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What to do if hit with a cold at the start of your Camino?

Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#1
Began with itchy, sore throat in SJPP, and full blown cold by Roncesvalles. Took a rest day in Espinal, bus to Zubiri where I've been resting all day. Taking usual meds, drinking lots of fluids (non-alcoholic). Have no energy, and feeling sorry for myself. Anyone have suggestions to get on the road again?? Would like to try Zubiri to Trinidad de Arre tomorrow/Saturday 28 Sept. But afraid I'll poop out between Larrasoana and Arre. Thanks !
 

Olivares

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
#2
You are doing the right thing by resting. Only try yo walk if you have NO fever and if there are NO rain conditions; warm clothing, including covering your head. The fresh air may do you well, but if you overdo it, it can end your Camino. So, yes, head out when the day warms up and do not go far. Drink honey and lemon tea until it pours off your ears!

Hope you feel better soon! Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#3
You are doing the right thing by resting. Only try yo walk if you have NO fever and if there are NO rain conditions; warm clothing, including covering your head. The fresh air may do you well, but if you overdo it, it can end your Camino. So, yes, head out when the day warms up and do not go far. Drink honey and lemon tea until it pours off your ears!

Hope you feel better soon! Buen Camino!

Thanks Olivares! I had forgotten the honey & lemon juice! May bus to Pamplona (tho' I really want to walk) just to get the honey and lemon -- and then kick back until it lets up!
 
W

Wanderer64

Guest
#4
No one here is in a position to diagnose your ailment, so at very least I suggest you consult a pharmacist in the town you are in. Medical advice will differ depending on whether it's a common cold or influenza. Pharmacist may also be able to take your temperature - a very important bit of information.

Listen to your body.

One general rule I've gone by (this is not medical advice): if the cold/flu conditions are above the neck with no fever, moderate exercise ok. If fever and in the chest, achy feeling all over, rest, liquids and more rest.

Take care of your self!
 

Olivares

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
#5
Try the pharmacy in Zubiri first! About 10 minute walk towards the Hostal-restaurant Gau Txori, the pharmacy is before you get there.

Farmacia Liso Aldaz
Calle del Río Arga
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#6
Thanks Wanderer! Not asking for a diagnosis - it IS just a cold. But there are so many good suggestions on this forum, I thought someone might jog my brain or come up with other ideas. I DO like you general rule (not medical advice). ;-)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#7
Try the pharmacy in Zubiri first! About 10 minute walk towards the Hostal-restaurant Gau Txori, the pharmacy is before you get there.

Farmacia Liso Aldaz
Calle del Río Arga
Thanks again Olivares.
That was the first thing I did (after getting a private room) when I got to Zubiri . Maybe I just need patience!
 

Caplen

Wherever you go, there you are.
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2000 - Frances;
Summer 2001 - Norte/Frances/Fisterra;
Spring 2015 - SJPdP>Irun(GR10)>SdC((Norte)>Fisterra/Muxia
#8
You are doing the right thing by resting. Only try yo walk if you have NO fever and if there are NO rain conditions; warm clothing, including covering your head. The fresh air may do you well, but if you overdo it, it can end your Camino. So, yes, head out when the day warms up and do not go far. Drink honey and lemon tea until it pours off your ears!

Hope you feel better soon! Buen Camino!
I walked one day with a cold, and it actually turned into a really fun day. It was a cold, damp, drizzly day and my Italian Camino companion Marco and I sauntered slowly with no stress or cares. (Our grumbly, chain-smoking French companion Jacques had some bug up his butt that day about some "stupid froggies" - his words! :rolleyes: - that had rubbed him the wrong way, and had sped ahead double-time) . Marco and I stopped at every - literally every - bar along the way where I ordered tea with lemon, honey and just a splash of whiskey. I got lots of funny looks from bartenders, but that cold didn't stand a chance by the end of the day!

Now the flu I had a few weeks earlier was a whole nuther story.....

Hope you feel better soon!
Ultreia!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-SJPDP-Santiago (2010), Stevenson (2011), SJPDP-Santiago (2012), Le Puy-SJPDP (2013)
Arles-Somport-Santiago (2014) ourense-santiago (2015)
#9
This first step is probably the most difficult on the camino. May be, you got tired Roncesvalles and with a cold, it is normal that you run out of energy.
For me, it is better to walk very short steps rather than waiting for the cold gone. In this beginning of the camino, there is a lot of accommodations every 5 or 10 km. It would be much better to stay demoralized.

Buen camino
 

StuartM

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012)
#10
I don't know if it is available in Spain but I've found a spray sold here called First Defence is great as a preventative when feeling the first hint of a cold. Not much use when it's already developed though.
 

christer1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
none (yet)
#11
I don't use drugs unless I have to so I would say that fruit and fresh lemon in tea and sleep are the main important elements. A good rule of thumb is that you can walk if you are suffering from the neck up but keep warm.

Raw fruit and veg is also good for keeping colds from getting to you. Several people here had to take antibiotics but I got away with coughing up stuff and a snotty nose.

Have a good one!
 

Laliibeans

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
#12
Lot's of vitamin C (fresh squeezed orange juice!), lots of fluids and some hearty chicken soup (supposed to be an anti-inflammatory but who knows if this is really true, placebo's work, too!). Hope you feel better soon. I spent my first week in London with a cold and unfortunately when I get a cold I can't see out of my left eye (always the left one...) had to relive it via my photos later for the non-blurry version!
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#13
Along with drinking lots of fluids, EAT! Your body needs fuel to fight off a cold, so fuel up and EAT!
 

piogaw

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances (05/06 2012) sjpdp-sdc; vdlp/camino sanabrea (02/03 2013) sevilla-sdc; hospitalero sdc june 2013, august-september 2013; caminho portugues (03 2014) lisboa-sdc
#14
the most important thing to do is go see a doctor. you might have more than a cold. if you need antibiotics, the chemist will not sell you the antibiotics
unless you have a prescription. leave the diagnosis to the professional.

i picked up a very bad cold that turned into something more serious on my first day out of sjpdp. fortunately i encountered a wonderful fellow peregrino who is a medical doctor from the us. he made it possible for me to continue my camino by giving me antibiotics. i will always be forever grateful to him.

don't wait for the simple cold to get worse. seek medical advice.
 

christer1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
none (yet)
#15
Actually here in Spain a couple of fellow peregrinos have purchase antibiotics over the counter in two separate towns so seems more relaxed here:)
 

piogaw

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances (05/06 2012) sjpdp-sdc; vdlp/camino sanabrea (02/03 2013) sevilla-sdc; hospitalero sdc june 2013, august-september 2013; caminho portugues (03 2014) lisboa-sdc
#17
Actually here in Spain a couple of fellow peregrinos have purchase antibiotics over the counter in two separate towns so seems more relaxed here:)
Be very careful. Some people are allergic to certain types of antibiotics. That is the reason chemists in spain will not sell antibiotics without a prescription.

Are you sure your fellow peregrinos were sold antibiotics over the counter and not some other medicine. I am very doubtful they were sold antibiotics.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#18
from expatfocus.com

Pharmacies in Spain work very differently than they do in the UK as there are medications which are readily available over the counter without a prescription, such as antibiotics. This means that a visit to a hospital or GP is not always needed and you can simply seek advice from a pharmacist if you believe that the condition that you have is mild.

Most pharmacies are open from 9.30 am until 2 pm and then again from 5 pm to 9.30 pm from Monday to Friday. Saturday opening hours are from 9.30 am until 2 pm. There are a number of pharmacies in each region which operate a 24 hour service and the details of the nearest one will be posted on your local pharmacy (farmacia) door. The pharmacy sign used in Spain is the same as in the UK, the green cross.

The way in which a prescription (receta) is issued is also different from that in the UK. If you attend the emergency department of a hospital the doctor there will not give you a prescription. You will simply receive a medical report which you will then need to take to a GP who will give you a prescription. There are no restrictions on which pharmacies that you use.

Prescriptions do incur charges (cargos por receta). If you have proof that you are an EU resident and of pensionable age then the prescription is free of charge. All other patients will need to pay up to 40% of the cost of the medication, but they will need to be registered with the Spanish social security department or have an EU medical card in order to qualify for this. If not they are liable for the whole cost of the medication (medicamento). In some instances these charges can be reclaimed, either from private medical insurance or from the EU. Each item is priced individually, unlike in the UK where there is a standard prescription fee. However, it is considered that prescriptions in Spain are still much cheaper than in other European nations.

The brand names of some medications will change from country to country so you need to make yourself aware of the generic name so that you have an idea what to ask for when you are in Spain. When medications are issued they are not measured out into bottles as they are in the UK, but they are in boxes with a set number of tablets in each box. Pharmacists are not permitted to split the boxes, so you may end up with more medication than you actually need. The pharmacist (farmaceutico) will also be able to advise you on the correct method of disposal for any unused medications.

All pharmacists must be registered with the local pharmaceutical association and these are all part of a larger organisation – the Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Farmaceuticos. A pharmacist that is registered with this body is able to offer a good range of advice and services.

Most pharmacies are part of a chain although there are some independent pharmacists in most regions.

Useful Resources

Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Farmaceuticos
General Council for Spanish Pharmacies
http://www.portalfarma.com/Home.nsf/Home?OpenForm (English site available)
 

christer1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
none (yet)
#19
Be very careful. Some people are allergic to certain types of antibiotics. That is the reason chemists in spain will not sell antibiotics without a prescription.

Are you sure your fellow peregrinos were sold antibiotics over the counter and not some other medicine. I am very doubtful they were sold antibiotics.
Moxycillin

Please update your "knowledge" but i agree that it is not advisable to take antibiotics etc without knowing what you are doing.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#20
Just an additional reminder that a cold does not require antibiotics. If the cold is accompanied by an infection somewhere (sinus, lungs, etc), you would require a physician's assessment to determine that and to prescribe antibiotic.
 

piogaw

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances (05/06 2012) sjpdp-sdc; vdlp/camino sanabrea (02/03 2013) sevilla-sdc; hospitalero sdc june 2013, august-september 2013; caminho portugues (03 2014) lisboa-sdc
#21
Just an additional reminder that a cold does not require antibiotics. If the cold is accompanied by an infection somewhere (sinus, lungs, etc), you would require a physician's assessment to determine that and to prescribe antibiotic.
Common cold and flu are caused by virus. There is no medicine to cure it.

However the common cold or flu in the more serious case can lead to viral pneumonia which can be cured by the use of antibiotics. However some people are allergic to certain types of penicillin, which if used wrongly, can cause a strong reaction and can possibly kill you. This is why spanish chemists that i know will not sell you antibiotics over the counter without a prescription. I know of many other medicines that they will sell you over the counter as compared to the uk. I don't believe they are willing to take a risk over the lives of others in terms of antibiotics.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#22
I found a wonder drug in spain that I like so much that I bring boxes of it home each visit.
It is called Flumucil.
There are two types... one is for the cold/flu symptoms. It is a tabled you dissolve in water and the other is a powder you use for chest congestion.
Both are miraculous in my opinion!

After you drink it, you feel human again.
I buy it the minute I get to spain so I will have it for me and other pilgrims "just in case."
 
M

MendiWalker

Guest
#23
In Spain like in other countries you need a prescription for antibiotics BUT some chemist´s unfortunately sell them over the counter.......... business is business so it seems.:eek:

If you do feel ill cold or what so ever see a doctor. Don´t seek advice from fellow peregrinos or Dr. Phil wannabes .

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2011, 2013) Roncesvalles to Belorado
CLeP (2013) - Le Puy to ?
CF (2018) Belorado to Astorga
#24
IF it is just a cold (and only YOU know if that's the case -- NO fever and head only), you can walk through it. It's a virus that will not get better or worse with rest. In fact, some studies show that exercise during a cold actually helps by raising the body temp a bit. Take pain meds, drink lots of water, eat well, and walk. Do NOT take antibiotics as they are ineffective for viruses.

If it is more than a cold......rest is imperative as is keeping track of your temperature. It's still probably a virus and antibiotics are not a good idea. However, If you get a temperature after the worst is over, or if you develop chest congestion, you may need antibiotics because a secondary infection may have set in. Don't ignore that or you could easily get sick enough to end your Camino!!
 

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