Walk 3: Snodland – how not to walk or the shitty walk not to take
July 7, 2013 § 2 Comments
Time came for Walk number 3: we chose Snodland to Sole Street as a potentially heart warming, eye pleasing walk in the country with the 30 degree sun above us. Fail and fail it was from the moment go. Having arrived at Charing Cross station, Friend and I each paid £19.40 for a return ticket to Snodland. We later laughed that the village is so shit that they know you would not return so they have to overcharge to make the money somewhere.
The Book warned us that the place was ugly and advised us to not be discouraged but continue walking right through it until we come out on the other side of the village and walked up the North Downs. You have to thank the writers for their honesty, the place was beyond odd, we felt like we were walking the streets of some slasher movie town where everyone get’s cut in half at the end of the film by a masked serial killer. I did not take one picture in Snodland because there was simply nothing to photograph!
Both of us being positive adventurous individuals, we were certain the walk will only get better after we came out of this incestuous town and set our feet on the first meadow. Fail again! The walk must not have been updated in the Book for a couple of years and so every little path we were told to take was so overgrown with grass and weeds, it was nearly impossible to fight out way through. Friend decided it was wise to wear shorts in this heat and of course her legs shown the wisdom in bright red patches of stinging nettle, bee and fly bites, scraps and scratches. I showered myself in baby factor 50 sun lotion to avoid another disaster – a shit walk is enough, I do not need blisters to remind me of it.
We powered through the grasslands for a good two hours, climbing hills which were so steep we had to stop and pause every 10 meters, encouraging each other to not give up and laugh it off.
Everything seemed to have gone wrong when we came across a number of fields which according to the Book were not supposed to be gated. Well they were and we should have known then that whatever the Book was telling us we should be seeing, has been replaced by the capable hands of human race – new metal gates, motorcycle barriers, kissing gates installed with the guide not telling us anything about them.
We decided to risk it – climbed over the fence with the cows pooping and peeing 15 cm from our heads, ran quickly away from them into even bigger fields that were of course gated and locked. Did I mention we both are very positive and adventurous human beings? Well we thought that was a great experience and we should continue. We did, to only find ourselves completely lost, in the middle of nowhere with not a living soul for miles and miles to see. To add a dramatic element to this image, picture yourself in the deep dark wood with some odd water pipes and canisters pumping water out of nowhere, signs warning you of guard dogs nearby. We were half expecting to see a man come out of the bushes carrying a barrel gun pointed at us knowing he would lock us up in some dank cellar, torture, skin us alive and no one would know where we were!
We came out into a road eventually which lead us to another ugly destination: Badgells Wood the sign read. We marched in ecstatic knowing someone will tell us where we were and how to get to the nearest town with a pub and a train station. A pleasant man advised us to walk right through the campsite of Badgells Wood until we come out to the road, walk for a mile, then take a right, walk for another 3/4 of a miles until we came into Harvel, the town that saved us.
Walk through the campsite we did to only be disturbed more! Why or why do people do this? Why would you go into a horrendously ugly wood to pitch your tent and park your car next to another 100 cars? We decided we were walking through some psycho sect or society gathering place because what sane individual would drag their kids to a wood with no natural sunlight, no lake or river nearby?
Regardless of the disturbing nature of the camp site, our mood has improved threefold – we were only a couple of miles away from a town where we knew we will sit down, have our lunch and a cold drink and call a taxi to the train station. Harvel greeted us with manicured lawns and a summer fete:
We had our delicious divine mouth-watering lunch we brought from London, had an icy drink at the pub, spoke to the landlord of it to get directions to the nearest train station, called a taxi to take us to Meopham which had trains to London running twice an hour – Hallelujah again! Stepping off the train in London felt cathartic – how good it is to be back home!