Wednesday 10th March
Today's ride started at Churchwood House and churches were to become a bit of a theme as we passed several on our ride to Deal.Only John and Ruth could make it today and as we headed off in temperatures around 4 degrees into a strong headwind, we reflected on the South African contingent who would not be cycling in such conditions.
We rode firstly through Church Whitfield which is home to the parish church for the sprawling village of Whitfield.Often services are held in the village hall because the church's remote location makes it difficult for the elderly and infirm to attend.We then arrived at Guston with its pretty church, having whizzed through the tiny farming hamlet of Pineham.At East Langdon, we paused to read the village information sign and have a quick swing.This village has several mentions in the Domesday book, the first being in 861 and its name comes from the old English meaning "Long Down" or "Long Hill".
We caught a glimpse of the little church by the Wallett's Court hotel before arriving at our next village of St Margaret's, which is famous for being so close to France that if you go to the beach here your mobile phone transfers to a French network and costs you a fortune to make a call.Turning left at the Red Lion, soon after entering this cliff top village, we enjoyed a traffic free journey along a cycle way to Kingsdown.Being so high up and close to the sea it was even windier than before and the sea looked decidedly choppy.We were getting hungry now, but although Kitty's tearooms, with its bike outside, obviously welcomes cyclists it was not open until Easter, so we pressed on to Deal.Here, on recommendation, we stopped at the Black Douglas having carefully read the menu displayed in the window.We were a bit confused on taking our seats to find that the delicious sounding £11 for a two course lunch actually was the menu for next door!Never mind we made a new selection of food, drank a bottle of wine and learned that the proprietor was a descendent of Robert the Bruce.Ruth was intrigued to read that every Wednesday evening is knitting circle and may return with her needles.
Our return home via Great and Little Mongeham was swift as the wind was in our favour and again we cycled the last few miles traffic free on the quiet cycle lane.As I write this I'm thinking of the Cape Argus gang and wondering how their ride went?