Walk completed August 16, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014 -- Day 40, Canterbury to Ashford, 9 miles

I have often taken wrong turns on trails that extended the daily mileage. Today may have been the first time that a wrong turn shortened the mileage. Even at that, it was not my fault. Really.

The route out of Canterbury was easy enough, joining the Great Stour River at a riverside park. The trail left the city, passed through pastures and fields of grain, with lovely scenery all around. As always, route finding was somewhat complicated through the villages of Chartham and Shalmsford Street, primarily due to the lack of signage and a network of small streets. My 1:50,000 scale maps are not adequate for navigating tight spaces, but I can’t carry enough 1:25,000 scale maps for a long walk.

Great Stour River near Canterbury

Highland cattle in pasture

Great Stour River near Chartham

In any event, I passed through the villages, through more barley fields, and into a nice woodland, following a clear bridleway for over a mile. Deep in the woodland, I came upon a crossing footpath with temporary signs directing the Stour Valley Walk to the right. The bridleway continued straight, as did the route on my map and my mental instinct. Sometimes temporary signs divert traffic due to an obstacle ahead, like a closed bridge or trees having fallen across the path. Sometimes temporary signs merely denote a new alternate route. I’ll never know, because I opted to follow the signs. A long, steep descent brought me down to the village of Chilham Mill, on the A28 road, right next to the Bagham train station.

Footpath near village of Shalmsford Street

The wrong footpath

Great Stour River at Chilham Mill

The day was getting warmer, so rather than climb back up the trail to investigate the reason for the temporary sign (or alternatively walk along the busy A28 road for at least a mile, I decided to end the day early by catching the train from Bagham to Ashford. A 1½ mile walk from the Ashford train station to my hotel brought today’s mileage to nine, rather than the 14 that were scheduled. But it wasn’t my fault. Really.

© 2014 Ken Klug

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Ken. We just got caught up on all your July posts. I have to say your photos are excellent! Sounds like you're having a good time. Sherryl & Brian