What a beautiful morning following the River Darent through small villages and peaceful meadows. THIS is more like it.
First a catch up story from last night. The proprietress at The Fulwich gave us a nice gift. Our rooms were so hot from the days sun. We have asked if she had any fans available. “I do, she replied, but they are not assembled.” We were able to assemble them we replied and we’d do so after dinner.
After our rather extravagant dinner at the Turkish restaurant Efes, we came back to the Fulwich to find our host had gone ahead and assembled the fans herself. What a kind act and it made all the difference in cooling the room and allowing us to sleep.
The kindness didn’t stop last night. We stopped for coffee and a breakfast Turners Cafe at South Darenth. It was great timing for a good coffee and breakfast fare. But with our packing back up we accidentally left without paying our bill. Miles later this fact occurred to me and we immediately phoned them to apologize and arrange a payment over the phone. “Not to worry” they replied, consider it our gift to you on your long walk. Yet another blessing.
We took a detour into Eynsford for a pilgrim stamp at a local shop and enjoyed watching the children play in the water near a beautiful old bridge. At Eynsford we ran across a beautiful old church with an arched brick entry way lined with fir trees. The entrance to the church was of particular beauty…particularly to a woodworker like me.
The next stage toward Otford took us past a beautiful lavender field bursting with color. The beauty was only disrupted by the growing heat. We’re well into Kent now and this huge agricultural region is covered in hops, wheat, rape, corn, in addition to garlic and lavender.
We met a wonderful couple as we left a Roman Villa historical site. They chatted with us a bit and told us about their adventure. See the video below.
Lunch at Otford was a nice break; I have to admit I have been feeling the heat today. The pack seems heavy; I mean, it is heavy and has grown since we’ve left since I’m carrying the food supply. It’s what we do and I’m sure that’s not the issue, it is just the heat today, and Day 3 is always tough.
After Otford everything changes. The route we’ve been taking joins the north Downs Way and makes a steep climb up to the Downs. Gone are the villages and you on a series of hills and pasture land. The soil changes to chalk and temperature goes down about 1 degree… but at least there is a nice breeze.
Today was long – 19.4 miles and my feet felt it. The heat created some minor chafing issues but easily managed. The shower tonight felt exceptionally wonderful. We ended in Wrotham (pronounced Root-em) at a lovely pub – The Bull – and treated ourselves to a nice dinner.
May I introduced you to a “friend”…actually an enemy… the Stinging Nettle. Although we have them in the US they aren’t common in NC where I live. In the UK however they are prolific. They give you a sharp sting when touched and the sting lasts about 7min. It’s painful but not overly so.
Unfortunately we have to walk through fields of these sometimes. Ouch!
Ok. So we’re staying in a pretty nice place tonight, but we’re still pilgrims.
Well that’s it for today. Thanks, in summary, enjoy my first attempt at a collage video. Tell me what you think.