It was an amazing experience to start walking along the Via Francigena this morning. But it is still the North Downs Way as well. We have not yet seen any pilgrims but we keep a lookout.
Claude & Marie are walking with us. We met on the Via Podiensis last year and we’ll walk to their house near Arras. We all enjoyed another excellent Wetherspoon breakfast (£2.35 for scrambled eggs on toast with unlimited coffee) before the 27Km walk to Church Whitfield near Dover. Torin also joined us for the section to Shepherdswell which will be a good practice for his autumn Camino.
It was a very scenic walk through wheat fields, woodlands and ancient villages with churches and overgrown churchyards, and I tried to enjoy it as much as possible with 2 broken legs. The pub in Shepherdswell was barely trading and there was no food so we drank beer and continued to the tiny village of Church Whitfield and our B&B in Rolles Court. I told the landlady about the pub with no food and she laughed and said there is no food here either. However her husband was pressed into service and soon we were transported to the Indian restaurant in nearby Whitfield.
Marie is a nurse. She was concerned about my feet and decided to take matters into her own hands after dinner. Off came my socks, out came her first aid kit and soon my own fumbling efforts with the Compeed were replaced with the professional touch and experience that only a real nurse can provide. Tomorrow morning she promised to apply some new skin. We have a fair walk into the port of Dover and we cannot afford to miss the boat.