More Dover

You guys, I hate Dover SO MUCH.

I'd finally seen all I wanted to of Dover Castle, and it was getting on towards 3:00. I'd have to leave now if I wanted to get back to London before dark. In hindsight: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I went back to the entrance, then back to the bus stop. But the only buses that stopped there were headed towards Canterbury or Aycliffe. I did want to go to Canterbury, but not right then.

I saw a road turning off to the right.


the sign said. Aha! I thought. Now we're talking!

The road was odd: winding and small, with no sidewalks. Having moved off the main road to avoid being squashed by a car, I noticed a little side road. Well, why not, I thought, and followed the dirt path to toward the road. This was yet another stupid decision on my part.

Pretty soon the road part disappeared and I was walking on a trail of mud and fallen leaves. Still, I kept up a steady pace, and I could hear cars whizzing by beyond the trees to my left; the outer walls of the castle were on my right. Eventually the mud got a little less like dirt and a little more like sand, and I could hear seagulls squawking ahead. The air took on a salty tang, and I walked faster, knowing that the beach--and therefore, the cliffs--were only yards away.

And then I hit a dead end. A giant thickety mound blocked my trek to the cliffs. Ah! But someone else had already been so kind as to cut paths off to the each side. Neither looked particularly inviting, but I was determined to see some chalky cliffs, dang it! so I veered off to the left, which I always do for no other reason than that I am left-handed.

I'd taken less than ten steps when I cam again to overgrown brambles that covered the path. Had I been an experienced hiker and mountaineer, I'd have swashed a buckle through the shrubbery without thinking twice. But, since I am the type who thoroughly enjoys the view from my Tivo, I turned back and stepped onto the other path.

It went uphill.

But I'd been climbing HILLs all day; why should this puny little hill stop me?

So I hoofed it up the hill, step by step, passing over half-buried stones in the sand. Just like the Romans did! I thought happily, and nearly burst into a chorus of Fal-de-ree Fal-de-ra*. But the song caught in my throat and saw yet another HILL.

"Come ON," I muttered, immdeiately losing my adventurous spirit. Still, how could I quit when I'd come so far?

I paused to consider my options.



Either way, the odds of my falling to my death were pretty darn good.

The dusky sunlight made the decision for me; I didn't want to be in the back of nowhere in the dark.

I regretfully made my way down the hill. It seemed much steeper than it had when I was climbing up. The ground was wet, I so trod carefully so as to avoid slick rocks and slippery leaves. I started to hold onto the bordering plants--like nature's handrails--but then I remembered that I'd never been a Girl Scout and therefore had no idea what poison ivy looks like. Lost, I can handle. Tired, I can handle. But lost AND tired AND itchy? Thanks, no.

I made it down safely--something that deserves no less than a mention in the Guinness Book, I think--and retraced my steps YET AGAIN.

I didn't have any choice: I would have to walk all the way back to the road. It seemed a thousand miles away. But I moved forward, propelled by the fear of British Lulu Ladies and also I had to pee, and slowly plodded toward the road.

About halfway there, I couldn't help but hear cars whizzing past on the road to the cliffs. They seemed so close. Why, I thought, shouldn't I see if I can't cut through these trees and get to the road?


I'd taken about four steps when I ran into a tree branch, a flimsy thing that would have been easily pushed aside if not for the fact that it was entwined with the branches of another tree. Not to be deterred--I WOULD see those cliffs!--I ducked under both branches. And ran smack into a tree.

I didn't think my head was bleeding, and anyway, I was mad at those trees now; they wouldn't keep ME from the road!

Except they did. And I had to admit defeat and go back through the Tree Branch Maze. I only got my hair caught in a twig once this time, though it nearly yanked my head off my shoulders. I didn't find out until later that it had also picked my 3-day Underground Pass out of my back pocket.

I hate nature.

*This is the song, but I like this guy's lyrics better.

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