Sometimes cycle-touring is a bit like a game of snakes and ladders….and after a run of mostly ladders since leaving home, it appears it is our turn to land on a snake.
We’d spent an extra day at the Vilnius campsite tidying up a few things on the computer, and finally left on 11 June, on a scenic, riverside route along cycle-paths and small roads (which turned to sand for about 4km). At Nemencine, we joined the 102 which would lead us up to the Latvian border, and then enjoyed a good day putting in 90+km on decent tarmac. So, after two happy days pedalling we camped up about 20km from the border and all was well when we went to bed.
And then we landed on the snake.
At 5am Keith was woken by an intolerable throbbing in his right knee. He suffered in silence until I awoke a couple of hours later, at which point he glumly informed me he was unable to bend his knee.
There was no way we were going anywhere that day, so, as we had plenty of food and sufficient water, we holed up there, dozing, reading, playing cards, and anxiously watching his knee.
In the evening it was no better so we decided to phone a friend. A physio we know suggested a few possibilities, of which the most likely is bursitis. Housemaid’s knee – haha!
So today (14 June), we dosed Keith up with Tramadol (always handy carrying some painkillers….but would have been more handy if we’d been carrying anti-inflammatories) and did a 3-legged pedal the 10km back to Dukstas where we knew there was a train station. Luckily it was ‘ladders’ from thereon and we bought our tickets easily enough and the train arrived 10 minutes later.
It’s a bit of a challenge to get a tandem, 4 panniers and a trailer up onto a train, especially when one of you can barely put any weight through his leg, but we managed with minimal difficulty, and unloaded OK at the other end too. All bags and bike accounted for, no grease-marks on the carriage seats, and other passengers only slightly inconvenienced by having to shimmy past the bike in the aisle.
So, here we are, back in Vilnius, at the nice campsite with wifi. Keith has got a box of 600mg ibuprofen and we topped up our food supplies at the hypermarket en-route to the campsite.
Now we wait. Either the knee will improve with rest and drugs, or if not we go and find a doctor and see if it needs draining.