VIA FRANCIGENA | Day 1

Canterbury to Dover, 32.4 km

The journey of a thousand miles started but with a single step. I was so excited and terrified at the same time.

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Jet lag prevented me from getting a good night sleep. Went to bed late putting together the trolley. Is it going to work? the question kept bouncing around my mind all night long. Too late, I'm already on the boat, gotta make the best of it.

Woke up at 6:30am or at least that's when I got tired of tossing around. I put all my gear in the trolley and headed downstairs at 7am for breakfast overlooking the square. it was an English breakfast alright. Two croissants, café con leche, orange juice and a fruit salad. it should be enough until a mid morning snack somewhere out there on the countryside.

 

but first the business at hand. I strolled the empty streets for a couple of hours waiting for a camera store to open at 9am. Believe it or not I forgot to bring an SD card reader and now I need one ASAP.

In and out of the store and I headed out into the trail. I lost my way by the ruins of Saint Agustin abbey. this is going to be tricky. thank go to Google Earth I found my way back in no time. it was 9:30am when found myself surrounded by wheat fields as far as the eyes could see.

Just before the mining town of Womenswold I met Richard, a retired Mailman walking the North Downs way after losing his wife.We took a quick break at an empty church and I collected my first pilgrim’s stamp of the day. Checked my feet and used the foot massager for the very first time. it was back out again and this time by a back country road.

The path narrowed and zigzagged through more wheat fields, small wooden areas and back country roads than I could count. At one point a tree had fallen and we had to climb over the shrubs.

 

Shepherdswell marked the halfway point. We went into the only Coop store in town and bought supplies. It was a chicken sandwich, chips, a red bull and a fruit salad. Ate it at a bus stop of all places. A foot massage and I was back on the trail.

 

The trolley performed surprisingly well. No complaints so far. Still getting use to maneuvering around obstacles but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it, I better.

 

Lost my way more times than I care to count but google earth made sure I wouldn’t deviate too far from the path. Saw a campground on the side of the road. Something tells me it was a good idea to bring a tent. in case I can't find a hotel or a place to stay, I won't have to sleep on a bench at park.

 

After 9 hours, 32 km and thanks to the Parker’s family generosity I settled in at the local youth hostel for backpackers a stone throw away from Dover’s Castle high above the famous white cliff and across the port.

 

I took a shower and had a beer and a pizza at the lobby. talked to a few backpackers but none were heading south. After an hour editing pictures on my laptop I decided to call it a night. It's an early wake up call to try and cross the English channel around 7am.

Beauty shots compilation

 

Daily Cost Breakdown

 

Breakfast included

£07.99 SD Card Reader

£06.00 Lunch

£01.00 Snack

£16.50 Hostel

________________

£31.49 Total

Today's stage broken down with the help of Google Earth.

Google Earth Overview

 

Accommodations

Dover

Dover Adventure Backpackers

+44 7776 127592

57-58 E Cliff

         

Maison Dieu guesthouse

+44 1304 204033

89 Maison Dieu Rd

© 2018 Efren Gonzalez, all rights reserved

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