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Josef Scheffler on Via de la Plata

Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#1
I was just on FB.

Someone posted that a pilgrim died today or a day or so ago 2kms short of Canaveral from heat exhaustion.

Has anyone heard about this?
 

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Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#2
I was just on FB.

Someone posted that a pilgrim died today or a day or so ago 2kms short of Canaveral from heat exhaustion.

Has anyone heard about this?
I hope not!
Just skimmed the regional papers for that area but only found an article about a 83 year old lady who suffered a heatstroke.
Bad enough as that is.
I remember a pilgrim dying in that area but that was two years ago.
Today in Badajoz it was 45 Celsius.
Stay safe everyone !
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#3
Like @SabineP I have just looked for any references in the local news websites and have seen nothing. I have also heard a vague report privately through Facebook. If this turns out to be accurate I am sure that the sad news will be confirmed by the Spanish press in due course. Until then I think that speculation about details is unhelpful.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#6
I have been thinking about "our" pilgrim sisters and brothers walking in this 45+ heat (or about 110F+) . I will not be surprised if there is a death related to heat stroke. My advice: start early, rest during the 12.00/14.30 period, drink plenty of water, consider an umbrella. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#9
My advice: start early, rest during the 12.00/14.30 period
The hottest part of the day is usually from 14.00 onwards until 17.00. It took me by surprise when I walked for the first time during a fairly hot period in the South West of France. I took a long rest in the shade around 13.00 and couldn't understand why it was getting so unbearably hot in the afternoon. By the time I reached Spain I was wiser and I now know that I must stop by 13.00 altogether in hot weather. As an example the forecast for Astorga today:

Astorga.jpeg
 
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Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#10
My advice: start early, rest during the 12.00/14.30 period, drink plenty of water, consider an umbrella.
I do agree with most of your suggestions. But: Try to be in the albergue before 14.00 h! On my various caminos in Spain I found, that the biggest heat starts at that time, not at noon (Spain is more westward than central europe).

If you are not at your intended night stop at that time, try to book a bed by phone, make an extended Siesta (to 17.00 or even 18.00 h) and continue in the cooler evening hours.

BC
Alexandra
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#19
Condolences to his family and friends. One cannot emphasize enough: Rest during siesta hours and re-hydrate continuously! Because of this intense heat I decided to rather walk during September/October this year. Take care out there everyone. Much love.
 

spagirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances(Sept 2018)
#20
I am so sorry for the family of this pilgrim.
Please be careful out there. Its a serious matter.
Early warning signs.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
  • Confusion.
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Take care of yourselves out there!
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#21
I am so sorry for the family of this pilgrim.
Please be careful out there. Its a serious matter.
Early warning signs.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
  • Confusion.
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Take care of yourselves out there!
Also, not sweating. When you reach the point of having these symptoms, you need electrolytes. Stop at the 1st place you find & ask for help. Or ask any walker who comes by for help. It's amazing how fast the message moves along the trail when help is needed.

I forgot earlier to say that often the person experiencing these symptoms often does NOT recognized them as dangerous. If someone you're walking with says something like "I'm not sweating" or "I haven't peed all day" or "I have such a headache" or something unusual - listen up and ask questions. You may save a life. Be safe and take care of each other. Buen camino
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
#22
I have been thinking about "our" pilgrim sisters and brothers walking in this 45+ heat (or about 110F+) . I will not be surprised if there is a death related to heat stroke. My advice: start early, rest during the 12.00/14.30 period, drink plenty of water, consider an umbrella. Buen Camino.
Could not agree more..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walken camino frances from st Jean in 2015(?) now think about walk from Porto or bike from Haarlem
#26
I ask myself why people decide to do this route in summer when the heat is extreme and the risk of fires which will surely outrun you is always present.... likely so much better in May
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#27
I ask myself why people decide to do this route in summer when the heat is extreme and the risk of fires which will surely outrun you is always present.... likely so much better in May
I don't know about the VDLP but I walked the CF with my son in the summer of 2016, even though it was the hottest time of the year (and he really doesn't like the heat) because he was in school in the spring and fall and his mother really didn't want me to pull him out of school. Sometimes you walk in the only time available to you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
frances 2017
#28
The hottest part of the day is usually from 14.00 onwards until 17.00. It took me by surprise when I walked for the first time during a fairly hot period in the South West of France. I took a long rest in the shade around 13.00 and couldn't understand why it was getting so unbearably hot in the afternoon. By the time I reached Spain I was wiser and I now know that I must stop by 13.00 altogether in hot weather. As an example the forecast for Astorga today:

View attachment 45200
Down here in the Deep South of the US some people call those late afternoon hours the "heat stroke" hours, for good reason. Only newcomers and northern visitors (and construction workers who don't have a choice) physically exert themselves then.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#29
Yes it is tragic, the loss of a fellow pilgrim. But I think the time is now here to stop walking the southern routes to Santiago. Climate Change is a fact of life. Temperatures are brutal on this Camino. You are inviting a serous problem and yes even death as what has befallen this Pilgrim. The risk is just too high. I know people have time restraints on when they can walk.
But please choose another Camino. I want to walk the VDLP next year. I was going to start around October 1st but now I think November 1 makes a Lottie sense. You can prepare for rain or snow but you can’t prepare for 45 (110) degree heat. It is sad to say but is there Mesata far behind in terms of waking in dangerous heat? It just isn’t worth it. I have walked the Meseta and the southern Portugues in extreme heat. It was often no fun and I received no spiritual gain on those days. It was a learning experience but I felt I was placing myself at risk. Just my opinion.
Buen Camino and be safe and smart.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJDP- Santiago (winter 2018)
SJDP- Santiago ( Planning Fall 2018)
#30
I have been thinking about "our" pilgrim sisters and brothers walking in this 45+ heat (or about 110F+) . I will not be surprised if there is a death related to heat stroke. My advice: start early, rest during the 12.00/14.30 period, drink plenty of water, consider an umbrella. Buen Camino.
Great advice! I would extend the off hours to 11-16. On such days one should only walk early morning and late afternoon.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#31
Great advice! I would extend the off hours to 11-16. On such days one should only walk early morning and late afternoon.
Hola @CaminoJew I was hoping that my post would be a reminder to those walking, all caminos, to be a bit more proactive. I was devistated to hear about the death of the German pilgrim last week. I do agree that with Spain's longitude, summer time etc its better to start as early as possible (first light) and take a break once the temp passes 35'C (95 F). Hopefully the hospitaleros will take pity on those walkers affected by heat and open as early as possible!!
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#32
Yes it is tragic, the loss of a fellow pilgrim. But I think the time is now here to stop walking the southern routes to Santiago. Climate Change is a fact of life. Temperatures are brutal on this Camino. You are inviting a serous problem and yes even death as what has befallen this Pilgrim. The risk is just too high. I know people have time restraints on when they can walk.
But please choose another Camino. I want to walk the VDLP next year. I was going to start around October 1st but now I think November 1 makes a Lottie sense. You can prepare for rain or snow but you can’t prepare for 45 (110) degree heat. It is sad to say but is there Mesata far behind in terms of waking in dangerous heat? It just isn’t worth it. I have walked the Meseta and the southern Portugues in extreme heat. It was often no fun and I received no spiritual gain on those days. It was a learning experience but I felt I was placing myself at risk. Just my opinion.
Buen Camino and be safe and smart.
With incomplete information it is hard to say what brought about the recent death on the Camino. A personal tragedy no one wants to repeat for sure.

Life in general can be dangerous. Certainly Spanish summer heat isn't to be trifled with on any of the Camino routes. Here in NZ another mountain rescue demonstrates that weather can turn and even the most experienced tramper can get caught out. It always amazes me when I see people strolling off ill prepared on our great walks, they assume in our temperate climate things will be fine, sometimes Mother Nature can be as dangerous as an 18 wheeler forcing you off the road.

That said, the Vdlp is still walkable in spring and autumn, you just need to adjust your walking times to avoid the heat, and be prepared to carry and drink a lot of water. I wouldn't fancy doing it in November or December, way too muddy and isolated for a winter walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#33
With incomplete information it is hard to say what brought about the recent death on the Camino. A personal tragedy no one wants to repeat for sure.
Perhaps someone with more knowledge than I have can shed some light on this because it is my impression that the Spanish health authorities keep a record of cases of death due to heatstroke which is a well defined and serious medical condition. According to this article of 10 August 2018 "Se elevan a 17 los muertos por la ola de calor en España", in the case of the German pilgrim on the Via de la Plata near Canaveral, the Guardia Civil initially suspected heatstroke and it was later confirmed during a press briefing given by a consejero from the health authority.

See also https://www.hoy.es/extremadura/pasado-recogio-zona-20180811222423-nt.html where a very experienced and fit looking Spanish pilgrim with 11 caminos talks about his experience last year in the same area when he decided to resort to calling 112.

Edited to add: Press conference of 7 Aug 2018 with Minister of Health and Social Policy of the Junta de Extremadura.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#34
I and my walking companion were confused by the intersecting paths in the low scrubb in the section between the Embalse and Cañaveral- near where this poor man was eventually found. It is easy to imagine the difficulty for someone a bit confused by heat stress. At one stage the path we were on intersected with a small gravel road servicing the Ave works and my companion and I followed it for a kilometre before we realised, from looking at our position on maps.me, that it was not the Camino and if we continued along we would bypass Cañaveral altogether. We had to find our way across country to rejoin the proper path.
As I understand the newspaper articles this pilgrim did not intend to walk this far - he had planned to stay at the albergue on the Embalse, but unfortunately it was closed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#35
For reference, I am again posting the urine assessment chart to assess your relative condition based on the urine you produce. It is an all purpose comparison chart to assess your medical state based on urine output, not just for heat stroke. The bottom line, lighter is better, clear is best. But none is VERY bad.

If you are NOT urinating, or NOT sweating, or feel lightheaded or nauseous STOP! You have the onset of heat stroke!

Get into shade, use wet cloths to cool your neck, wrists and head. I find my BUFF (I always carry TWO) is best for this. When not in use they are butt-padding in both rear pockets of my cargo pants. If walking with or near others alert them to your condition. Enlist their help as needed. Pilgrims ALWAYS help other pilgrims in need.

The water to use for external cooling just needs to be clean(ish) NOT potable. So most any nearby fuente, pond, stream, trough, or garden hose will do. You are trying to use the ambient temperature of the water and evaporation to lower your core temperature ASAP.

Sit down. knees up and head lowered between knees to improve circulation of hopefully cooler blood to your brain and organs.

Also drink potable water. Add electrolyte solution if you have it. I do not care if you are not thirsty. You must drink and keep drinking until you need to urinate or start sweating again. Sometimes this can take upwards of a liter or two. So, making friends with other pilgrims is in order here.

Also, and for what it is worth, I always carry a tube of 10 Nuun electrolyte tablets. They come in assorted flavors, with and without caffeine. I do not use the caffeine containing product, as caffeine constricts blood vessels and capillaries. If one is dealing with heat stroke, you want your circulatory system wide open for business.

I buy the Nuun tablets in a runner's supply store, or order them online through Amazon. Break in two to insert to .5 liter water bottle, shake and you have a rehydration solution. Tastes salty, but it does work. Even though I have mild hypertension (high blood pressure) this is one time where needs must. DRINK THE REHYDRATION SOLUTION. It can save your life by preventing organ impairment and failure/shut down.

Aquarius is the local sports rehydration drink in Europe. But it is not always quick to hand when you absolutely need it. Also, local pharmacists carry rehydration powders as well. But, you need to get to a farmacia first...

Hope this helps.
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#36
Aquarius is the local sports rehydration drink in Europe. But it is not always quick to hand when you absolutely need it. Also, local pharmacists carry rehydration powders as well. But, you need to get to a farmacia first...
.
Having experienced over 40C temps for two weeks on Levante with minimum shade I can say that's the best advice @t2andreo gave above.

If you want to buy rehydration powder in Spanish farmacias the Suer Oral is the most common. It weights next to nothing in comparison with heat stroke.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean
2014, 2016 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
#37
I do agree with most of your suggestions. But: Try to be in the albergue before 14.00 h! On my various caminos in Spain I found, that the biggest heat starts at that time, not at noon (Spain is more westward than central europe).

If you are not at your intended night stop at that time, try to book a bed by phone, make an extended Siesta (to 17.00 or even 18.00 h) and continue in the cooler evening hours.

BC
Alexandra
I agree. On the VDLP in May it really heated up after 1pm and by 2pm was really hot.
Happymark
 



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