Do you remember Captain Haddock from the Tintin comic books? He often uses this expression: “Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles!”, well, may I say “Billions of Blue Barnecling Blisters!”
Luckily I have not had many, but when they do come and spoil my training routine, they sure are a nuisance!!
Let me share a part of an email I sent to a friend some time ago when my idea for the trip started taking shape:
… I drove to Saldanha for a short holiday.[this was in September 2014] The one day I decided to do a first ‘test walk’. I walked from Saldanha to Langebaan, had lunch and walked back (about 30km). What an experience. [It took me about 7 hours] My first realisation was that that particular pair of shoes is definitely not going with to Germany!! I started getting blisters after about an hour already! .…
Let me just elaborate; after the first hour – about 5km – my feet started to hurt. After the second hour I stopped at a shop to buy another pair of socks plus inlays. These gave me limited relieve but shortly after I was walking like a cripple – and I had not even reached the beach bar for my lunch yet!! When I got there the first glass of beer was HEAVEN! The pain of the blisters under my feet and on my heels got worse and worse on the return walk. Somehow I made it back to the cottage, then dragged myself to the beach and just sat in the cold water of the lagoon for some relief. My legs where stiff and sore for almost a week!
Although I don’t want that day over again, I still see it in a good light and am glad I pushed myself through it. It opened my eyes for what lies ahead and how important it would be to get good equipment, work out a training routine and do as much preparation as I could. Needless to say, I don’t use those shoes anymore. I spoke to a good friend who runs marathons who told me where and what running/hiking shoes to buy and I even went to a Podiatrist for some advice and individualised inlays. At the moment I do up to 15km in less than 3hours without stopping and without getting stiff. In Germany I will need to do between 20-30km’s per day.
Back to the blisters; for some reason I got one again a couple of days ago! It might be because I tried new socks or tied my shoe laces too tight. From now on I will definitely follow the good tip from my Podiatrist to wear a pair of ladies stockings inside my socks. This prevents the friction that causes those “Barnecling Blisters!”