Distance: 15.25 miles
Kit failures: 2
A quiet night was had in our corner of a field, which was not a pre-certainty according to a sign we passed 5 minutes before pitching. It informed us that we were on an army training ground and that troop exercises occur both day and night using blank ammunition. Happily, last night wasn't one of those nights.
Fog was the notable feature when we arose this morning. Everything was shrouded in dampness and we couldn't even see the collosally big antenna mast structure not far from where we were pitched.
The North Downs Way has been incredibly clearly waymarked thus far, but with the lack of visibility on the agricultural land we were crossing, the map had to be broken out to ensure we didn't go awry.
Farmland was left for some open land with interesting geological features (we wondered if the scars were man made at first, but later an information sign (of which there have been lots these first couple of days) told us about the soil slipping over the chalk subsurface, leading to the ripples and scars we could see). From here the Way once again did an admirable job of taking to the high ground. Early on in the day (across the interesting-geological-features bit) we had supposed that there would be a fantastic view on a clear day. Meeting a chap walking his dog a few moments later he opened with the comment that usually you can see Dungeoness 20 miles away. We could only just see the trees at the bottom of the escarpment!
Happily, the gloom did lift as the day went on (showing that we were standing above a remarkable patchwork landscape of flatness) and the sun even made some brief appearances.
Leaving the higher ground to drop down to Wye we detoured through the village to stock up on supplies and to find some lunch. A pub with a roaring fire obliged with the latter when they served us fine (proper) pizza and pannini.
With feet aching, it would have been nice to spend another few hours glued to the sofa there, but with a handful of miles remaining we hauled ourselves back out the door.
A farm which was a disgrace to farmers everywhere was crossed, and a Christian chap gave us a bible reading apiece in a ploughed field and then we were back onto nice, well kept farms (with the most enormous fields I've ever seen).
The last couple of miles passed quickly and earlier than expected we were pitched at Dunn St Farm where the very nice owner (Joe) has donated the £12 fee to Help for Heroes.
As for the kit failures: Mick's watch/altimeter no longer has any function other than telling the time and the mopping-up cloth has lost all of its powers of absorbency (Mick has asked whether I washed it in Tech Wash, but I swear I didn't).
Highlight of the day: the number of kissing gates through which we passed and number of bunches of mistletoe we walked under :-)
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