Day 11 and 12

Day 11

Heavy rain hit Canterbury all night; we were glad to be in the “Pippin cabin” and not in the tent. At 8 am we left Hobbitville to walk the last stretch of the English section of the journey. Over 30 k ahead of us. Soon, beautiful footpaths took the place of the metropolitan area. The long grass, still soaked in water, was bending over the walkway. Within seconds we were completely wet from our knees down. A soggy sound accompanied every step, and mud started to build upon our shoes. The air was heavy and damp; it started to rain again. We wore our ponchos, but we didn’t last long.

The ponchos were making us sweat, getting wet from the inside out. Lucky the rain stopped. Although overcast, the sun was trying to break through the clouds. The day was warm, we took our rain gear off, and slowly we kept going.

We found our first symbol of the Via Francigena, which from now on should accompany us all the way to Piacenza in Italy.

We walked 10 k without stopping, up and down the hills. The English countryside is wonderful, very lush and full of nice aromas; although the wildlife in this section of the journey wasn’t as present as the previous days.

When we arrived at Woolage Village, we stopped on the now dry grass for lunch. I took my shoes and socks off, and my feet were all wrinkled.

At this point, I couldn’t stop my self from lay down and rest.

We carried on marching, stopping here and there to feed grass to horses and ponies. We really wanted to get to Dover as soon a possible. My feet started to hurt tremendously. I was terrified that the plant of my right foot was developing a blister. Every time I stopped, restarting to walk was painful, but after limping for few minutes, it felt like my body was getting used to the pain, and I could carry on further.

Around 7 pm we finally reach Dover.

Day 12

Tonight we received the results of our PCR tests; we are negative!!!! The very stressful time in Canterbury paid off, and now in less than 48 hours, we got even this issue sorted. We have our ferry booked at 5 pm. Therefore we are going to spend all day here. I feel anxious because I booked our journey for 2 adults and a bicycle (no on-foot passenger allowed), and I hope they won’t create problems; our journey could end here otherwise. I will keep my fingers crossed for the time being.

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