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.
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!