30 April – Wetness and Trains

We are not faint of heart but when we four pilgrims awoke this morning, it was to torrential sideways rain, a mere five degrees (optimistically out of the wind) and powerful tree branch breaking winds.

We choose to take the train. But first we donned coats and ponchos to make the scamper across the wide quadrangle to the pilgrims hall for breakfast. We ate there in solidarity splendour as there were no other guests of any description. No yoga ladies looking for missing tea cakes either I’m glad to say.

Breakfast accomplished, the lady at reception looked up train schedules – the four internet passwords assigned to us no longer working. (Getting on line here is often a convoluted complex process and the results not always good connections.)

We geared up and made the wet chilly walk over to the station, across a humped medieval stone bridge, along a road while dodging puddle splashing cars and across train tracks – where we stood for some time waiting for the barriers to rise.

Tickets purchased, we waited shivering on the platform for a few minutes before our train arrived. On we got but the train didn’t go anywhere. An announcement came on telling us that due to flooding and electrical problems at the crossing, the bars wouldn’t come down. This was eventually sorted out and we set off only to stop a minute later. Another announcement informed us that there were wind blown branches on the tracks but the train driver would get out and remove them so we could continue. This didn’t take too long and we were soon at our exchange stop in Maidstone.

We had a short walk – wet windy and cold – to another nearby station where there was a heated waiting room! Bliss. Our next train arrived on time and in a few more minutes we were clambering off in Herrietsham. A short walk through puddles, in even heavier driving rain, brought us dripping to our Roebuck Inn for the evening. We were able to check into our rooms early and now here we are hanging out in the bar downstairs with abysmal internet. Not warm by any stretch but dry!

This pub does not serve food on Mondays until six in the evening. Every other day of the week there is lunch but not today. The only restaurant in the village is closed on Mondays. You’d think they might have planned that a bit better?

Many pubs in England are closed for various reasons – not making a go of it – being the one most often mentioned. No wonder. Three pubs in three days and not a meal to be had….yet.

On the good side of that is that no one seems to mind when we haul out our picnic food. Trouble is, we ran out of picnic food yesterday at lunch when that pub wasn’t serving food yet.

2 thoughts on “30 April – Wetness and Trains

  1. Hi Brenda, indeed who knew the UK would pose similar challenges to Albania! All good though. Marianne’s knee seems OK as long as she doesn’t carry her heavy pack. Once we get to the West Country she can use one of those bag transfer services.

  2. hi all you intrepid walkers. It is not only postmen who brave sleet, rain, snow, wind and generally foul weather. Well done. Who knew……no food available due to closed pubs…..good lord this isn’t ALBANIA! You all are resourceful though….plates of left over potatoes and crisps will do in a pinch. Lovely descriptions of peeling church bells, choirs and organ music, blue bell woods and the downs. wish I was there. In the Comox Valley Spring is in full bloom. Hurrah! so glad Marianne is working out solutions to accommodate her sore knee.

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