26 April – April Rain and Sun Showers

Great walk today, continuing east along the North Downs. We began with a 4 minute train ride from Red Hill to Merstham. We walked out of our hotel, to the train station immediately next door, bought our tickets, hopped on the train, then off and started walking – all in about 10 minutes! Couldn’t have worked out any better.

The scenery continues to be lovely. Rolling farm fields, idilic villages tucked into treed valleys, bluebell carpeted woods, lambs, the chartreuse green of new leaves, blossoming trees, and the nearly constant roar of the M25 mother way running hidden but not far from where we were walking. We crossed over and under three of these major motorways today. Despite the swath of exhaust and noise they cut across the country, the ancient quiet pathways, such as the one we are walking along, continue, crossing over and under without interruption.

The weather today was everything. Cold and clear: we added a fleece. Windy and threatening rain: we added a rain jacket. Sunny and quite warm: we took off the extra clothes. Rain: we put on rain jackets. Two minutes later the sun was out again: off with the jackets. This went on all day!

Despite all the changes of clothes, we made good time with only a few short stops and a detour to a vineyard that turned out to be closed. We weren’t impressed with the “closed” having walked up and down a hill to get there, only to retrace our steps.

Marianne took the day off again as her knee bothers her when she carries the weight of her pack. She’s learning about the English bus system which is very efficient.

This evening we went out for dinner with a couple of Sally’s long time friends, Keith and Liz. An excellent dinner in great company.

Now off to slumber land – it’s only 8:30. Oh dear.

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