I found this while googling for something interesting about the Camino to bring as reading material to my first day back in classes tomorrow.

Bedbug Plaugue Strikes Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage Route

Convents and hostels along the route to the north-western Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela have become infested by bedbugs, spread by the more than 100,000 pilgrims who travel to the shrine of St James every year.

The insects, which bury themselves deep inside mattresses and pillows in the pilgrims’ quarters, are causing untold numbers of travellers to have sleepless nights and are responsible for many falling ill on the way.

The Federation of Friends of the Camino de Santiago has proposed a simultaneous clean up at all overnight stops along the route from the town of Roncesvalles on the French border in the Pyrenees.

“It’s a plague and it’s incredibly dangerous,” said Angel Luis Barreda from the organisation that oversees the pilgrimage path.

“The tiny insects are difficult to remove unless there is a strong and organised disinfection,” he told Spanish daily newspaper 20 Minutos. “Action is needed”

“Action is needed.” And don’t I know it! I was eaten a live in Hospital de Orbigo. I guess I’m lucky that I didn’t fall ill (which makes me wonder what that entails) but I did some counting and estimated some 70 bites in total on both arms, my neck and a few on my legs. The face says it all. Not a happy pilgrim.

P.S. For anyone ready to be grossed out, here’s the Wikipedia page on bedbugs – wish I hadn’t read it.

But then reading that page, I thought, maybe it was something else that got me, from the description of their feeding habits it seems odd I would get so many bites. But who knows.

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