My Pyrenees HRP Diary - Introduction

This blog was begun in 2015, to record my walk along the Pyrenees HRP from Hendaye to Banyuls. If you want to read about that, I suggest you start here.

But that is all in the past now, and I have expanded the blog a little to cover more recent events.. such as:

Snowdonia Way
Hebden Bridge
Equipment Reviews
North Downs Way

and also, one day:

Pennine Way .. which I am due to walk for the third time in 2019, this time from N to S I think

I hope you will find something interesting. Please do provide a little feedback or comment, and if you are interested in something that I didn't say enough about, please let me know .. happy walking!


Saturday, 3 June 2017

NDW Day 6: nr Hastingleigh - Hollingbourne

I love my Zpacks tent. It is spacious, and it weighs almost nothing, about 1lb or 450g. Here is a picture of it, so you can see what it looks like:

My tent on the Pennine Way. You can see my cooking kit in front of it
It got quite a test on Sunday night, when there was a spectacular thunderstorm. I don't remember ever seeing quite so much lightning! And there was plenty of thunder too. It rained hard but only for half an hour or so, then lighter rain, then it stopped. The tent coped very well, no water came in .. but not a great amount of sleep was had!

In the morning I set off a little later, about 7am, after some mopping-up operations to try to dry the tent off a little before packing it away. I thought I had done a reasonable job, but I weighed it after I got home and again when it was properly dry and found it had about 500g, or more than its own weight of water on it!

To get back to Detling it was about 26 miles .. (where had the extra 6 miles come from, I wondered?) and it was not clear if I would make it that far. As I was out on the Tuesday I really had to finish the walk today, and I have never been a fan of eating late in the evening. I decided I would walk until about 6pm and then stop .. I have walked the whole route in the past, so nothing to prove.

view from the top of the Wye Downs
 Very soon I reached the Broad Downs and Wye Downs, one of the most scenic parts of the whole NDW and a very pleasant walk before heading down through Wye agricultural college into the town.

not a sign one often sees ....

The Great Stour river at Wye
 After that I headed back towards Boughton Lees and Charing, and the part of the Downs I know so well.

This is the point, at Boughton Lees, where the North Downs Way splits and offers two routes, one via Canterbury and one via Wye and Folkestone

And soon after, we are reminded that the NDW forms part of a larger European footpath network, in this case E2, which is intended to run from Galway to Nice.
 I was disappointed in Charing, which had nothing open .. no cafe, and the pub is permanently closed. It was however a bank holiday, so it had some excuse. There was a small grocery, where I bought some fruit drinks.

The war memorial cross, above Lenham
 So basically I just ploughed onwards .. it is fair to say that the stretch between Charing and Hollingbourne is dull indeed.

An actual pilgrim, not sure precisely where but this side of Lenham somewhere..

When 6pm came I was at Hollingbourne, so popped into the Dirty Habit and had a nice glass of wine while I waited for Sue to come and pick me up.

 Overall I walked 115 miles in six days, respectable enough though the missing 6 miles is annoying. I will do one more post about the North Downs Way in a few days time.. meanwhile I was glad to get home!




  1. The worst (/most terrifying) thunder storm we have experienced from within a tent was the night before we arrived at Refuge d'Arremoulit, which is, of course, where we met you.

    Particularly memorable not just for the terror (constantly reminding myself that if I was counting for the thunder then the lightning hadn't killed me!) but the fact that when the storm finally abated and we thought we would finally get some sleep, a herd of cows came and played their bells right outside of the tent!

    1. Hi Gayle.. Yes.. I think I would have been at the Lac du Peyreget that night, just before Pombie, and indeed I do remember a fine thunderstorm that evening, more for the torrential rain than anything... but um, happy days. I have a very soft spot for Arremoulits (and I don't mean my nose!)
      The North Downs Way is tame stuff, compared to all those lovely Marilyns or whatever you are doing at present and I am very envious of Bertie. I am off to do Snowdonia next month which you might find a bit more interesting. Not quite sure about Andorra yet, will see how I get on in Wales.