totnes - arundel - dover
arundel - lydd
lydd - st-antoing
Along The Southern Coast of England
Leaving Totnes in bright sunshine is not so easy, not
only because you will get stopped in the tracks talking to old friends,
but also because it feels cosy, comfortable with enjoyable company,
the lush environment surrounding it...i could go on like this...
Decision made i'm heading for the south coast route which means squeezing
through coast towns, sometimes appealing, sometimes rough as hell.
And the clouds catch up with me, threaten to unleash their load, retreat
only to come back with even darker shades of grey.
The night close to the river Arund brings rain, the next morning enough
sunshine to hit the road early enough to make it to Romney Marsh and
its little jewell called Lydd.
Not a jewell in a strict sense, though, but honest and straight forward
("there is no such thing as a posh pub in Lydd" a young pierced
man tells me...)
Pitching the tent on a field for a fiver close to the possibly most
horrendous entertainment facility in the area (The Heron) and an MOD
site from which stakkato noises of machine guns attributed by the swoosh
of tracer bullets can be heard untill midnight. At twelve the war is
over only to be resumed at ten in the morning.
Weird strategy, as the tracer lights reveal the position of the launcher,
but hey, i'm not an expert. Shingle covers the ground covered by pioneer
plants; and masts emerge from a distance in a straight line, from a
well lit nuclear power station in a sharp contrast to the sheep grazing
on lush green fields.
It is possibly the contrasts that make Lydd interesting, with lots of
static caravans in the vicinity, proper working class heroes frequenting
some people, if only a few in comparison appear richer than others and
they look much smarter, too.
The next morning presents a boy with a fishing tackle and a loaf of
bread, throwing back his catch as carp obviously simply tastes a little
bit too muddy.
It takes us 45 minutes to disassemble the curled up line, and suddenly
i'm off to Folkstone, squeezing through traffic jams in central Dover
overtaking a hard core Harley crew on their way back to Holland, asking
for a ticket, repairing the bike just after passing the check point
(*this* is what a knife's for, not slashing kid's necks but fixing vacuum
tubes - Britain has an increasing number of casualties due to knife
attacks and subsequently enforced legislation); and soon the white cliffs
shrink into the distance, into the misty horizon, and once again i repeat
the words in my head in due melancholy: byebye Britain.
status bike: temperamental
status max: melancholic
status weather: temperamental.