Tuesday 22 July
5am the alarm went off and after another ten minutes we shifted ourselves and completed the now regular routine. Once all our goods and chattels were gathered and attached to their various homes we set off……….no we didn’t…….Rachel had another puncture. So everything was removed from the bike and because it was so early in the morning, like church mice we crept to the entrance of the campsite to complete the repairs.
Now if any of you who have worn latex gloves knows, once that have been worn once they are hard to get back on……sometimes. “Rachel have yo got the talcum powder” I asked.
“Pass me it and I will show you”. With a quick squirt and hand rub they glided on. This was not to be as easy as before as I could not locate the puncture. So it was brakes released, wheel nuts removed and back wheel off so that Rachel could take it to the washroom sink. She returned like a jubilant hero smiling and running towards me with the inner tube in her hand with a well located finger just by the hole. The job completed we proceeded to load up the bike and me to go to the bus stop to the start of the walk - well it was to be a long day and by taking the bus it was save an additional two miles.
The day continued with the usual departures and getting together at various points as I followed the North Downs Way towards Dover. Shortly before lunch I met up with two walkers who were completing the final four days of the Downs Way. We chatted about walks in general, what I was doing which surprised them but again they understood and were interested in the concept. (Sorry I can’t remember your names - I am getting old!)
After lunch we left the North Downs Way to follow our own route slightly more direct towards a couple of Abbeys that I had noticed on the map. The first one was actually not an abbey but had previously been a country house and was now a park with a cafe which we just had to visit. The second one was within a farmstead and was in a very sorry state. The whole site would have been huge back in the 11c but now had been raped and pillaged for the stone for various other buildings. Sadly there was no information board to impart any knowledge on what it may have looked like or its history.
My day ended with a fabulous walk along the ridge heading down towards the port with the town to the left and right of me in the valleys below. I headed to our B&B for the night rather excited at being in a bed and having fluffy towels after seven night being in a tent. We even had dressing gowns and slippers……………….
That night we dined at the White Horse Inn in Dover, reputed to be the oldest one and also where all the cross channel swimmers get to sign the walls and ceilings after completing the epic swim.
We slept and dreamt like babies that night…
Distance - 19 miles
Total since Helmsley - 500.75 miles