Well, we arrived in Shepherdswell this afternoon at about 3pm, tired but happy and very pleased that we had day no.1 securely under our belt. The walk today was 17.35 kms, to be as exact as my Garmin watch will allow…from the entrance of Canterbury Cathedral to the entrance of The Bell Inn, in Shepherdswell…. where we enjoyed a well earned refreshment : )
This morning we met at the Cathedral at 9.30 and sat in on the Sunday service, which we thought was a fitting start to our pilgrimage. For me..so many memories of the wonderful Camino, came flooding back, as I listened to the the singing of the local school choir. The Cathedral is truly magnificent…as I have already mentioned previously….not garishly ornate, as so many are..however austere in its grandeur but still quite beautiful.
Here we are outside the Cathedral, about to set off! Jo and I are wearing our CanTeen bandanas.
Speaking of CanTeen, I want to thank everyone who has donated so far, so generously to our cause. We are absolutely thrilled with your generosity!!
The walk to Shepherdswell was very pretty…. More often than not we followed the North Downs Way, a very well maintained walking track, one of many in this region. To be honest, the way markings along this track were so good that we ended up putting away the guide book and following the track, which eventually led us to the delightful village of Shepherdswell.
The Via Francigena signage was quite good but in some areas was a little obscure, however it was a pleasant feeling to find along the way little blue and yellow signs which alerted us to the fact that we were heading in the correct direction!
As I have already mentioned we arrived in Shepherdswell at around 3pm and enjoyed a glass…or two..of wine at The Bell Inn, a very quaint pub. We stomped in, exhausted, even though the days walk was relatively short…compared to some that we will have to endure on this walk..and were greeted with amused comments from the locals : ) These little country English pubs are endearing in their eccentricity… absolute delightful!
We are staying tonight at Codret House, a B&B about 2 kms out of Shepherdswell. Darryl and Jackie are our wonderful hosts and have been so hospitable, making us feel very much at home and have gone out of their way to make sure our needs have been satisfied.
Tonight, Darryl drove us to another, special little pub… The Lynden Bell,where the food was robust and delicious. A lovely end to a great day : )
Tomorrow, Ken and Rose, who I met on the Camino last year, are meeting us here at Coldret House in the morning and walking to Dover with us. So happy to see them again!
It’s exciting to be walking again… this time there’s a large measure of the unknown thrown in….. but really….that’s just life.
Love Netia XX