Many remarkable people found their identities on rivers: Cleopatra on the Nile; Lewis and Clark on the Missouri; Mark Twain on the Mississippi; Jeff Bezos on the Amazon. This is the story of my 600+ mile walk along the waterways of southern England in the summer of 2014, and the remarkable people I met along the way. It is best read in chronological order, so I recommend starting with the earliest posting in the Blog Archive list in the right margin.
Walk completed August 16, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
July 19, 2014 -- Day 34, Dover
been in England for so long that I may be starting to think like the British.
Not totally, mind you, but just a little. For example, I’ll never get used to
the third world plumbing around here. OK, maybe not third world, but certainly
archaic – I’ve seen more modern plumbing in remote regions of the Caribbean and
the South Pacific. Perhaps British plumbing should be the subject of another posting,
but not now.
staying in a B&B that is about a 10 minute walk from the city center. As I
left this evening to walk to a restaurant for dinner, I noticed some clouds
forming overhead. The day was still hot and muggy – far too hot for me to carry
my Gore-Tex jacket. On a hunch, I grabbed an umbrella from the B&B’s
umbrella stand. I felt stupid carrying an umbrella on a hot sunny day. Well, you
guessed it. By the time I left the restaurant, it was raining buckets – still far
too warm for a Gore-Tex jacket, but the umbrella was perfect. Now, I ask you,
how many Americans from the southwest would have thought to carry an umbrella?
Indeed, most of the Brits leaving the restaurant weren’t prepared. So maybe I’m
not exactly thinking like the Brits – I’m thinking better than them. Just in
case I’m on a roll, here, I’m also thinking that they should be driving on the
right side of the road. But I digress.
I had walked from Dover to Folkestone yesterday, I decided that taking the bus
to Dover would be a better use of my time than retracing my footsteps. I spent
this morning walking around Dover to familiarize myself with the layout of the
city, and spent the afternoon touring Dover Castle – which I was able to access
for free because the English Heritage pass Janet and I bought in 2012 is still
valid until the end of July. That saved a £17.40 entry fee – about $30.
in the admission is a guided tour of the secret tunnels that were headquarters
for some of the Allied command during WWII. Oddly, most of the tunnels were
constructed in 1797, when Britain was concerned about an invasion by Napoleon –
but they were put to better use 150 years later. They were also put to good use
today, because the temps in the tunnels are much cooler than today’s outside