Monday, 30 August 2010

Farningham Road to Otford – (Kent) – 30/08/10 – 9.75 Miles – IVC

I really must get out of the habit of frequenting these chain cafes in mainline stations (albeit one usually does so in order to kill a bit of time). Anyway the small cup of hot chocolate and chocolate twist I had at Victoria Station was equivalent to ‘death by sugar’ as well as costing me nearly a fiver.

Anyway starting at Farningham Road station our nine man group, set off on this bank holiday Monday along the scenic Darenth Valley Path, following it upstream pretty much for the majority of the morning and afternoon. The day started a little bit chilly but the Sun eventually put in an appearance which meant I was soon able to take my rainjacket off. Initially we were just folllowing the river, but this soon expanded out into the valley itself.

Lunch was Eynsford where we had to cross over the footpath free bridge by the fjord, along with a large queue of motor cars, in order to reach the pub. Thus expanding my culinary repertoire I decided to try the fish and chips, and also had a Magners cider (much better than the gassy Strongbow). Anyway none of us had a pudding and we were soon back on the Darenth Valey Path again.

Now there was a Roman Villa in these parts that was being vaguely promised to me, as a stop off point. However that was in the grounds of the uninspiring Lullingstone Castle (hence no picture) so we didn’t get to see that. Instead after following the Darenth river we ended up, in a local tearoom where we were faced with an enormous queue, and a garden full of uncleared tables. I decided to have a Magnum Ice Cream (probably because I thought there was some sort of link with my earlier cider), and cleverly passed it back down the queue when I got near the till, for it to be replaced with another less melted one.

As we approached Shoreham station the group split into those who wanted to end there (which three of the group did), and those of us who were carrying on to Otford. In the course of which we passed by a golf course and cricket ground that we all had been past before on another walk. Anyway we eventually got to Otford station in time to watch the half hourly train pull out. Thus the next half hour was spent in a shelter debating the fate of a bee on the ground that had two cigarette butts beside it.

So overall a very scenic walk, in a nice Autumn temperature (I was comfortable in a t-shirt). In normal circumstances I might have grumbled that the pace was a tad too leisurely, however due to the severity of the run/walk I had done the previous day, that was probably all my legs could cope with.

Walks since last blog entry:
1 x 6.5 mile (run)/walk – Grand Union/Osterley Park

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