Thursday, May 9, 2013


It only took me two minutes on my feet this morning to know that it was time to stop walking. All the icing and Aleve in the world weren't fixing whatever was causing the pain and inflammation behind my right knee. I knew I  couldn't go on.

The owners of last night's B&B were my guardian angels. Because today was a holiday in Belgium, all doctors' offices were shut. But they found me a clinic like an Urgent Care in a neighboring town, and one of the owners insisted on driving me there and helping me check in.  I don't know what I would have done without their help.

Long story short:  the doctor says it's tendonitis and it will only get worse (which its doing) if I continue walking. But she thought that biking would be a good idea.

So I took a short bus ride to my next destination, Hasselt, Belgium (a lovely little city), checked into my hotel, and bought a very good used bike from the hotel handyman, who reconditions and sells these.

A ride around town this afternoon proved that the knee doesn't mind the cycling, since different muscles are being used.  There are bike lanes with their own lower traffic lights all over the town.

Tomorrow I'll go to the tourist info office to see if there are any specific maps showing cycling paths.   I'll stap my backpack and hiking poles securely to the back rack with bungee cords and head out.   I'll try to follow the GR5 as best as I can, unless it goes onto small dirt paths through fields and forests.   Then I'll reroute on country lanes.

I spent hours tonight redoing my schedule. Instead of walking 15-20 miles a day, I'll be riding 30-40, depending on where the lodgings can be found. I have pretty much cancelled every other lodging and tried to reschedule the others to earlier dates.

When I get to the end of my ride, I will send the bike back here by train, and the handyman says he'll refund me some of my purchase price by mail. I'm not sure that this will happen, but I'll still get to finish my trip anyway.

I'm actually looking forward to this new twist to the trip. No more pain is especially exciting!


  1. Ruth, I'm sorry to hear that you need to stop walking but I think that you made a very wise decision. Cycling will be fun, faster, and no more pain. You are very lucky that you found a bike and as always be careful. I wish I was cycling with you. Love, Mary Jo

    1. Thank you Mary Jo for your support. It will be a new challenge planning the route, but hopefully everything else works out. At this point, I'm just ready to complete this thing. Chance of showers today. That would make it less fun.

  2. Ruth, you are amazing! Riding a bike will be so much fun in that beautiful area. Just make sure you keep the cute animal pics coming.

  3. Ruth, just caught up with you since i have a new computer. You are a resourceful and clever person with determination. Applause, applause. We are with you all the way. Julia