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World Trip Two

Friday, July 10 2009: Lisbon - Canterbury, England

We did lots and lots of travel today: driving from our hotel to the Lisbon airport, flying for two and a half hours to Gatwick, sitting in a taxi for over an hour driving to Canterbury. But it was all worth it as we were greeted on arrival by Mary and David and got to spend a pleasant evening with them, drinking wine, eating dinner, and watching the movie Mars Attacks.

Saturday, July 11 2009: Canterbury, England

Me on the Offa's Dyke Path in January 2008.

This morning was spent shopping. We needed a few bits and pieces for our planned nine day hike in Wales. After all this travel Julia's backpack needed replacing and many of our clothes too. Fortunately, shopping in Canterbury is a pleasure because there are lots of shops and they are all so close by. We soon found everything on our shopping list and finally felt ready for our long walking trip.

Julia, David, and Mary on the Offa's Dyke Path in January 2008.

I also had my hair cut short and beard shaved off. This was the first time anyone here had seen me without my beard and it caused the normal wonder and amazement from all. Our good friend Audrey came over and spent some time with us and she was horrified that I had cut my hair short as she liked my curls. It was great to see her again. In the afternoon Mary, David, Julia and I all went for a short walk in the woods and fields surrounding Canterbury. This was the first time Julia and I had gone walking since France and it felt good to be out again. Mary did well given her back pain and drug induced state. The question on all of our minds is will she be able to complete the Offa's Dyke walk.

In the evening we had a lovely dinner at John and Ken's home. Mary, David, Audrey, Julia, me, and Audrey's friend Mary were the guests. The food was really good and expertly prepared by John. A very good time was had by all and we left well fed, entertained, and very well lubricated.

Sunday, July 12 2009: Canterbury, England

The beginning of our hike.

Vast fields of wheat, barley, and corn surrounded us today on our 12 mile hike through the Kent countryside. Old church graveyards, shaded woodland paths, and sheep were also our companions on this fine walk.

One of the many barley fields we crossed.

David guided us through farmlands, fields, meadows, and forests offering insight into every building we encountered along our way. We really enjoyed this hike and for me it was truly the very first time I have experienced a sunny summer's day in England. I have come to England at least ten times in my life and this was the first time I have ever seen so much sun.

Mary did not join us but rested at home to try and recuperate from her injuries. When we returned Mary had made us a wonderful supper. Ungraciously, I took a long nap after it, but it sure was a great day.

Monday, July 13 2009: Canterbury, England

Two beardless Davids in the Kent countryside.

I cannot escape my 25 years of interest in computers and related things. I reconfigured David's wireless network today establishing connection security and reconfiguring his wireless network extender. Yes, I know it sounds like gobbledygook: that is because it is. Anyway, the upshot is that David's network is a bit more secure and it can be accessed from anywhere in his house.

We are all still very worried about Mary's ability to complete the Offa's Dyke walk. The hike consists of eight days of walking for a total of 97 miles. This is not the kind of thing one takes on when one is not feeling well. Mary's bravado about her injuries makes it difficult to judge if she can really make the walk. Julia called the walk organizers and inquired about our options if any of us could not complete a section of the walk. It seems that we can either hitch a ride with the people transporting our bags each day, or take public transport, or a taxi. So I feel at least we have backup plan now.

Trip stats

Miles Flown: 23,230

Miles Hiked: 278

Miles Skied: 2

Miles Driven: 5,666

Miles Sailed: 110


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