No News…

7. Vila Nova de Milfontes

We didn’t do a great deal yesterday. We mooched around the old town and the beach area before being able to check into our hotel… which is a lovely little place with very very comfortable beds! It’s called the Mil Reis and in a great location in the old town. We asked if we could stay an extra night because we know we have to revisit the doctor tomorrow.

An hour before my appointment my mobile rang. The doctor had seen the photos of my injury and already written a prescription for antibiotics. There was no need to go again today but I should return in the morning. My prescription was already prepared and waiting for me at the pharmacy we had stopped at earlier. I have to say we have been really impressed with the speed and standard of care we’ve received.

We walked back to the pharmacy and collected the prescription. By now I was starting to feel quite poorly. I had that flu-ey aching hurty skin feeling. I was tired all I wanted to do was return to our room and go to bed. It was only 6.00pm.

As the night went on I felt worse and worse. What is it about the wee small hours when you’re ill? I felt hot and cold, my body ached and I had general feeling of doom. As I lay there in the dark I was seriously worried that maybe this was it for me. It sounds crazy now but I wondered what if these were to be my last few hours. I thought about my life… in my head I wrote letters to my loved ones and I was so sad because I’d never get to say the words. I chastised myself for being so gung-ho with my health. Should I have taken more care? Maybe my walking and my busy crazy schedule was too much? Should I have heeded advice and slowed down? Having cancer changes your outlook on life… but what is best? Should you live life to the full… grabbing every moment? Or slow down and make sure you have more time?

It does seem so silly now in the light of day but last night I felt so sad. I felt that I would be leaving a life not yet complete; that there was more I should have done. Had I been good enough, had I been kind enough? Had I been a good friend/wife/mother/sister?

I pondered all of these things.. for 5 minutes or 5 hours? I dont really know. I don’t think I was fully awake but I wasn’t asleep either. I’ve felt like this before and both times it was as a result of infections. Gerry says he checked me a few times as I was so hot and restless and I called out once or twice. He said he sat up for an hour just watching me because he was so worried.

At some point though I fell asleep. I woke this morning feeling like you do after finishing a tough day of walking but also, and more importantly, the feeling of malaise had gone.

We went down to breakfast and talked with an American couple who are walking for a few days with an organised tour. Their bus dropped them further along than Porto Covo to shorten the tough day of sand walking. Their bags are being transported so they just walk with day packs. Gerry said he can really see the attraction to this type of walking. He has found the 20km+ days and the heat too much… but he still has his cough and I wonder how much this is hindering him too?

We finished breakfast and I returned to the clinic for my cleaning session. When the tweezers and scalpel came out I assumed it was going to be more than she did yesterday. She explained that she needed to cut away all the unviable tissue; that this would help the healing and I guess reduce the risk of infection. She set to work and I read the posters on the opposite wall.

She was pleased with progess but I’m not discharged. I’m to go back again tomorrow and there is still no walking.

We wandered back into town and I bought a pair of trousers for 10€ from a Chinese Bazaar. Since my fall I’ve only been able to wear my craghopper trousers… the ones I cut into shorts. I have to wash them each night and hope that they dry. Yesterday I must have sat on a recently painted chair as I have white paint streaked across them now! So instead I’m sporting a very flowery pair of loose fitting trousers which will be useless on the trail but will do the job whilst lounging around by the beach.

We walked back along the sea and paddled. I longed to just dive in but that wouldn’t be prudent, so instead we opted for a cold drink and some people watching.

We need a plan. We have a week of hotels booked ahead but I suspect I will have at least two more visits to the clinic. My knee is sore and swollen and I think it’s unlikely that I’ll be walking much in the coming week.

Gerry handed me his phone open on a car rental site… “Maybe we could hire a car and just keep our reservations and explore the area instead?” I know it makes sense but I’m not ready to give up on the walking yet.

We continued further up the beach to a restaurant a fellow pilgrim recommended (thanks Laurie!). It lifted the mood. Gerry loves sea food. This was his idea of heaven. A hut on the beach… a table in the shade catching the breeze and an uninterrupted view of the coast… sea bass cooked to order on the BBQ… olives tomatoes and sweet onions drizzled in olive oil and a cold glass of vinho verde.

“Let’s hire a car” he said. It wasn’t a question. He’s right. I can’t even walk up a flight of stairs let alone hike 20km. But we’ll decide later because in the words of Scarlett O’Hara… after all, tomorrow is another day.


16 thoughts on “No News…

  1. Oh Colleen I’m so sorry about your knee, having been away my self I’ve only just caught up with your blog, that as always makes very interesting and enjoyable reading.
    But I do agree with everyone I think you can always go back again someday to walk. Enjoy your time together in those lovely places hire the car and just be tourists 😊 you can be pilgrims another day. Love the scenery may well look at taking a trip my self, don’t get to excited not as a walker just a tourist…
    Hope your cough is better too Gerry! Love to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mandy it’s stunning here… a great place to visit. We will come back for sure. I might still get a few days of walking… who knows… I’ll find out on Monday πŸ˜€


        • Ozy! Hello! I’m home and my knee is on the mend. I wasn’t able to continue on the Rota, indeed I was having treatment up to the last day I went home 😦 Vila Nova was a fabulous place to be stranded but I was sad not to continue this beautiful walk! But… silver lining I’m off to Porto on the 7th November to walk the Portuguese… and off to Marbella for work on Sunday… I’m still counting my blessings πŸ˜€


  2. Sending you a loving hug my fellow pilgrim. You are just not meant to walk at the moment. I’m so glad you survived the night. Just enjoy the holiday and the precious time you have with your lovely Gerry. You are so blessed to have that beautiful man to look after youπŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re right. I had three walks planned this year and each one has gone wrong… so now I have my unplanned walk in a few weeks and I’m hoping St James will send me some better luck. Last night wasn’t a lot of fun πŸ˜€ it all felt a little surreal today… and yes you’re right too about Ferry but don’t tell him πŸ˜€ we were laughing earlier about Hans on the Sanabres… I threatened Ferry with long socks πŸ˜ƒ x


    • He booked the car…partly because of my knee and in part because all the hotels are booked πŸ˜ƒ I guess it just means we have to come back another time… it’s a beautiful place xx


  3. Well, as far as walking (limping?) on, I can only repeat what my kids said to me: “Don’t be a hero, mum” and they were so right. Enjoy the countryside in a car, enjoy the wonderful food, enjoy being together and if you are feeling better, knee and body, well you’ll be able to walk later. And just think, if there are bits you didn’t walk, you can always come back and do them another time! Only your body will guide you.
    Courage, Colleen! I’m very envious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know you’re right. Gerry booked the car πŸ˜€ we will follow the path from stage to stage and maybe just do a little stroll each day to look around. Thinking back to the Swiss chap… can you change it>no>don’t worry πŸ˜€ x


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