My next port of call was the Isle of Thanet. Sadly, there is very little of the island left that has not been built on. Thanet was my intended target when leaving Hastings. I have a friend that I had been promising to visit. My friend, Greta, is now 87 years old and is the mother of my best friend at infant school. She is an amazing woman who has been through Hell, several times! An only child, she lost her father at a young age, her husband when her children were very young, then both of her children within a few years of each other and cared for her Alzheimer’s’ mother until her death at the age of 100! I, Janet and Carol, who are three of the young children who spent many hours playing together at Greta’s home, are all that she has, by way of family.
With Michael’s help, I found my way to a road on which the proposed units have yet to be constructed. Amazingly, it is a five-minute walk from Greta’s home. A very large supermarket and other retail units are a minute walk. My only concern was aroused when I noticed the amount of graffiti in the area. It was everywhere, including the road signs. As it happened though, it was no bother. There were the usual kids meeting up on bicycles, mopeds and cars; the odd boy racers. They were fine. They were hurting no-one and doing nothing more than any of us oldies got up to at that age. There was one clown though, who thought it highly amusing to bang on the side of my caravan, then jump into his mate’s car and speed off.
I’m relieved to know that Greta is doing okay and being well looked after. She has a neighbour, who also happens to be a registered carer, who pops in every day, usually, at least twice a day. She also has a companion who keeps her company most days.
I spent a few days there visiting daily. I then moved on to Reculver.
Reculver is a village at the end of a road. It fortunately also has a car park that actually welcomes those who choose to travel/tour in a vehicle bigger than a car. As it was not busy, I naughtily spread myself and had a sea view. The car park is sizeable and there are designated camper/caravan bays. I spent two nights there. The first night three campers joined us , the second, we were alone.
Reculver was once at the mouth of the Wantsum Channel and was therefore of strategic importance. A Roman fort known as Regulbium was built on the promontory. Later a monastery was built and King Eadberht II of Kent is buried there. Since the Wantsum Channel silted up, erosion has claimed, and continues to claim the fort and village.
Reculver Towers were used for ‘sighting’ practice by the famous Dambusters bomber squadron.
The views are great. To the West lies the Isle of Thanet,
to the East is Whitstable Bay, the Isle of Sheppey and far in the distance, on a good day, can be seen the southeast coast of Essex.
At sea is a wind farm. One can also watch the ships as they sail in and out of the Thames Estuary.
I met a couple of walkers who had walked from Thanet. I also met a young Zimbabwean who was full of questions. I ended up brewing a cuppa, putting a bifter together and talking philosophy with him for a couple of hours.
A very large flock of Swallows live there, right by the café. I couldn’t really get a decent photo as there were always so many people about. Unfortunately for Rowan, there were also a lot of dogs, mostly off the lead. She went off for hours during the day and was in and out all night.
On the second day I went for a walk over Bishopstone Cliffs.
It was surprisingly mild. I didn’t light the burner. The first evening was so mild that I left the door open until I went to bed.