Author Topic: TR - Wet winter walking - and sploshing!  (Read 263 times)

WhitstableDave

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TR - Wet winter walking - and sploshing!
« on: 15:59:54, 17/02/20 »
For today's walk I decided to do one of my favourite local routes - one that includes a three-mile stretch alongside the Great Stour river between the village of Chartham and the city of Canterbury. I knew there was a flood warning for this stretch of the Great Stour and so it was an opportunity to see the river at an unusually high level.

I walked through woods and across farmland to Chartham, followed the river along the Great Stour Way path (which is also a stretch of the Stour Valley Walk) into Canterbury, then headed up through the grounds of the University of Kent (where in the distant past I spent a happy three years mostly playing pinball) to rejoin the path home. The walk was 19.1 miles and took 4 hours 36 minutes.


(Map courtesy of Google Earth)

The river was high but the path was mostly okay for the first couple of miles, with only the occasional big puddle to splash through. The final riverside mile was a different story. At this point, I had no option but to wade through freezing cold water that went well over the tops of my shoes. I could have avoided more wading by crossing the bridge to the right, but I thought this bit would likely be the worst of it, so I went straight on...



...and tried to take photos of my feet, without much success. For those who might like to know these things, the shoes are Salomon Sandford GTX - very lightweight, grippy, and totally unhappy at being submerged!



It wasn't long before I realised the path was getting worse instead of better. But with feet as wet and cold as they would get, it seemed best to continue. By the way, this area is known as Hambrook Marshes and the area to the left is wet most of the year anyway.



Another couple of hundred yards further on, the path wasn't just flooded - the river had overflowed and now my trousers were getting soaked to the knees. Funnily enough, about 30 minutes earlier when I'd just started along the river, I passed someone whose trousers were soaked to the knees and I wondered how that had happened...



After another hundred yards or so of sploshing, I finally reached dry ground. I was soon in Canterbury where some flood defences were in place - thankfully I didn't see any serious breaches.



The river by Canterbury's Westgate Towers, where in more suitable times punts can be hired...



I noted the time when the wading stopped in order to see how long things would take to dry. My trusty nylon Mountain Warehouse trousers took just ten minutes - amazing! Not surprisingly, my shoes and socks were still very wet when I got home, but my feet stopped feeling freezing - and therefore I stopped thinking about them - before about half-an-hour had passed. Worth knowing for future reference...  :)

sunnydale

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Re: TR - Wet winter walking - and sploshing!
« Reply #1 on: 16:23:20, 17/02/20 »
Nice pics, if a little watery! O0
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ninthace

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Re: TR - Wet winter walking - and sploshing!
« Reply #2 on: 17:35:27, 17/02/20 »
Do not run Sploshing through your search engine!
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Slowcoach

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Re: TR - Wet winter walking - and sploshing!
« Reply #3 on: 18:09:50, 17/02/20 »
Excellent pics and report, certainly more water than we have here.
It's all uphill from here.

vghikers

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Re: TR - Wet winter walking - and sploshing!
« Reply #4 on: 19:57:31, 17/02/20 »
Nice photos and account, a good walk/slosh  O0
The woods and farmland must have been a mudbath too, I imagine.

Mel

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Re: TR - Wet winter walking - and sploshing!
« Reply #5 on: 20:08:12, 17/02/20 »

Nice write up and pics WhitstableDave, though perhaps you should change the opening gambit of your post from "walk alongside the Great Stour river" to "walk IN the Great Stour river"  :D



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richardh1905

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Re: TR - Wet winter walking - and sploshing!
« Reply #6 on: 21:57:51, 17/02/20 »
Interesting experience walking through flood waters!

WhitstableDave

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Re: TR - Wet winter walking - and sploshing!
« Reply #7 on: 07:45:53, 18/02/20 »
Nice photos and account, a good walk/slosh  O0
The woods and farmland must have been a mudbath too, I imagine.
I had to take an occasional detour, but the paths were mostly gravel, cinders or stony - it was more a case of between fields than across them!

Thanks everyone for the replies.  :)