Sunday, February 07, 2016

North Downs Way 04 - Oxted to Otford

Surrey / Kent. Sunday 07-February-2016

Continuing our relentless if sporadic march across the English countryside with episode four of the long distance path that is the North Downs way with friends Kate and John.

The recent rain made for some very muddy paths. Chalk-land mud is different to clay soil mud but it still sticks to the boots and weighs you down. Trying to go round the margins bring you in conflict with branches and brambles as John here illustrates.

I have a soft spot for the Greenwich Meridian partly through being born nearby in Greenwich Memorial Hospital and, like many small boys, going through an astronomy phase. So it was nice to come across this plaque.

Perfect walking weather i.e. not raining. The sun shone and it was all rather lovely.

Our route did not provide any convenient hostelries so we had our contingency packed lunch on a log.

There is a huge discrepancy between our mileage as recorded by my Garmin Montana 300 and this milepost. I'm going with the Garmin on this one.

It was a good walk for flora. First up some lovely Turkey Tail fungus.

Then keen-eyed John spotted some Daldinia concentrica, better known as King Alfred's Cake.

Spring flowers are out early: wild Primrose.

Then snowdrops:

Not just the odd bunch of snowdrops but a full carpet under the trees.

As with previous legs, we had a brisk last mile to catch a train from Otford thus avoiding a half hour cooling our heels in the station waiting room.

This leg gets us out of Surrey and we are now in Kent.

This leg: 14 miles
Total so far: 61 miles

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