Exploring the environs of Faversham
Conceptually it was an easy ride. Check out the pub at Oare Creek, retrack and ride to Harty Ferry, take the Saxon Shorepath to Conyer Creek and then return to The Shipwright's Arms for lunch.
Norman of Quarryville and John of Millstone, found some free parking which was the other side of town from the suggested parking. But it was free. And it wasn't residents only - possibly because the signs had been overpainted. Ruth did her own thing and parked in a car park - she couldn't remember where it was. And guess what - no one except Peter and Judtih could find Faversham church despite its lofty spire and the fact that it was conveniently located at the end of Church Street. Fortunately the invention of the mobile phone enable the Ragstones to rendezvous in the Market Square - which wasn't too bad since they were supposed to meet at the aforementioned church. In reality it was fortunate they were all in the same town.
The next challenge was to find the Shipwright's Arms, at the end of Oare Creek. Without a doubt, this would have been easier by boat, or if the Ragstones had checked out
Finally, after receiving directions from a friendly postie, the Ragstones found a track which eventually arrived at Hollow Shore and the Shipwrights Arms. The notice said it was open for lunch 12.00 to2.30 and a friendly passerby said the food was OK. On the basis of this scant information the Ragstones sped on their ride with the firm intention of returning to this remote pub for lunch.
Ruth thought she could cycle down the causeway at Harty Ferry and cross to the Isle of Sheppy, which seemed only an arm's lenghth away at this point. But John, Norman, Judith and Peter thought hte Saxon Shorepath along the seawall was a drier route. But it was bumpy! And the gates were locked so the Ragstones lifted bikes over countless gates. A Chinese junk sailed by as the Ragstones admired the wild birds, remnants of wartime gun emplacements (this coastline must have been heavily fortified - does anyone have a history?) and a flock of giantsized man-eating sheep that John of Millstone bravely cycled though.
After an age, the Ragstones finally reached Conyer Creek, an inland marina full of boats. This is where they live when they aren't on the high seas. A photograph of the charming village sign would have been nice, but lunch called. The Ragstones followed the Lower Road back to Oare, then turned down the road that had been their exit after following a glass-strewn footpath on the outward trip. But it didn't intersect with the track! Botheration, or some such word. Back track, turn left, left and left and finally there was the tempura battered sign to the Shipwrights Arms. Finally, and a little late, the Ragstones were welcomed and greeted with the news that there were only two portions of bass left. What salesmanship. Instantly Norman committed to buying them, though interestingly it was Peter and John who ate them! It was a race to eat the starters so that the main course could be served before the staff knocked off - they had kids to collect from school. In all it was an excellent lunch and the Ragstones will return now that they can find the place. Readers are challenged to visit this interesting puib (search Google) -and tell the Landlord that the Ragstones sent you, so they can collect the commission later.
Well, that was easy. Now, where had Ruth parked her car? Well, it wasn't in the centre. And it wasn't near the church. Perhaps it was near the railway station. That's it. I remember now! It's that car park. Reunited at last, Ruth loaded her bike and said farewells to the remaining Ragstones. Next they search for Norman and John's parking place. Aha it's over there, and all was well. Peter and Judith returned to the Land Rover - the only car in the right place!