's me.
 
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Evvie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
I have drank countless litres of tap and fountain water while walking the Camino. Have never had any ill effects from it. The rumours you heard are no doubt BS.
Certainly do not buy bottled water. Waste of money and terrible for the environment.
Then how do you explain the commonalities, such as drinking water from fountains near Carrion de los Condes and the quarantine in an albergue there? I think it's likely that there was contaminated water from somewhere rather than dirty hands transmitting a bug from arse to mouth. Could also have been vegetables or other foods rinsed with contaminated water. The same thing happens in the U.S. as shown by the numerous contaminations of packaged salads. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Then how do you explain the commonalities, such as drinking water from fountains near Carrion de los Condes and the quarantine in an albergue there? I think it's likely that there was contaminated water from somewhere rather than dirty hands transmitting a bug from arse to mouth. Could also have been vegetables or other foods rinsed with contaminated water. The same thing happens in the U.S. as shown by the numerous contaminations of packaged salads. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea.
A virus seems more likely.
 

MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Marky, I think it is coincidence. Too many pilgrims do NOT get sick in those places. The sickest I've been along the Camino was in Sahagun, and once in another village (Calzadilla de la Cueza) where a woman with a high fever refused to go to a private lodging. In that case, a week up the road, there were many pilgrims who were sick who had been exposed the two days she stayed there, upon investigating. I'd probably be looking at where those people ate or if there were people with the flu in the lodgings where they stayed within 3 days.

I have heard that when people vomited in the albergue in Carrion, that the hospitaleras cleaned it up with paper towels, not disinfectants. This could explain a lot if the place isn't being cleaned properly.

I agree, some people may be less resistant. Those people probably know who they are. But I just don't think it's an issue to worry about. I'd be more worried drinking the water in Fresno, California or even Hanford, where my mother lives, due to the chemicals that have been slathered on the land for generations.

But that's me.
Yeah, makes sense to me. They cleaned it up with paper towels??? The thing is I had a feeling on arrival that something was a miss when they mentioned the quarantined dorm. But at that point I was too tired to go elsewhere. In the end I just took it on the chin, and in other places ;-)
It was one of those Camino lessons I was due, and it kind of had its blessing a few days later.
I might be passing by Carrion de los Condes around 8th September, but my gut instinct (pardon the pun) will be to not stop there. This will mean a 16.5km walk until next village, Calzadilla de la Cueza. Or maybe I should drink the water in Carrion before carrying on, as a kind of mad pilgrim experiment.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Yeah, makes sense to me. They cleaned it up with paper towels??? The thing is I had a feeling on arrival that something was a miss when they mentioned the quarantined dorm. But at that point I was too tired to go elsewhere. In the end I just took it on the chin, and in other places ;-)
It was one of those Camino lessons I was due, and it kind of had its blessing a few days later.
I might be passing by Carrion de los Condes around 8th September, but my gut instinct (pardon the pun) will be to not stop there. This will mean a 16.5km walk until next village, Calzadilla de la Cueza. Or maybe I should drink the water in Carrion before carrying on, as a kind of mad pilgrim experiment.
It seems that the reason to quarantine a dorm would be because there were pilgrims with a virus, not because of a waterborne illness.
 

MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
It seems that the reason to quarantine a dorm would be because there were pilgrims with a virus, not because of a waterborne illness.
Makes sense too, but not sure what they meant by quarantined anyway. It was off limits, put it that way. Maybe I was just unlucky or it was just my turn to get something nasty. Even so, I will approach Carrion de los Condes with extra care next time I'm passing through.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
I have drank countless litres of tap and fountain water while walking the Camino. Have never had any ill effects from it. The rumours you heard are no doubt BS.
Certainly do not buy bottled water. Waste of money and terrible for the environment.
Absolutely agree. I have been drinking the water in Spain off and on for 48 years, and no ill-effects yet. I walked Burgos-Leon this year with the same result. However, I think some people are more sensitive to "foreign" water than others.
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
Not from tap water, but on 2005 or 2006, camino a group of 6 french filled up from an animal trough in that long section after Carrion as all those of us taking a rest and shouting 'not drinkable' "no potable", nicht trinkbar' 'pas potable' At the albergue in Calzadilla that night we were all treated to constant sounds of barfing and getting up for the bathroom.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Makes sense too, but not sure what they meant by quarantined anyway. It was off limits, put it that way. Maybe I was just unlucky or it was just my turn to get something nasty. Even so, I will approach Carrion de los Condes with extra care next time I'm passing through.
Nothing wrong with being careful. It's the singing nuns in Carrion that scare the life out of me!

Davey
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I have had no problems drinking tap water or water from public fountains in Spain on any of my caminos. When I walk on other routes where safe treated water is unavailable or public supplies are suspect then I use one of these very small filters which can be attached to a standard plastic drinks bottle. Been using it a great deal this year in Japan, Australia and rural Wales and so far have avoided any serious gut issues. While I believe that it is unnecessary on the main Caminos I think it is a better option for those who are still anxious about water quality than relying solely on bottled water which seems extremely wasteful and expensive.
 

MichaelF4

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal 2017
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Frances, Camino Invierno 2019
Then how do you explain the commonalities, such as drinking water from fountains near Carrion de los Condes and the quarantine in an albergue there? I think it's likely that there was contaminated water from somewhere rather than dirty hands transmitting a bug from arse to mouth. Could also have been vegetables or other foods rinsed with contaminated water. The same thing happens in the U.S. as shown by the numerous contaminations of packaged salads. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea.
People get sick for a myriad of reasons. Trying to connect fountains to a quarantine in an albergue is specious reasoning at best. There is no direct link. It isn't all that different to saying it is the sunlight in Carrion de los Condes is making people sick because there was a quarantine there while it was sunny.
 

MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
I have had no problems drinking tap water or water from public fountains in Spain on any of my caminos. When I walk on other routes where safe treated water is unavailable or public supplies are suspect then I use one of these very small filters which can be attached to a standard plastic drinks bottle. Been using it a great deal this year in Japan, Australia and rural Wales and so far have avoided any serious gut issues. While I believe that it is unnecessary on the main Caminos I think it is a better option for those who are still anxious about water quality than relying solely on bottled water which seems extremely wasteful and expensive.
Good tip, thanks. I've noticed that Efren Gonzalez uses something similar on his regular Camino walks for his vlogs on YouTube.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I invariably used to fill up from public taps and fuentes - I found that tap water in the Burgos albergue a bit over chlorinated for my taste - never had a problem.
 
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
Maybe this will be helpful, maybe not, but the crowd here is ever-changing though the Meseta and Carrion reps both keep getting smacked around.

I'm a former medical microbiologist and have experience on epidemiology teams. That's on top of 5 years of hospital work. I am NOT presenting an 'argument from authority' - - just establishing that I have some experience with the topic. And, it goes beyond "professional engagement" as I have had virtually every food or waterborne illness common to the Northern Hemisphere at least once. But NEVER on the Camino despite exclusive use of fountains for drinking water.

On multiple Caminos I have seen the "tummy bugs" strike as early as Puente and as late as Mazarife. Almost every instance presented as symptomatic of Norovirus with a mixed bag of Salmonella, and Bacillus cereus following on.

Okay, some tips on avoiding food-borne and/or water-borne illness. (And I am thinking in context of mid-Prairies North America as much as the Meseta.) I am not claiming the following is foolproof, it just improves your odds....and life is all about probabilities.

Rather than finger-wag about “Don’t” let’s examine the “Do” list.

DO!

1. ALWAYS. Do proper handwashing after toilet use. Drying them can be problematic in the common Meseta W/C but you have a kerchief or some tissues, no? I always have a packet of wet-wipes or similar handy for use. Lack of soap or handtowel is then no problem after flushing - - wipe your hands, use the towel to open the door back to the bar and dump the towel in the waste bin on the way out.

2. MINIMIZE EXPECTATIONS. I am not apologizing for shoddy food preparation, this an endeavor (however feeble) to protect you from it. Here is the restaurant/bar owners view: The financials of running my shop are all about reducing waste because, aside from alcohol sales, that is pretty much where MY margin comes from. (Translation: Keep portions under control and minimize the amount of food investment going to the landfill.) In Spain especially, the alcohol margin does not appear to be as great as is seen in other places. Thus...

3. BEFORE DECIDING WHERE TO EAT. Ask a few different locals the best place to get a meal. Then make sure that you see locals eating there before sitting down for more than a beer or vino.

4. WHEN CONFRONTED BY A MENU. As in you are not confident but there is nothing else open…

- stay as “local” as you can as far as food choice. For example, maybe seafood is not an excellent choice in the smaller towns on the Meseta. Personally, I do not order salmon, snapper, sole or oysters in “flyover North America” just for example – that is beef, swine or chicken country.

- Order ‘a la carte’ – just because you are a pilgrim does not mean that you must be stuck with the “bulk food” menu. Even so, assuming success on this point, the next few points still apply.

- Avoid “recyclable” starches. Rice is a good example. It is cheap and easily cooked once and re-heated for….how long? Pasta is a bit better but it is not a lock to be problem-free. The softer from 'al dente', the bigger the risk.

- Avoid “recyclable” sauces. Vinegar and oil are just fine. Anything requiring cream, milk and/or eggs can be dodgy. (Choose Salade mixta as opposed to Salade Rusa)

- I loathe “fried” or “well done” but… they are one’s safer bets when in doubt. Chicken, pork or beef for sure though fried seafood is not necessarily okay because refrigeration problems in transit may allow a small amount of bacteria to produce a lot of toxins.

- Not fond of bocadillos either but – trust your instincts – it may be the best move as long as you stick with cured meats such as jamon or salcichon. (Ignore the tortilla and tuna versions, imho.)

- Soups/stews are generally a good bet but if they come to your table anything less than hot then that is a warning sign. Safest ones are the sopa de ajo, lentejes or caldo Gallego - all the major veggie soups.

5. FOOD IS HERE – NOW WHAT?

- Trust your animal instincts – you do have them. If there is a little alarm going off in your head for any/all of the foods presented then leave them. Negotiating not paying the bill, in part or full, is up to you. Travel is not a safe endeavor. Never really has been until the last few decades and that condition is turning. One takes chances or one stays home.

6. ABOUT WATER. 'No potable' means “don’t drink”. So, do not.

B
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Then how do you explain the commonalities, such as drinking water from fountains near Carrion de los Condes and the quarantine in an albergue there? I think it's likely that there was contaminated water from somewhere rather than dirty hands transmitting a bug from arse to mouth. Could also have been vegetables or other foods rinsed with contaminated water. The same thing happens in the U.S. as shown by the numerous contaminations of packaged salads. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea.
Something like a norovirus. Bunch of people sharing facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens. Questionable hygiene habits. Lots of grubby pilgrims on the Camino. Some downright skid row looking.
 

MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Maybe this will be helpful, maybe not, but the crowd here is ever-changing though the Meseta and Carrion reps both keep getting smacked around.

I'm a former medical microbiologist and have experience on epidemiology teams. That's on top of 5 years of hospital work. I am NOT presenting an 'argument from authority' - - just establishing that I have some experience with the topic. And, it goes beyond "professional engagement" as I have had virtually every food or waterborne illness common to the Northern Hemisphere at least once. But NEVER on the Camino despite exclusive use of fountains for drinking water.

On multiple Caminos I have seen the "tummy bugs" strike as early as Puente and as late as Mazarife. Almost every instance presented as symptomatic of Norovirus with a mixed bag of Salmonella, and Bacillus cereus following on.

Okay, some tips on avoiding food-borne and/or water-borne illness. (And I am thinking in context of mid-Prairies North America as much as the Meseta.) I am not claiming the following is foolproof, it just improves your odds....and life is all about probabilities.

Rather than finger-wag about “Don’t” let’s examine the “Do” list.

DO!

1. ALWAYS. Do proper handwashing after toilet use. Drying them can be problematic in the common Meseta W/C but you have a kerchief or some tissues, no? I always have a packet of wet-wipes or similar handy for use. Lack of soap or handtowel is then no problem after flushing - - wipe your hands, use the towel to open the door back to the bar and dump the towel in the waste bin on the way out.

2. MINIMIZE EXPECTATIONS. I am not apologizing for shoddy food preparation, this an endeavor (however feeble) to protect you from it. Here is the restaurant/bar owners view: The financials of running my shop are all about reducing waste because, aside from alcohol sales, that is pretty much where MY margin comes from. (Translation: Keep portions under control and minimize the amount of food investment going to the landfill.) In Spain especially, the alcohol margin does not appear to be as great as is seen in other places. Thus...

3. BEFORE DECIDING WHERE TO EAT. Ask a few different locals the best place to get a meal. Then make sure that you see locals eating there before sitting down for more than a beer or vino.

4. WHEN CONFRONTED BY A MENU. As in you are not confident but there is nothing else open…

- stay as “local” as you can as far as food choice. For example, maybe seafood is not an excellent choice in the smaller towns on the Meseta. Personally, I do not order salmon, snapper, sole or oysters in “flyover North America” just for example – that is beef, swine or chicken country.

- Order ‘a la carte’ – just because you are a pilgrim does not mean that you must be stuck with the “bulk food” menu. Even so, assuming success on this point, the next few points still apply.

- Avoid “recyclable” starches. Rice is a good example. It is cheap and easily cooked once and re-heated for….how long? Pasta is a bit better but it is not a lock to be problem-free. The softer from 'al dente', the bigger the risk.

- Avoid “recyclable” sauces. Vinegar and oil are just fine. Anything requiring cream, milk and/or eggs can be dodgy. (Choose Salade mixta as opposed to Salade Rusa)

- I loathe “fried” or “well done” but… they are one’s safer bets when in doubt. Chicken, pork or beef for sure though fried seafood is not necessarily okay because refrigeration problems in transit may allow a small amount of bacteria to produce a lot of toxins.

- Not fond of bocadillos either but – trust your instincts – it may be the best move as long as you stick with cured meats such as jamon or salcichon. (Ignore the tortilla and tuna versions, imho.)

- Soups/stews are generally a good bet but if they come to your table anything less than hot then that is a warning sign. Safest ones are the sopa de ajo, lentejes or caldo Gallego - all the major veggie soups.

5. FOOD IS HERE – NOW WHAT?

- Trust your animal instincts – you do have them. If there is a little alarm going off in your head for any/all of the foods presented then leave them. Negotiating not paying the bill, in part or full, is up to you. Travel is not a safe endeavor. Never really has been until the last few decades and that condition is turning. One takes chances or one stays home.

6. ABOUT WATER. 'No potable' means “don’t drink”. So, do not.

B
Point taken, good practical advice, thank you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
Maybe this will be helpful, maybe not, but the crowd here is ever-changing though the Meseta and Carrion reps both keep getting smacked around.

I'm a former medical microbiologist and have experience on epidemiology teams. That's on top of 5 years of hospital work. I am NOT presenting an 'argument from authority' - - just establishing that I have some experience with the topic. And, it goes beyond "professional engagement" as I have had virtually every food or waterborne illness common to the Northern Hemisphere at least once. But NEVER on the Camino despite exclusive use of fountains for drinking water.
Excellent post and I agree.
I posted elsewhere that I have to wonder if the rare pork that is served at least in Fromista could be one of the issues? I remember worrying at first, but casting caution to the wind on my first Camino. We were lucky and didn't get sick (and in fact loved the pork), but this crossed my mind...
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Of course I don't drink "agua no potable" but I also stay away from "agua tratada" if I have other option although I know it's safe to drink it. It simply means that the water from the fountain is actually the same as the one from a spigot in a bar. Bottom line - I have no wish to drink water from the swimming pool because sometimes the smell and the taste of chlorine is/was really bad. I always ask the first older local I meet if the water is safe to drink. No intestinal problems yet ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
I think this is an interesting topic because on the camino we have less opportunity to collect evidence and test/check it. By the next day we are generally gone up the road (if not laid low in bed). We draw our opinions from our inferences but in reality the 'facts' are often thin or hearsay.
Last year at the end of October I arrived at Carrion de los Condes Albergue eclesial Espíritu Santo to find about seven in bed and very sick. I knew most of them from Burgos. They'd all stayed in Hontanas while myself and another group did the slower Hornillos/Fromista option. Later when I sped up again I met a few more of the 'Hontanas victims'. The Koreans had spread news of the illness via their WhatsApp group, which at the time had about 80 active members on the camino. The common view on the group was of bad water in Hontanas, and the advice was for everyone to drink bottled water on the Meseta. And they of course told this to the other pilgrims they were walking with. That message may have eventually reached some of you here on the forum.
I still wonder whether it was actually bad water that was the problem. I have no real basis to know either way. As for fingering Carrion - I think it's worth also saying that there's often an incubation period for these kinds of illnesses. A lot of people being sick in Carrion doesn't necessarily mean that the Carrion holds the source of the problem - as I was able to establish in this case.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I used to refill my bottle in every available place; and I particularly liked the leg-shaped fountain in Grañón. Then, one day I saw a dog happily licking the faucet of a public fountain. I have nothing against our cute tail wagging friends, but since then I only go to fountains with faucets placed conveniently high about ground, or in bars or albergues.
My only serious bout of gastrointestinal problems was after the famous "fuente del vino" in Irache. The thing tasted rather odd...but it could have been a coincidence.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Thanks simply B for your informative post - it’s good to keep those thoughts in mind when making menu choices, not only on the Camino but everywhere.

On my recent camino, in a small town - I won’t say where - I saw an instance of questionable food storage practices. Two chest freezers were in the hallway of the albergue I was staying at which had two buildings for pilgrim accommodation. The freezers weren’t in the main building. I questioned their placement and concluded that there must have been nowhere else where the freezers could be stored ... but surely a locked garage perhaps would have been more appropriate.

The freezers weren’t padlocked (probably a good thing as I’m a fan of murder mysteries and have an overactive imagination!) so, being a sticky beak, I opened the freezers for a look at the contents - no dead human bodies on view thankfully - but I was surprised at the sight which did meet my eyes - here’s a photo:

FD45B98E-5210-4684-A668-E07CF9044936.jpeg

That night there was no menu choice, as occasionally happens if you stay at some of the smaller albergues. I ate paella with chicken and hoped for the best!

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I've never seen anyone on the Camino who could be described as "skid row looking."
An "unkempt" (and humble) pilgrim that I met on the Camino was someone who had sold his start up company to a very big company and was contemplating his next venture while walking the Camino. You know what they say about books and their covers...
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Thanks simply B for your informative post - it’s good to keep those thoughts in mind when making menu choices, not only on the Camino but everywhere.

On my recent camino, in a small town - I won’t say where - I saw an instance of questionable food storage practices. Two chest freezers were in the hallway of the albergue I was staying at which had two buildings for pilgrim accommodation. The freezers weren’t in the main building. I questioned their placement and concluded that there must have been nowhere else where the freezers could be stored ... but surely a locked garage perhaps would have been more appropriate.

The freezers weren’t padlocked (probably a good thing as I’m a fan of murder mysteries and have an overactive imagination!) so, being a sticky beak, I opened the freezers for a look at the contents - no dead human bodies on view thankfully - but I was surprised at the sight which did meet my eyes - here’s a photo:

View attachment 64091

That night there was no menu choice, as occasionally happens if you stay at some of the smaller albergues. I ate paella with chicken and hoped for the best!

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
I have a feeling I might learn something here, and look like an idiot. But I'm gonna ask anyway.

What is wrong with this? Its just chicken in a freezer is it not?

(Already hiding under the table)
Davey
 
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
How are those judgypants feeling today - a bit tight, perhaps?
I've never seen anyone on the Camino who could be described as "skid row looking."
Apparently we have never met on the Camino, @Glenshiro! After the first 10 days I look thoroughly disreputable...at least that is the rumor.:)

B
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
I have a feeling I might learn something here, and look like an idiot. But I'm gonna ask anyway.

What is wrong with this? Its just chicken in a freezer is it not?

(Already hiding under the table)
Davey
Hi Davey - anything in a freezer should be wrapped - in this case leaking chicken blood onto other items in the freezer (if the chicken was supplied fresh) could cause contamination.
Here in Oz I have everything in the freezer wrapped and the air expelled - makes for better freezer storage - no freezer burn for one thing.
Hop out from under the table - and maybe check your freezer! ;)
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Hi Davey - anything in a freezer should be wrapped - in this case leaking chicken blood onto other items in the freezer (if the chicken was supplied fresh) could cause contamination.
Here in Oz I have everything in the freezer wrapped and the air expelled - makes for better freezer storage - no freezer burn for one thing.
Hop out from under the table - and maybe check your freezer! ;)
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
Ah yes, I do wrap my dead bodies I mean chicken in cling film. I missed that bit.

Just banged my head on the table
Davey
 
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
Thanks simply B for your informative post - it’s good to keep those thoughts in mind when making menu choices, not only on the Camino but everywhere.

On my recent camino, in a small town - I won’t say where - I saw an instance of questionable food storage practices. Two chest freezers were in the hallway of the albergue I was staying at which had two buildings for pilgrim accommodation. The freezers weren’t in the main building. I questioned their placement and concluded that there must have been nowhere else where the freezers could be stored ... but surely a locked garage perhaps would have been more appropriate.

The freezers weren’t padlocked (probably a good thing as I’m a fan of murder mysteries and have an overactive imagination!) so, being a sticky beak, I opened the freezers for a look at the contents - no dead human bodies on view thankfully - but I was surprised at the sight which did meet my eyes - here’s a photo:

View attachment 64091

That night there was no menu choice, as occasionally happens if you stay at some of the smaller albergues. I ate paella with chicken and hoped for the best!

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
Actually, @JennyH94 , there are two excellent reasons for NOT having the freezers in a garage.

1) Freezer circuitry (thermistors and the compressor) prefers a stable ambient temperature for long service.

2) In the warmer months, a garage will warm to a point that the refrigeration circuit (compressor and coils) are worked HARDER than if they were exposed to "human comfortable" temps. This leads to reduced life of the appliance AND higher operating cost during the period. In Spain, that cost is considerable.

But, I absolutely agree that locks and cling wrap would be nice!

;)

B
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
There are actually three different signs for water. Not drinkable, not tested, and drinkable.
Or there is give it to a thirsty donkey. If the donkey drinks it then it will be safe for you. If the donkey doesn't drink it then either it's not safe or the donkey wasn't really thirsty.
There is always the gin and tonic or red wine option. Donkeys don't like either of those. Some donkeys will test your beer for you.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
We drank the water where it said potable, or where the village got their water, and had no problem. If you are concerned you can take chlorine tablets with you, or you can take a steripen UV light water sterilizer (48 seconds kills 98% of bugs in a half liter). But they're pretty heavy to pack. Or just boil your water in the morning at the albergue before you head out.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
Then how do you explain the commonalities, such as drinking water from fountains near Carrion de los Condes and the quarantine in an albergue there? I think it's likely that there was contaminated water from somewhere rather than dirty hands transmitting a bug from arse to mouth. Could also have been vegetables or other foods rinsed with contaminated water. The same thing happens in the U.S. as shown by the numerous contaminations of packaged salads. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea.
I wonder if it's confirmation bias? People only reporting stomach problems from that area because that's the area they have heard about? You would need statistics from all the way along to see whether there is a genuine problem there. It would be interesting to do that but it isn't an easy task. Or of course there could be one water source that is a genuine problem, although the people in Spain are just as keen to have clean water as we are and I suspect it would be tested if they suspected a problem.

Walkers on the long distance trails in the US now greet each other with fist bumps rather than closer contact because that is recognised as the most likely way that various bugs are transmitted. Things like norovirus are incredibly easy to pass on and the explosive 2 or 3 day sickness and diarrhoea is likely to be that. Poor washing up in an albergue, shaking hands with someone who is incubating it, toilets not thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, all of those are common ways to pass it on. Or a dispensing machine at a cafe which has been used by someone who didn't wash their hands thoroughly after going to the toilet - my triathlon club reckon that was how most of us caught it when we were staying in a hotel at an event.
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
My husband and I are in Astorga tonight and so far so good. We drink tap water exclusively. I did however get several cartons of zumo de naranja for a vitamin C boost, as one of the 24 people in our albergue room has what sounds like a nasty case of bronchitis. I feel badly for her, certainly, but also concerned for the rest of us (especially those with a compromised immune system).
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
It happened to me and several others I met in September 2018 - almost all of those, including me, seem to have drunk, stupidly perhaps, from water fountains near Carrion de los Condes. While I was staying at an albergue there, they had quarantined off a complete dormitory block due to an outbreak of a gastrointestinal type infection (according to the nuns who run the albergue). But the others I met who had similar symptoms were staying at different albergues.
My advice: bottled water only, no ice in drinks!
I'll probably get shot down for this post, but it's just my opinion, that I hope will help someone avoid what happened to me and many others.
Thanks MarkyD!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
one of the 24 people in our albergue room has what sounds like a nasty case of bronchitis. I feel badly for her, certainly, but also concerned for the rest of us (especially those with a compromised immune system).
Yup. Irresponsible in my opinion. If you are sick you should book private lodgings instead of exposing everyone in the albergue. I've been the recipient of this type of 'gift' more than once.
 

gmag

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances
Here are the statistics of an albergue on the meseta for a year:
Specifically by Luz de Frómista, opened on September 7, 2018.
In almost a year we have had more than 4000 pilgrims.
Only two cases of gastroenteritis, one serious and the other mild. The two were treated at the Frómista medical center and recovered easily in our albergue.
The two cases acquired before reaching Frómista.
Both were young pilgrims.
We come from Holland, we are not used to theoretical local bacteria.
We drink mainly tap water and have never had even the slightest problem.
I have very frequent contact with Carrion albergues, mainly Espíritu Santo and they have never told me anything about any alarming situation, so I am sure they were very punctual and sporadic cases.
If there were reasons to worry, I would have been the first to worry and take action.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I
I refilled my bottles with tap water from faucets in restrooms where I stopped for coffee or food, or from the sinks in the albergues where I stayed. From SJPP to Santiago. Never used a fountain, never bought water, never had a problem.
I never drink from public fountains in towns and squares because one does not know who is monitoring them? I have read reports of contaminated water periodically in publc drinking fountains , so I stick to bottled water when traveling.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
How are those judgypants feeling today - a bit tight, perhaps?
I've never seen anyone on the Camino who could be described as "skid row looking."
Me pants feel great. Quite comfy. As always.
Oh yeah, definitely some feral types walking the Camino. I remember two peregrinos you would smell before you saw at the albergue.
 

Doughnut NZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
Not really, I live in Spain and I've travelled all over Spain during more than 7 years. I've also been travelling back and forth to Spain since the 60s. There are places where water is not good quality. Some people, including locals, are more resistant to the waterborne bacteria, newcomers might not be.
Some areas have very hard water others don't. Some water comes from mountain reservoir sources and others from coastal salt desalination plants. Some water has higher chlorine levels than others - I know, in 5 years from 2005 to 2010 I used to measure it as part of my job. I installed mains water treatment systems in a chain of health clubs, mainly to reduce risk of legionella.
Besides my own experience, what makes me a bit suspicious is the number of people I met at the time, and that I've heard of since, which appear to report almost identical symptoms and from the same place: Carrion de los Condes. There has to be a reason for that, surely. Or is it just coincidence do you think?
I caught Legionella somewhere along the Camino Frances sometime in June this year. I thought that I had Influenza and kept walking until I collapsed just past O Cebreiro. I spent 8 days in hospital on IV antibiotics in Lugo. I don't know where I caught the Legionella, although it was clear that I got it from contaminated water. The public health team at Lugo suggested that I probably had the infection for 10 to 12 days and so that does put Carrion de los Condes in the frame but I can't say for sure that this is where I caught it.

I also corresponded with a friend in Sahagun who said that he also heard of someone else who had caught Legionella on that stretch of the Camino.

I stayed at the refurbished convent in Carrion de los Condes. My stamp says "Clarissa - Carrion de Los Condes". I filled my own water bottle from the tap in the Albergue.

Just to reiterate, I can't say that this is where I caught this infection but I would be interested in where anyone else who got Legionella stayed in this area?
 

gmag

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances
Tips from the Government of Castilla y León for gastroenteritis:
Copy and translate from here: https://www.saludcastillayleon.es/es/camino-santiago/problemas-salud-frecuentes-peregrino/gastroenteritis-diarreas

Gastroenteritis / Diarrhea

Nausea and vomiting and / or abdominal pain and diarrhea. Sometimes fever and malaise.
What to do?
• General rest.
• Digestive rest: do not eat anything for 24-36 h.
• Reintroduce solids gradually, avoiding dairy products

Until healing.
• Rehydration: commercial solution for hydration: 2-3 liters every 24 hours.
• If there is a fever greater than 38º C: Paracetamol.

How to avoid it?
• Drink water suitable for drinking (drinking).
• Wash fruits and vegetables.
• Do not bring food that degrades at room temperature.
• Boil fresh food before eating.
• Wash your hands before meals.
• Avoid infecting others: do not share dishes, and keep your hands clean and without contact with other pilgrims.

When should you request healthcare?
• If there is a great affectation of the general state or uncontrollable vomiting.
 

gmag

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances
Gastroenteritis is acquired by drinking contaminated water.
Legionella is not acquired by drinking water or transmitted from one person to another. Legionella is only acquired by breathing small drops of contaminated water, usually in showers. And water is only acquired by drinking water if water accidentally enters the lungs, which is rare.
The sanitary controls to avoid legionella are very serious and strict, and if a shelter does not comply with them, or if its facilities have an obvious risk of having legionella, it has a real problem with the government of its region.
I imagine that the government of Galicia will have contacted that of Castilla y León to notify about the area in which cases of legionella occurred, and that it would try to find the common origin of various cases, reaching the concrete shelter. I am not sure that the health authorities of different autonomous communities contact correctly, the bureaucracy in Spain is sometimes excessive, slow and inefficient. If the disease is detected in the same region where the disease is origin, shelter, public source or restaurant, the process is fast and effective.
This is a problem in which the type of shelter is also important, it is more possible in old sanitary water facilities than in new ones. Currently there are even anti-legionella hot water systems, it is not cheap but if you want you can put it on. We have it in our hostel, our entire water and heating system is Okofen anti-legionella, it is worth investing in security. Nor am I sure that all hostels do, on the contrary, they cannot, and they have to perfectly control their systems, which is not so difficult.
Legionella is a type of bacteria that is found naturally in freshwater environments, such as lakes and streams. It can become a health concern when it multiplies and propagates in artificial water systems in buildings, for example:
• Shower head and sink faucets.
• Cooling towers (structures containing water and a fan as part of the centralized air cooling system of an industrial building or process).
• Whirlpools that do not empty after each use.
• Fountains and decorative accessories with water.
• Hot water tanks and water heaters.
• Large pipe systems.

Once the case has been notified by the health personnel who attend the
patient, Public Health services investigate, the characteristics of each
case, trying to relate the exposure and contagion of the sick person, in
certain dates, with the same source of infection.


After the Legionella grows and multiplies in the water system of a building, the water that contains the Legionella must be dispersed in the form of droplets small enough for people to inhale. People can get Legionnaire's disease or Pontiac fever when they inhale water droplets in the air that contain the bacteria.

Another less common way people can get sick is by aspirating drinking water containing Legionella. This happens when water enters the lungs accidentally when drinking water. People at higher risk of aspirating water include those with difficulty swallowing.

In general, legionnaire's disease and Pontiac fever are not transmitted from one person to another. However, this could be possible in rare circumstances.

Talk to your doctor or local health department in the following circumstances:
• Believes that he was exposed to Legionella Y, ALSO
• you have symptoms such as fever, cough, chills or muscle aches.
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
[If you are really paranoid about water safety you could use Katadyn Micropur water purification tablets. These treat about 1 litre of water and kill off bacterial contamination. They are available from Decathlon.
However this will not cover you for hand to mouth carried bugs or even windborne droplet contamination from the farmers muck spreaders on the meseta.
There is an old saying "S**t Happens" at some point in anyone's life they are going to come down with some form of gut infection and the consequences are going to be bad for a few days. Take reasonable hygene precautions and be prepared to use rehyrdrating/isotonic drinks to keep you going untill the bugs get flushed from your system.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 June/July/August
I did walk in July this year and did drink tap water between Burgos and Leon.
Nothing happened. I did not have any problems with my digestive system.

If you are used to to the standard hygenic precautions (wash hands, rinse vegetables, etc.) than you have done all that you can do to avoid those symptoms.

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

Corelacka

¡Hola!
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPP-Fisterra (2014_2018). Burgos-Astorga (2019)
When I walked CF this Spring there were several peregrinos and even an albergue volunteer who said that it was well-known that some of the tap water in towns between Burgos and Leon is contaminated.
I walked from Burgos to Astorga in June and drank tap water the entire time, as did several other peregrinos in my group. No one had any issues and this is my second time doing this section. Never used public fountains though...
 

gmag

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances
Let's be serious. That is to say, the opinion of "some pilgrims and even a volunteer hospitalero" may have some importance ... and the real absence of mass complaints from citizens of "some cities between Burgos and Leon" has no influence? what are the names of those cities? What are the names of these pilgrims and that hospitalero? Where are the sick?

In a judicial process, abstract accusations are not accepted without well-proven evidence (names, witnesses, signed testimonies, places, times, etc etc.) And here "the problem" is already being treated as if it really exists, based on "some and some" ...

I insist, there is no problem with the water on the meseta. If there were, it would be a huge scandal and the disease would be devastating on the Camino de Santiago. It is something we would not have heard "some" but all.

Fortunately there are pilgrims with good sense who say they have never had any problems.

Roland49: If you are used to do the standard hygenic precautions (wash hands, rinse vegetables, etc.) than you have done all that you can do to avoid those symptoms. This is pure logic and common sense!

In my opinion, if someone, pilgrim or albergue, has knowledge of several cases of gastroenteritis, they have to notify the health services of Castilla y Leon, they are the first ones interested in discovering the origin of the disease and acting quickly. The health department phone number is 983413600. I know them and I know that they appreciate information of all kinds.
 
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Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
Let's be serious. That is to say, the opinion of "some pilgrims and even a volunteer hospitalero" may have some importance ... and the real absence of mass complaints from citizens of "some cities between Burgos and Leon" has no influence? what are the names of those cities? What are the names of these pilgrims and that hospitalero? Where are the sick?

In a judicial process, abstract accusations are not accepted without well-proven evidence (names, witnesses, signed testimonies, places, times, etc etc.) And here "the problem" is already being treated as if it really exists, based on "some and some" ...

I insist, there is no problem with the water on the meseta. If there were, it would be a huge scandal and the disease would be devastating on the Camino de Santiago. It is something we would not have heard "some" but all.

Fortunately there are pilgrims with good sense who say they have never had any problems.

Roland49: If you are used to do the standard hygenic precautions (wash hands, rinse vegetables, etc.) than you have done all that you can do to avoid those symptoms. This is pure logic and common sense!

In my opinion, if someone, pilgrim or albergue, has knowledge of several cases of gastroenteritis, they have to notify the health services of Castilla y Leon, they are the first ones interested in discovering the origin of the disease and acting quickly. The health department phone number is 983413600. I know them and I know that they appreciate information of all kinds.

Sorry to make you angry. If you read my post I asked the group a question.
 

gmag

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances
Sorry to make you angry. If you read my post I asked the group a question.
Not angry, just a little sad, I´m spanish.
I have read your post and all the answers, you ask the group a question, I am part of it, and I give my answer. I hope I can do it ...
Rumors like that can easily spread and create problems.
In addition, I believe that the opinion of someone who lives on the meseta day by day, week after week, month after month, and who lives every problem, can be read by those who want to know not only anonymous rumors but opinions lived and grounded with data and with numbers. I usually get documented before writing.

I don't have to be believed, that's free, but I do think I can give an opinion.
Do not take my answer wrong, it is direct but friendly.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Not angry, just a little sad, I´m spanish.
I have read your post and all the answers, you ask the group a question, I am part of it, and I give my answer. I hope I can do it ...
Rumors like that can easily spread and create problems.
In addition, I believe that the opinion of someone who lives on the meseta day by day, week after week, month after month, and who lives every problem, can be read by those who want to know not only anonymous rumors but opinions lived and grounded with data and with numbers. I usually get documented before writing.

I don't have to be believed, that's free, but I do think I can give an opinion.
Do not take my answer wrong, it is direct but friendly.
It's all well @gmag, :)

Most of us love Spain, most of us never had any problems with water on any Camino or entire Spain, most of us completely understand your feelings about your love for your country and most of us know Spain isn't a third world (nothing bad about thrird world though!!!) country.

But you have to understand that some people are very easily scared because of their "homeland" circumstances and for many it seems almost impossible that somewhere in Europe it can be possible to drink from the public fountain, well or even (what a shock) mountain stream! You are lucky. We are all lucky to have opportunity to live in this still relatively healthy environment. And we should've all be more aware of the negative effect on the environment we put with buying bottled water where there's absolutely no need for that by spreading false-flags like Meseta water is no good...
 

gmag

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances
It's all well @gmag, :)

Most of us love Spain, most of us never had any problems with water on any Camino or entire Spain, most of us completely understand your feelings about your love for your country and most of us know Spain isn't a third world (nothing bad about thrird world though!!!) country.

But you have to understand that some people are very easily scared because of their "homeland" circumstances and for many it seems almost impossible that somewhere in Europe it can be possible to drink from the public fountain, well or even (what a shock) mountain stream! You are lucky. We are all lucky to have opportunity to live in this still relatively healthy environment. And we should've all be more aware of the negative effect on the environment we put with buying bottled water where there's absolutely no need for that by spreading false-flags like Meseta water is no good...
KinkyOne,
wonderful answer, thanks!
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
I refilled my bottles with tap water from faucets in restrooms where I stopped for coffee or food, or from the sinks in the albergues where I stayed. From SJPP to Santiago. Never used a fountain, never bought water, never had a problem.
I'd be concerned about using taps in a rest room more than taking water from a fountain. They are very likely to be contaminated, not least by people who have been to the toilet and then touched the taps with their hands before washing.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
I caught Legionella somewhere along the Camino Frances sometime in June this year. I thought that I had Influenza and kept walking until I collapsed just past O Cebreiro. I spent 8 days in hospital on IV antibiotics in Lugo. I don't know where I caught the Legionella, although it was clear that I got it from contaminated water. The public health team at Lugo suggested that I probably had the infection for 10 to 12 days and so that does put Carrion de los Condes in the frame but I can't say for sure that this is where I caught it.
Legionella is more likely to come from something like a contaminated shower head, because the main mode of transmission is by breathing in infected water droplets. It's not impossible to catch it from drinking, but less likely.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
It was within a day either side of Carrion that my otherwise healthy friend became ill. The volunteer at the albergue that i referenced in my original question is a lifelong resident of that community and she was warning pilgrims not to drink the water there as many residents and pilgrims were getting sick. Several people here pointed out that just because a few have become sick, it doesn’t mean that they caught it from the municipal water system. True. To that I would also add that just because you didn’t get ill drinking the water doesn’t mean that the water suppply is free from organisms.
 

David with new Kit!

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September (2019)
Don’t know if this topic has already been beat to death but here goes. When I walked CF this Spring there were several peregrinos and even an albergue volunteer who said that it was well-known that some of the tap water in towns between Burgos and Leon is contaminated. This came up when a very fit and very healthy friend came down suddenly with a “stomach flu”. She was taken to the hospital in Burgos and given IV hydration and meds. She recovered and in 3-4 days was back on and finished. I was just wondering if people were just talking about the water or if this truly is a thing?
I've been coming to Spain for over 30yrs and never had an issue with water. Tap water is no problem at all if you stick to the cold tap.

If water fountains are not drinkable there will be a sign.
 

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