I have to be honest and say that this was not the most enjoyable day of the journey so far. It wasn't helped by having to pay £4 to Arriva for the short, but pre-0930, ride from Faversham to Sittingbourne, which itself was not the most exciting of towns in which to spend nearly an hour waiting for the next bus.
|A double-decker to Sheerness from Sittingbourne|
The original schedule required an out-and-back from Sheerness to either the village of Warden or the small resort of Leysdown-on-sea, but either would require me to stay on the bus at the terminus and return immediately. This is something I don't like to do, so I was interested to see, in the timetable case at the bus stop outside Sheerness railway station (rare transport integration here!), that there was a different bus going to "Warden Point" and due to leave in a few minutes. I assumed that "Warden Point" and "Warden" would be much the same place and didn't have time to check before the 368 hove into view. It was only whilst en-route that I had time to check the map and discover that the two terminals were too far apart to walk between and that if I went to Warden Point I would have to return immediately from there as well.
|Aviation Memorial, Eastchurch|
Like some prisoners perhaps, my time at Eastchurch was extended to longer than I expected by the bus from Leysdown being 20 minutes late, but this did give me time to discover that what I originally took to be a war memorial was in fact a memorial to the early days of aviation. Early experiments in flying took place near the village in 1911 and the UK's first aircraft factory - Short Bros, - was set up locally shortly afterwards.
|Crossing the bridge back to the mainland from Sheppy|
Highlight of the day?
After a brief stop in Chatham I continued the short distance on to Rochester, with its castle, cathedral and historic High Street that set it apart from the modern-day sprawl of the rest of the Medway towns, although given the number of - and the wording on - the many signs that adorn the doors of the numerous pubs and restaurants on the High Street it looks as if the town could be Party Central at weekends. Thankfully it was only Thursday.
Day 28 Margate to Faversham Day 30 Rochester to Grays