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Day 18

Posted by on January 17, 2024

Start:  Cann River

Finish:  Cann River

Distance:  0

Total:  288

After having done these long walks three times over the last nine years, I’ve learned you can plan every detail but you can’t control what you can’t control. You just have to accept whatever comes along and just work with it. 

Over the last few days, I’ve mentioned this pain I’ve been having in the ball of my right foot. Unlike on my walk across Europe when I also had a foot problem that was diagnosed as a neuroma, this time it clearly looks more like a deep blister or cyst.  But one things for sure, it’s not getting better. More on that later.

Today I was scheduled to walk 29 miles from Cann River to the Genoa bus stop where I would catch the bus on to Eden.  While in the Cann River cafe last night I was talking to the local policeman discussing my walking route for today. He was pretty insistent that I should not walk along that road. He said the switchbacks and blind corners were very dangerous with no shoulder and considering the forecast was for rain and thunderstorms and I would be covered up with my poncho, he thought I should re-assess my plan. 

So last night I decided to not walk a planned segment of my trek for the first time in over 5200 miles of doing this. Instead, I decided to use the day productively and go have my foot looked at by a doctor. 

So I made a bus reservation to get from Cann River to Eden, a 1.5 hour trip. Meanwhile, I was researching where to see a doctor. There was a clinic in Eden. However, my bus was not arriving there until 4:00. So after breakfast this morning, I got packed up and started trying to hitch a ride to Eden to get there early enough to see the doctor today. After about an hour, Father Michael Kelly, a Catholic Priest and University Professor from Melbourne picked me up and we spent the next 1.5 hours together talking. It was great. 

When we got to Eden we found the medical clinic. I hobbled inside while Father Kelly waited in the car. Despite my pleading, the nurse said they were not taking “new patients.”  They recommended I go to the town of Bega, which is another 35 miles down the road to the nearest hospital emergency room. Luckily, Father Kelly was going that way, so off we went to Bega, which incidentally is on my walking route.  He dropped me off and I went in to wait to be seen. 

Unlike in the U.S., the place wasn’t packed with patients and I only waited about two hours to be seen. The doctor said I have an infected blister. I got six days of antibiotics and was instructed to “stay off it”. I explained I had been off it all day today and I could move up my scheduled Saturday day off to tomorrow, but that was about the best I could do in the “stay off it” department. Also I can lighten my pack by a few pounds to help too.  

So I got my meds, and now I’m on the bus riding from the hospital in Bega back to my motel in Eden.  Tomorrow I’ll take the day off, then start walking again; but unfortunately I will not have the time to make up that one leg that the policeman said was too dangerous out of Cann River. I’m really bummed about that but I think I made the best choice by using the day to go see the doc instead of walking. 

Sorry for the long-winded explanation but it’s been a long day. Take care. JB

Father Michael Kelly gave me a ride to the doctor in Bega.
The nice staff at South East Regional Hospital in Bega took good care of me.

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Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly
5 months ago

I am glad to hear that all worked out with your hospital visit in Bega and that you will soon be back on the road.

Marj B
Marj B
5 months ago

Wow, that’s a tough choice. Will definitely be adding your foot issues to my prayers. Fortunately you keep encountering some good Aussies along the way. Definitely think your guardian angel is doing a great job.

Cousin Ann
Cousin Ann
5 months ago

John, so glad you got medical help. Take the time you need to let your foot heal. If you don’t, you may end up loosing a lot more time. If you see a drug store, you might check to see if they carry an over the counter topical antibiotic cream. The one I have has bacitracin in it along with 2 other meds. I use it often for the cracks in my fingers which hurt so bad in the winter time. Very often I can just apply it to the crack then put a band aid on it for the night. It works so well, after only 1 night it is almost healed. Best of luck to you on this walk. I’m tuning in every day for your latest report.

5 months ago

Get some rest dad!

5 months ago

Glad you had your foot looked at dad. Hoping it feels better quickly!