A short meander through fields and then a more serious climb and we were running a long ridge that took us through extensive woodlands - very beautiful. Eventually a steep descent into Fordwich, without BK who headed for home, and we were directed onto a narrow nettle-lined Stour valley trail through more woodland right to the heart of Canterbury - a very interesting run.
Pub lunch was followed by a wise decision by four of our group, Lance, Bill Veale, Tom and David Raworth, to get the train back , but a less than brilliant idea by Dave Lindsay and myself (JG) that we should cycle at least a small part of the way back. To start with it was great. National Cycle Route 16 out of Canterbury is spectacular and mostly traffic-free but my weary legs were failing. Then came a long and steep descent into Patrixbourne which meant only one thing - what goes down must go up again, and so we headed for the nearest station - Bekesbourne. Trains run from this colonial outpost every Thursday or so it seemed. With more than an hour to wait Dave and I were directed to a Hop Farm about a mile away where a welcome 'tea-time' was enjoyed. Then back to the station, on the train to Dover where Dave departed to cycle home and I waited another forty minutes for a connection to Deal - but I made it in the end, exhausted and 32 miles covered! But one major plus-point - we learnt that there are many cycle route wonders out there yet to be explored. (JG)