30 October 2011 (Sunday) - Samphire Hoe (Almost...)
A relatively good night’s sleep, and then an hour lying awake worrying about money. I really shouldn’t worry about money, but I do.
I then did a little fiddling with the accounts on-line, and after a spot of brekky I had a look-see on the Internet.I then tweaked my Sky subscription. We’ve so many DVDs in the house; we don’t really need the movies channel. And I can’t see the difference between HD and normal TV, so the HD went. That’s saved thirty quid each month.
Chip arrived, and we set off to Folkestone for our planned walk. My mobile then went crazy. Unfortunately there would seem to be a dose of the lurgie going around, and a lot of people had no choice but to cry off. We were also hoping for an appearance from the Bromley contingent, but ill health intervened there too. Which was a shame. So many good friends missed a really good day out.
A quick cuppa, and six of us (and a dog) drove down to the East Cliff. Once parked up, we set off. The plan was to walk to Samphire Hoe along the beach, have a picnic, and walk back again. Things got off to an iffy start when I realised that the tide was higher than I was expecting and I got a wet foot. But we pressed on regardless. I spent a few minutes trying to photograph a wave, and got soaked when a big one took me by surprise.
Just off the beach, in a very secluded spot we found what looked like a beach hut with a wonderful view, and the lady outside it invited us up to have a look. It turned out that it wasn’t a beach hut – it was her house. Built on a little wooden platform just up from the beach, it’s in a wonderful location Sheltered from the winds; there’s no roads or easy way of getting to the place, other than walking along the shore for a mile or so. But she said that it kept her fit.
We got chatting: apparently she spent a year or so living in a tent in various places all over Folkestone Warren until she found the spot she liked best. She then checked with the land registry and found that no one owned the land, so she built a wooden platform and based her tent on it for a few months. And when no one had complained, she then built a little hut, and has been living there ever since. Good for her!
We then carried on along the beach, finding another home-made house on the beach on the way. And then we had a dilemma. It was high tide, and we could go no further unless we scrambled over some rocks. I clambered up a bit, reviewed the situation, and was on the point of announcing that we could go no further when I realised that Chippy had already got past the rocks and was waving from the other side. So having realised I could go further after all, I did.
But not a lot further. As I scrambled in an easterly direction, a nice lady was scrambling in a westerly direction, grumbling that it wasn’t possible to get to Samphire Hoe unless it was at low tide. And within half a mile we saw what she meant. We were within half a mile of our destination, but the sea was washing right up to the cliff face. There was (at least) two hundred metres of beach which were under water and so were impassable.
We had our picnic lunch and sulked. But didn’t sulk for long.
On the way back there was a tunnel into the cliff face, and so Stevey felt the urge to go investigate. I was quite keen on the idea, but the tunnel was a little way up the slope, and I chickened out. I was about to reconsider my chickening out after ten minutes had passed and Stevey hadn’t re-emerged, but Chip went off on a “Search and Rescue” mission instead, so I let him get on with it.
It turned out that this hole was actually a ventilation shaft for the train tunnel, and feeling the change in pressure as the train rattled past was quite impressive. I wish I’d gone up there now. Pausing only briefly to watch the penguins swimming past, we made our way back to base for a cuppa and a Maryland cookie (57 calories) before coming home.
It had been a wonderful day out: just a shame that so many friends weren’t able to join us. As always, there are photos of the event on the Internet; in fact in more than one location.
And so home, and after a spot of tea I knocked off some more job applications. Two to be a mortgage advisor, and one to be an NVQ assessor. It doesn’t hurt to try….