It’s dark, there’s rain in the air and my path is blocked by a ten foot high wall. Time for plan b.
Or was it plan c? My original plan for the first microadventure of 2016 was a two day kayak trip down the river Medway, from Tonbridge to Maidstone. Kit packed, kayak ready, I awoke early feeling decidedly worse for wear, perhaps still suffering from New Year’s Eve antics the previous night?
A mid afternoon power nap and I was feeling ready to head out on a scaled down trip. I’d keep to the river theme and camp by some local woods nestled on the banks of the river just outside of Maidstone.
I’d read about the path closure along the river whilst planning for the kayaking decent but had failed to note that it was already in place, so upon reaching the closure, I decided to detour via the local chippy and took shelter in a bus stop whilst I weighed up my options.
Refuelled, I decided to make my way back to the river but head upstream, now to see if I could find a quiet spot to camp.
Wanting to be as close to the river as possible in lieu of actually being on it in my kayak, I pitched my tarp on a small fishermans slip, a tiny peninsula jutting out into the muddy brown river.
Turns out the slip was just as muddy as the river and before long tarp, clothes and well, everything really was caked in mud.
Still, it was pleasant enough drifting off to sleep listening to the river busily rushing down to the tidal parts at Allington and eventually the English Channel. The only other sounds being that of a nearby owl and a shrieking fox.
So, not the start to adventuring in 2016 that I had in mind but a start and considering the first few months of last year were spent recovering from surgery, with no wild camps until April I’m already ahead of the game.