Walk completed August 16, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014 -- Day 42, Harrietsham to Wateringbury, 7.5 miles

As you may have noticed from my pictures, England works hard to preserve tradition. As I strolled through Harrietsham this morning, I came across more tradition being preserved. How interesting it would be if they were still pumping gas – petrol – from these old pumps. But as I got closer, I realized that the pump price hasn’t changed in half a century, relegating these pumps to nostalgia.


A welcome cloud cover relieved some of the sun’s intensity, but did not cool the temperatures or reduce the humidity. Not wanting to commit to a 14 mile walk through rural countryside without transportation alternatives, I took a bus to Maidstone, where I commenced a shorter walk along the River Medway. Within the city limits I encountered a few dog walkers, but once off the paved footpath, the only persons I saw were boaters – many boaters, in large boats (not the narrow boats I had seen on the canals).


Marina after marina lined the river. One pub, a few hundred yards off the river, called to me for a cool drink, but from the number of boats moored by the footpath, I thought better of stopping. Besides, I didn’t have my deck shoes.

Without any other walkers, I concentrated upon the scenery and the houses. “Oast” houses seem popular in this area. From what I understand, they are former grain drying buildings converted to houses. The rooflines seem to have been inspired by witches’ hats.

Oast house

Tutsham Hall

Approaching the village of Wateringbury, I came upon a touching scene. A foal was lying in a pasture. As I passed, it lifted its head slowly and looked at me, and then set it down again slowly closing its eyes, as if it were too tired to do anything more. Mama was standing over it, and three horses from the pasture across the road were watching. I don’t know if the foal was dying or merely sleeping, but the other horses seemed to be giving it inordinate attention.


After that scene, I needed someone to talk to. John was the perfect for the role, and he also poured me something refreshing to drink. My “no alcohol while walking” rule doesn’t apply when I’m within a quarter mile of my destination.


Reminder:  Click on any picture to enlarge.

© 2014 Ken Klug

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