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Discussion Forum - Events - Millennium 100


Author: Peter Jull
Posted: Fri 10th Oct 2014, 10:43
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Kent
A slightly larger party left the Tickled Trout in Wye with the addition of Alison down from London. The first challenge was a series of newly cultivated fields; the farmer was still seeding by headlight, so no reinstatements. For the first two the moonlight shone on landmarks sufficiently for the exit points to be accurately found. For the next two being guided by the Pole Star, if we picked the right one, we missed by 20yds. So for the last we took a proper compass bearing and missed by 50yds, hmph! Across the A28 permanent tracks made finding the route easier but it is a stiff climb out of the valley confirming it really was still shirt sleeve warm. From the top, the North Downs Way is clearly waymarked obviating references to the route description. Underfoot is easy going except where leaf fall disguised mud holes. Reaching Chilham in good time, the school checkpoint had to be the White Horse instead.

We left Alison at the station mobiled home to family needs. The remainder got “Oi what you doing down here?” passing the dead end isolated old mills on the river. Leaving him placated but perplexed at our night walk explanation we climbed the gentler side of the valley speeding along good long tracks and roads. A lady driver stopped to ask after our welfare and state of mind, later a police patrol just passed on by. Crossing fields this time with followable hedges reaches the Passage Control at Garlinge Green then turn for home on the long road leading into Denge Wood . It’s owl hoot o’clock in spider web season but these are minor distractions before we lose the path in the woods. Bumbling and stumbling around a lot eventually reveals a clearing and then within it a waymark post to get us back on path. Its hidden holes of squelchy mud are almost welcome. Escaped from the wood the Compasses is still open past midnight but Crundale church checkpoint isn’t of course.

Below, the stile arrangement has changed but is fathomable while at the next wood the hidden stile is so hidden we never find it. After lots more stumbling and bumbling trying to find an alternate way through and almost losing the way we got in, a farmers track is resorted to and within seconds we’re on the described grassy track but position unknown in relation to the target corner. The second one tried matches the description beyond and we’re soon at the point where we leave the 100 to finish for the night. But the moon has set and the mist has flowed up out of the valley and there is another session of stumbling and bumbling through woods before finding a village road with lights to guide us in over half an hour later than it seemed we might achieve before all that bumbling and stumbling began.

Only 24 miles to go to be undertaken on Sunday 26th October restarting at Wye.
Author: Peter Jull
Posted: Mon 29th Sep 2014, 11:11
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Kent
13 days late after the original date had been postponed with too many usual suspects on expeditions to more exotic realms the small group setting out on Stage 3 would be augmented later in the day by two more joining in for parts of the walk. The climb out of Folkestone up to Round Hill and Castle Hill is much steeper than coming from the Capel checkpoint would have been. Once up the familiar North Downs Way left route descriptions unchecked until Passage Control in tunnel under the old railway at Etchinghill. A dog walker pointed helpfully but we diligently followed our directions into the field corner and out again to find that we were behind the dog again who had taken the now established shortcut. Approaching Newington the words bore no decipherable reference to the current landscape but we could see the village hall and a worn path leading there. A brief drinks break saw a super giant pumpkin wheelbarrowed in to the checkpoint flower show.

Under four large bridges now instead of three the approach to Dibgate army camp saw multiple groups of cadets setting out with maps in hand to be re-encountered at later points in the day. Pause for a tee shot to be taken by a golfer playing early to be home in time for the Ryder Cup then down though Hythe to the Royal Military Canal. Three bank miles later the zoo side climb up to Lympne is wet and slippery in places on a dry day, it must have been “challenging” on the very wet event and is potentially on the 2018 100 route. Our break was at the County Members pub complete with grumpy barman and ham and eggs instead of the village hall with cheerful BBNers and bread pudding.

Zigzag directions across large field conflict with current local field edge usage and ploughing then where, in earlier woods extra paths had been trampled in, in the next they had grown out in the intervening years leaving directions confusingly complicated when follow clear path winding though wood would now suffice. Long climb up Tolsford Hill to find no drinks provided then back on NDW it has been rerouted around Farthing Common leaving no option but ignore directions. Down into Stowting for Checkpoint 7 which was a flood zone on the event the only delay is a pause to not pass behind the bowlers arm at a late season cricket match. Hidden stile is too hidden for us or perhaps we weren’t looking because the telephone box mentioned is no more. Too far up the hill, regaining the route further on adds distance but no extra ascent. Following NDW again is easy until its time to drop down to approach Wye on the level. Views of village houses to gauge the distance left are frustratingly hidden by tree hedges until almost upon them. A children’s party is winding down at the breakfast stop, no full English or change of socks.

Part 4 is on Friday 3rd October meeting before 8pm at the Tickled Trout in Wye ready for a night section that all 100s need.
Author: Peter Jull
Posted: Thu 31st Jul 2014, 17:41
Joined: 2011
Local Group: Kent
In celebration of its 40th anniversay Kent group are rewalking the Milleneum 100 that they organised in a series of social walks.

After a week of debilitating high humidity and hot sun broken by an overnight storm Day 1 dawned to light mist then overcast skies more amenable to a long walk. With some of the usual suspects distracted by other exotic commitmnets a small party gathered outside Canterbury Cathedral as the city quietly came to life. Heading out on the NDW to pass the historic start the going was easy until one path found overgrown as if unfrequented in the intervening 14 years with leafs left leaking liquids over lower halves leaving them as wet as Wales and leading then to forest tracks with ruts as wet and wide as any winter or Milleneum weekend. We wandered into Littlebourne on the wrong path, a fence having gone missing, but at the right place after which Ickham and Wingham whizzed past. The Ickham drinks stop was deferred until Staple church's porch. From here a smooth grassy path was more enticing the reading the route description until a farm looming ahead was clearly wrong. Retracing revealed the hidden stile we missed and the wine field described, now full of bread on stalks. The following bean field was so high it hid those height challenged in the party and hid from them the difference between tractor tracks and the escape route. During lunch at Eastry the weather became a spitter spatter shower which felt cooling in the still high humidity but wetted the bean fields which in turn wetted us. A Betteshanger bee on a Mike Pursey knee took umbrage at the sight and stuck its stinger in. From Northbourne to Ripple route reading was replaced by route rewriting ready for the White Cliffs Challenge which would soon come this way. Disputation over the degree of deviation between TR & BR remained unresolved by the time there was agreement that this 100 was getting so hilly with an ascent of ooh! almost 60ft at over 7% up to Ripple nearly as big as the climb out of Eastry. But the day was nearly done reaching Walmer ready for the cliffs section within the White Cliffs Challenge albeit in not in quite the right order.

That will be on Saturday 23rd August as part of the local walking festival and the next social walk starts at Folkestone Central station on Sunday 14th September at 8.30am.

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