Day 263, Sunday-Wednesday 23-26 September 2012 – Dartford, Canterbury and London
I am rushing this post out as I have a burning head ache and I am not entirely sure what internet access I have once I get to Africa.
I am off tomorrow, my flight leaves at 9:15 PM Thursday – that is tomorrow, wahoo !!!
I stayed in Dartford over Sunday and Monday, good lie ins on both days and a general overall relax. On Sunday Jim took me down to the Dartford Conservative Club where he is a member and we had a couple of pints while watching the formula 1 and some football on TV. It was a good afternoon and we didn’t do a lot more than that, which was great as I finally caught up on blogs while waiting for the football highlights to come on TV.
I leave for Cape Town in South Africa on Thursday and I need to take a substantial sum of cash in USD. As my most of my money is in NZ I am going to have withdraw cash from ATM’s every day before I go to get enough. It seems that I will be getting most of it in 10 pound notes – almost 2 inches worth. Not exactly designed for a sneaky money belt!
On Monday I went to one of the local malls with my uncle, my English relations gave me a voucher for my birthday and I was off to use and start the big pre-Africa shopping spree. I am going to take my Canon 5dmk1 camera rather than the smaller GF1 and want to get a lens extender to try and get some of the animals closer and I need to get some legs for a tripod head I shipped out from New Zealand. I didn’t get any of those, but I did get a second memory card and a new nifty fifty – Canons awesome cheap 50mm lens that is a whole 99GBP, it is such a great lens.
After shopping I went around to see my late dads brother and sister in law. In was so nice to see them and it was very a pleasant couple of hours. I also got the address of my dad’s sister who lives in Canterbury as I am heading there tomorrow.
I have been suffering from a really sore ankle the past day or so, not uncommon in the cold and damp, but I didn’t think it was that cold, but it is quite painful.
I slept OK Monday night, I tried some herbal sleeping pills and they seem to work pretty well, lets hope that continues to be the case when I am the tour and sleeping in a tent for the first time in twenty five years! I did wake up feeling exhausted and with a sore lower back to add to the ache in my ankle, I am wondering, even hoping, it is just a side effect of the yellow fever immunisation I had last week. At least it would explain it all and mean I am not getting sick two days before getting on a long flight – I definitely do not want a repeat of Hong Kong !
Against predictions the day is glorious when I start walking down to the train station, though it is 18 degrees I am feeling quite cold, but turns to form later in the day with a few showers – I was glad I decided to chuck my raincoat into my bag, a very last minute decision.
It was a two change train ride from Dartford and Canterbury though only an hour and half ride. My main reason for visiting was of course the cathedral but I wanted to try and visit my aunt as well, though she was not answering her phone.
I really enjoyed the Cathedral and the town was pretty good apart from a lot of the old buildings have had their frontages changed into nice shiny new McDonalds, Starbucks or H&M. Guess that is progress.
The Cathedral is stunning, under a bit of renovation – seems to the e trend every where. But I still loved it, home to the tombs of kings and bishops over hundreds of years.
After the Cathedral I wandered up to the retirement home where my aunt is living and she had just arrived home with the other aunt i have not seen since the eighties so i got a two for the price of one deal. It was very cool to see them both, but soon enough it was time to get the train back to Dartford.
On Wednesday I went back into London to shop and change my pounds into USD. Shopping was only semi-successful, but I did get all the camera gear I wanted including some very groovy Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod legs, cool… Massive fail on clothes for Africa, but no surprises there – and I have the morning tomorrow. After shopping I stayed the night at Kevin’s flat, and here I am typing when I should be in bed resting my burning head.