11 June 2009

Day 20

les Boves, Arras, originally uploaded by Ryan Runs Europe.

23 Kilometers.
A busy day. The way to Arras was pretty short, with some beautiful sections along forest trails, and some not so beautiful sections along the sides of highways without proper shoulders. The area is filled with very small cemeteries devoted mainly to Canadians who died during the first world war. I stopped in many of the cemeteries and walked down the aisles, reading names of young soldiers who died almost 100 years ago.
It only rained for about an hour, and I arrived in Lens around 2 pm. I called up my couchsurfing host Aline, and I dropped off my things at her apartment and had an awesome lunch of savory crepes. We went do the central square of the town, where I went on a tour of les boves, a medieval chalk mine that lies directly under the town center. During the tour my leg was really bothering me, and I was walking with some serious pain.
After much deliberation and calling of mothers, I decided to go to the hospital to get my leg checked out. Aline walked me over to the hospital in the rain, and I spent a long time asking questions in regards to how payment would work. What I eventually learned was that I didn't have to pay anything (maybe because of my EU passport, I am not sure), but they took the address on my insurance card just in case.
The doctor who saw me was about as young as I am, which is always a comforting sign. When he asked me what the problem was, I explained (in poor french) that I am a "cross country" runner, and that I was running about 200 kilometers per ---. Before I could finish the sentence, he said "per day?" "Per week" I responded. His knowledge of running was also a very comforting sign. Anyways, after some poking, he decided to take an x-ray. Then, after some more poking, he called in his superior doctor. That doctor poked for a while and asked me many questions in French, which I tried my best to answer in French as well. We mutually decided that it is a bad case of tendinitis, and he prescribed me some stuff to "eat" (the best word I know for oral medication) and some stuff to "put on." He suggested that I take some time off. "One day, two days?" I asked. He responded "Three Weeks." I responded "Hahaha."
We dealed back and forth for a while, and (I) settled upon my walking for a few days, and resting for a couple days when I get to Paris if it is still bad. After many awkwardly worded questions in French about when and how long I should take the medication, the doctor said, in fine English, "We can speak English if you like." Thanks doctor man.
I left the hospital around 8 pm, and went back to have dinner with Aline and her boyfriend, and then we went to a friends apartment, where some people played some music and we drank some quality beer of the region. I even heard some songs that were played for me in my high school French class (thanks Sousbois).
Today I head towards Amiens, which is 60 km from here. Judging by the pain in my shin area and the current time of day, I will stop half way. If you look at a map of the area between Arras and Amiens, you will find that there is pretty much nothing in between. Don't quite know where I'll be sleeping tonight, but hopefully it doesn't rain too much.


  1. Hi Ryan!It was a pleasure to host you!and we had great times with my friends...It was the first time to me to go to Arras hospital...good luck with your leg!Enjoy!
    PS: You have a very french!

  2. Ryan, Glad you saw a doctor for your shin problem and hope you'll take his advise haha...
    Anyway, we're off to Colorado Springs today for few days for vacation plus search for our retirement home there. So I'll talk to you in a week until then take care of yourself and we love you very much. Phula

  3. Oh! Alexander saw your pictures and he wants to go home. He means Germany and he was very happy that he have the same hair cut as yours.
    He sends his love to you :-) Alexander

  4. Stay strong man. Even through injury you still make me wantto run across Europe in a couple of years. That and learn to speak more than one and a half languages.

  5. Napoléon!
    I've been following along from the beginning and I'm so delighted that you are in France now. Also glad that you were able to sing along with (or at least hum a few bars of) some of the music I imposed on you. Sorry about your shin splints. If you have to take 3 weeks off, you're in the best place to do it. Not at all biased...Love your posts and your pics.

  6. Ryan,
    I'm waiting for results on drop kicking the shin as mentioned in your last post. Glad you went to the the doctor man instead. Eat some pills and call him in the morning! Haha, this is great stuff. You can't make some of this stuff up. . .especially your ridiculous humor in the face of it all.

    Love your congrexpo pictures and "old england" pic from brussels.

  7. thinking of you and hoping you are not in too much pain...take it easy on yourself.

  8. I think you waiting someone;-)

  9. Answer to your question why you didn’t have to pay anything for your visit is because France has socialized medicine and no pesky health insurance companies. I think it is pretty cool and glad you got some much needed attention.