Monday, 18 June 2012

Friends, Sunny Sundays & Long Walks

The weather was kind to us this weekend - it was lovely to see the sun again, but it was much lovelier to see good friends, to sit, eat, chat & laugh. A few hours in good company can lift even the most depressed spirit & the old saying *laughter is the best medicine* really is true.

On Saturday evening, we played charades. Yep, the old fashioned parlour game :o) In these days of hand held games consoles & techie type stuff that I have no idea about, we actually played charades. And it was FUN :o) Well. I certainly had fun & judging by the laughter of everyone else & the wild guesses that led to howls of laughter & screams of *NOOO, that's not it !!* I hope everyone else did too.

Sunday dawned bright & breezy, so off we set for a lovely long walk from my house to Pegwell Nature Reserve.
This is the view across the field to Pegwell Bay, from the bridlepath that I've always known as Dead Donkey 'Ole :o)

Cliffs End is on the right, Pegwell Bay straight ahead. The ground was a bit shaky & hard going for Shaun on his mobility scooter, but walking it was fine as long as you kept any eye on where you were going.
Looking across the bay toward Pfizers & Richborough. There were loads of kite surfers down on the beach - it was perfect weather for them, sunny & windy :o)

From here, it's a L O N G way down to the beach, so you can imagine how high these kites were to appear above the cliff top like this.

Here we are at the Viking ship *Hugin*, a replica of the Gokstad. The Hugin was built in Denmark & was sailed across the sea in 1949 by 53 Danes.

It was a gift from the Danish government to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of the arrival of Hengist & Horsa, who landed at Ebbsfleet, not far from Pegwell, in 449. The boat actually arrived at Viking Bay in Broadstairs, but was put on display here at Pegwell.
Hengist's daughter, Rowena, married King Vortigen of Kent.

The Nature Reserve is owned by Kent County Council, Kent Wildlife Trust, The National Trust, the RSPB & Thanet District Council. Kent Wildlife Trust, which was founded in 1958, manages the site. Until the 1970s, the area was actually a landfill site. I can remember walking along the Sandwich Road in October 1981 when they were turning the area into the nature reserve. How do I remember it so clearly ? It was the day after my now brother in law got married :o) 
The site is home to many varities of plants & animals. It has mudflats, saltmarshes, sand dunes, coastal scrubland, cliffs & beach. Kent has more than a third of Britain's coastal chalk & the cliffs at Pegwell comprise of caves, tunnels & pillars. Bees & wasps build nests & burrows in the soft rock & Turnstone flocks roost & feed there.
The views are beautiful. We didn't get to see much in the way of birds, although we did hear them singing their little hearts out in the nesting area & the trees.
At different times of the year, you see different things. The site has over 300 varieties of moth, rare orchids & sea grass. Birds fly thousands of miles to spend the winter here.

 Towards the end of our walk - before turning round & heading home again - we came across the Highland cows. Beautiful eyes but ferocious looking horns !! I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to have to try to out run one of them !! :o)

You lookin' at me ???

We walked as far as the gate that leads onto the Sandwich Road & turned round to start walking home again, stopping off at the *Dog Walker's Rest* for a well earned drink. Two teas, a diet coke & a coffee came to the grand total of £2:90 - fantastic value for money & a decent coffee it was, too :o) You never know,  we may well sample the bacon rolls or a burger next time. If they taste as good as they smell, we'll be onto a winner :o)

All in all, we walked over 6 miles. It was perfect walking weather, warm & sunny with a cooling wind. The only thing is, today I look like a Belisha Beacon because my face got sun burnt !! :o)
Today, we're back to rain :o( BUT - that doesn't matter, we had a fantabulous weekend & if it hadn't been sunny, we'd still have had a fantabulous weekend because we spent it with good friends :o)


  1. I can recomend the bacon and brie, We love the reserve and often have family get togethers there and some times take our own cookers and have a fry up but still get our coffee from the dog walkers rest (The Grand children love it). Glad you had a good weekend as I type I am awaiting a friend who is coming to visit and then we are off to the Turner Centre. XXX Don

  2. I'll give the bacon a go, Don, but you can keep the brie & all other cheese :o) SHUDDER !!!!! I hate cheese :o) I didn't realise you could take your own BBQ stuff though - that's something to remember.

    Hope you had a good time at the Turner Centre. We may well go again, but only if there's something we really want to see.

  3. Great blog, I really enjoyed reading it, so glad you enjoyed it so much :) Bacon and brie .....mmmmmmm! I love cheese, so I am with Don there :) I love shaggy moos (highland cattle) but I agree the horns look a bit dangerous! I love the Viking Ship, but wish they had left the different coloured shields instead of changing them for uniform mud coloured ones!
    Great seeing you both this morning, see you in a couple of weeks :) xx

  4. Hello there Pat, your blog was recommended to me by your friend Pat, and a jolly good read it was, that walk you took was very interesting, and so much to see, and to finish up with a welcome coffee and tea. I think I'd have been tempted by the bacon and brie to be honest ?
    I wonder if the Hengist you talked about is relation to the Hengistbury Head which is a few miles from where I live. Interesting, Well it's way past my bedtime and I haven't filled my hot water bottle. LOL

  5. Silly me I meant to say your friend Poppy.

  6. Thank you, Arlene :o) I hope you pop in again to see what I've been up to - I promise to be good. SOMETIMES !! ;o)