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sad news


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Hello everyone,
it is sad new I have today - yesterday I left Castrojirez, walked up the Alto, across that flat bit and down the other side, a steep but short path. As I was walking very slowly down the steep bit because I was taking a lot of care with my bad knee, a man passed me, pushing me aside a little bit and said something in spanish, all I could understand was "my knee" so I assumed he was saying he also had a bad knee. Anyway he was going quite fast. At the bottom about 100m along the way, he fell very hard, flat on his face, his big heavy backpack crashing into his head with lots of force. Another australian woman, Suzannah who is a nurse was only about 50m behind him. By the time I reached him a couple of spanish guys and Suzannah had put the man on his side and she had her hand trying to press his tongue down to keep his airways clear. He was bleeding profusely from his nose and breathing with difficulty. One of the spanish guys called emergency and Suzannah did her best to keep his airways clear. Sadly, the man passed away there on the path, before the helicopter and ambulance arrived 30mins later. By then there was a little group of us around the man, helpless as there was nothing we could do. We are all so sad and a little traumatised and shocked. I spoke to a french couple who had stayed in Hontanos the previous night where the man had stayed. He had got up early, 5.30am and went to the bar for a couple of hours, we don´t know whether he drank coffee or alcohol. They said he was a happy, singing, boisterous guy. Suzannah feels his knee gave out and because he was hurtling along the sheer magnified impact of his backpack and the hard ground probably caused internal brain bleeding. We don´t know. I´d appreciate if Ivar or Javier or someone is able to find out through the media if it is reported and let me / us know. I´m sorry to have to report this but the reason I do is because..........please remember to try and pack as light as you can and if you have a knee problem please go slowly! I had been feeling a bit pathetic going so slowly and so so slowly down hills, practically testing every snail step. Now I know I need to continue doing this. Yesterday I turned 50 and at the beginning of the day felt a little down that now I was so old! By the end of the day I was grateful to be 50, alive, healthy (knee probs aside) and feel an angel has whispered in my ear to take it carefully. I never thought my camino would include being present whilst a man´s life passed away in front of me. I feel so sad for him, his family and friends. He is in my thoughts and I just feel so sad. Sorry for the gloomy post. Jane.
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I am sorry to hear this news. I did watch the national news on TVE last night and they did not mentions this, nothing in the Galician papers this morning either.

You are right, we should celebrate every birthday and be thankful for it.



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Such a sad event in such a beautiful part of the Meseta. I am thinking of you, and hope you find good people to support you as you walk. (Or bus if your knee needs it!!)
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Active Member
Oh, Jane, what a sad story and how hard it must be for everyone of you who stood around this person. How tragic!
With you in thoughts and prayers, claire


New Member
This must have been such a traumatic experiencing for you. My thoughts are with this pilgrim and you. So very sad...

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