Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Big Walk - Day 2 - Detling to Hothfield

Day two of my big walk started off this morning where I had finished off yesterday at the Cock Horse Inn at Detling parts of which date back to the 17th Century.

Things did not get off to a good start. The weather was atrocious with constant drizzle. To make matters worse the first part of today's walk was along the Pilgrims' Way to Thurnham. The Pilgrims' Way at this point is nothing more than a country lane not even wide enough for two cars to pass each other and with no pavement.

I spent the next 30 minutes or so dodging cars and then some dinkle decided to drive a 7.5 tonne truck up the lane. I leave the ensuing chaos to your imagination!

In Thurnham I rejoined the North Downs Way (NDW) and headed steeply uphill past the ruins of Thurnham Castle to the top of the ridge. All the time the rain continued unabated and to make matters even more depressing the wind picked up to virtually gale force.

On a clear day the views would be great but as you can see....

The NDW winds through the woods at the top of the ridge and undulates up and down. Due to the rain the going was muddy and slippery.

After what seemed like forever I finally made it to Hollingbourne. A distance of only 5 miles from Detling. I think it had actually taken me just over two hours. The traditional Kent finger post showed I still had another 15 miles to go to Ashford close to my destination for the day.

The NDW passes the Dirty Habit. I was going to go in for a tea or coffee to warm up until I noticed a sign making it clear that muddy boots were NOT welcome!

The next town en route was Harrietsham which I could see in the valley below. On the outskirts of Harrietsham the rain finally started to ease off slightly.

I continued on towards Lenham passing around the back of the Marley works and Stede Court nature reserve where I came across this carving of a weary pilgrim sitting on a bench.

By this stage I was very wet and a bit fed up.

Finally after about four hours of continual drizzle the sun came out. However, the wind continued to gust. Not much fun when you're walking into it.

I stopped to take some pictures of the Lenham Cross cut into the hillside in 1922 like the one at Shoreham to commemorate the fallen of the Great War (and later Second World War).

The next leg of the walk was through to Charing where I planned to find a cafe for a cuppa. When I did eventually get to Charing it looked like the whole place was deserted. I half expected to see a clump of tumbleweed blow along the High Street. No cafe. No cuppa.

Looking at my map I could see it was only another couple of miles on to Hothfield just outside Ashford where I was staying the night so I gave up on Charing and headed straight there.

The last bit through to Hothfield was beside the busy A20, not the best bit of the walk so far.

Total miles walked on day two - 16 miles. Number of blisters - too many! Number of sponsors today - not enough!

Total miles walked since leaving the hospice yesterday - 35 miles.

The halfway point has been reached.

Tomorrow's walk will be through to Arpinge near Folkestone. Lots more hills for me to look forward to. .

If you would like to help the ChYps kids get the care and support they need, please sponsor me now at -

Many thanks for your continued support.

UPDATE - for Day 3 of My Big Walk please see here

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