Oh my, today shall be known as ‘The Day of Weariness’. Somehow, none of us had much energy to push on and get through the miles. We had estimated that that it would be 16.6 miles, but it turned out to be over 17. Not much difference, but with complaining knees, sore feet and niggling shins & hips, it all counts. But, we congratulate ourselves on not a single blister between us.
However, the weather was sunny and beautifully windy which kept us cooler than on previous days. We only had one light shower for a couple of minutes. No coats needed today.
We had many climbs and descents in the first hour. The ground had become soggy on the surface and the clay content made it horribly slippery and quite difficult to walk on. The pace was therefore slower than we had been achieving. The views were wide but as the South Downs have run out now, they are less spectacular.
We met some interesting fellow travellers including representatives from the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group and from Kent Refugee Help. They were on a practice walk for their own trek next year. We met them near the Lenham War Memorial Cross – a large cross cut into the chalk hill. The other ‘traveller’ was Brother Percival having a rest on a bench on his own pilgrimage. So we joined him for a while.
Fi’s favourite moment of the day was being allowed a few minutes pause to fly her kite.
We did realise by the end of the day of long flat, straight stretches that we actually liked the challenge of climbs and some map reading.
There was a sad derelict church ruin at Eastwell, which only had its bell tower standing.
At the end of the day we had to try and keep a straight face as we passed a golf course with a lady golfer who was dressed all in pink, pink T shirt, pink cardigan, pink golf cart with pink club covers. It was all taken so seriously and yet looked so ridiculous!
Now we are all warm and rested in the lovely home of Sylva & Joe and their daughter Katherine. They have given us tea, let us use their shower, fed us royally and given us beds for the night. Such a wonderful welcome.
The prospect of only 13.1 miles tomorrow is making us feel like it will be a holiday. The last post of details of the walk will come tomorrow, but do keep looking as we have a few more bits of information we would like to share.
We are thinking of those at home, how we are grateful for their support and how we have missed them. We are hoping that we have made a difference and have helped to raise a respectable amount of money for The Friends of St Thomas’s. Has it all been worth it? What will we remember especially? How have we changed?
Love the Pilgrims