May 28, 2018
Our morning started leisurely with a continental breakfast at the Castle Hotel where we were staying.
We had to wait for Jeff to pick up our luggage, when the car came and it was a new driver who lived closer to this area. He works for Jeff, his name is Yosef, but he told us we could call him Jeff 2. We knew Eynsford Castle was nearby and decided to see it on our way out of town as long as it was in the right direction, pacing ourselves for the day. Google led us to it, literally across the street from us, a five minute walk.
We walked back towards our hotel to the main road out of town and began the most interesting experience as far as mapping that I have known. Brian was the hero of the day with his navigational skills and use of the GPS system on the on-line English Ordinance Survey maps. He was able to get us off every street and highway possible by finding the foot paths that would keep us going in the right direction. It is amazing here that you can walk across private land. Brian found foot paths through fields, pastures with horses, cows and sheep, parks, along a river, agriculture fields (my favorite was a strawberry field that looked like a dead end) and a bike path along the freeway. We would have never known this alternative route was possible; some of the footpaths practically hidden.
The day started very pleasant, even though we were twice warned that it was going to be a hot, hot, hot day. In fact during breakfast, the telly reported that this would be the hottest day of the year so far. I started the day in shorts, short-sleeved shirt with a thin long-sleeved shirt over it for the cooler morning air.
Then one of my favorite parts of the day. Brian found an alternative to running across the busy M25 (major thoroughfare). The GPS led us to a large strawberry field.We entered the field and walked and walked straight toward the freeway not seeing anything but the field and the freeway at the end of it. It was getting hot and we needed a break. We kept walking hoping for some way to get us on the other side of M25. I was singing “Strawberry Fields Forever” as we trudged on the hot clumps of soil beneath our feet. But . . . At the end of the field that we could not see until we came upon it was a gate that lad to a bike/pedestrian path that ran right beside the thoroughfare.
It was noon and we had been walking for about an hour in the hot hot hot sun with a humidity that was unbearable. I was beginning to slow to a pitter patter. We were looking for a pub or a place to rest. I wasn’t hungry but wanted some shelter from the sun; I’d seen no shade for over an hour. After walking along the freeway on the bike path, we crossed over to the north side and found a bike path. About 1:00 p.m. we both needed to sit down and rest; we found a bench along the bike path.
After a half of an hour break, we were back on the shadeless bike path looking for something to eat. It was 2:30 when we found a cafeteria-style restaurant. Now I was hot, too full and couldn’t breathe from the humidity. My legs felt like leg weights; I could barely pick them up and my calves were starting to cramp. But I just kept walking knowing we were less than three miles from our destination, afraid to slow down and rest, By 4:30 we reached our hotel, I thought I would cry I was so happy, We entered the lobby, literally soaking wet.
It was a had day physically because of the heat, but I saw so much, and the navigation so unique that it was fun. I can’t wait for tomorrow to see what it will hold. Hopefully not another hot! Hot! Hot! Day.