Gravesend

Gravesend, there are many versions where the name derives from. For example from grafs-ham – a place “at the end of the grove”. Or it may derive from the Saxon Gerevesend, the end of the authority of Portreve. Some of the locals believe, that the name was born when the bodies of those who died from the plague in London were buried in the town in attempts to put an end to it. Hence the name Graves-end. Unlike princess Pocahontas, we didn’t end in a gave here. However it was a place where something ended for us, the circumnavigation of British coast.

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From now on, we are truly on the way home, back to the big City of London, and precisely to Shadwell Basin.
Today’s visit to Gravesend was very different to the one four months ago. Then we were at the beginning of the journey not knowing what to expect. And apart form late dinner at local international cuisine place we didn’t see anything.
This time we discovered that Gravesend is quiet a nice place with rich history connected as a gateway to the City and sea by the river and roads.

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Still being influenced by the routine of our journey it felt strange to walk around the place without the dry bags full of valuables and iPad in hand. We didn’t have to worry about kayaks being just left somewhere relying that they are too heavy to be carried away and clothes too wet to be touched. Having food in a pub was a pleasant affair without the need of quickly writing an update or choosing where to sit according to position or number of plugs. We didn’t have to rejoice at the availability of WiFi, something we baldy needed and couldn’t really get since leaving Scotland. They even had great coffee with soya milk here.

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So although something may have finished for us here, something else is starting. As from now on, we can partially resume our lives and do something different for a change. I am saying partially resume our lives as our flat is still being lived in by somebody else, but hey, it’s still holiday time, so no real need for something stable just yet.

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Windfighters II

The second part of the day was completely different to the first one. But first food. So we had ice cream and coffee and then lunch. Now lunch was interesting. You go to a pub/amusement arcade, they seem to have only these her around the beach. Then you order from a small menu and then in twenty minutes a guy from next door chippy brings your food. Takeaway containers, sauces, plastic forks, everything. Besides, it was tasty as well.

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From then the weather just got worst and worst. At some point we thought we won’t be able to see anything, mainly the big ships and their shipping lane. Then we thought, we won’t be able to go at all, it was storming badly. Oh yeah, and the headwind, but we know that one too well.

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In the end, we went, paddled, fought and made it to Gravesend to be already made to stop by safety boat. Hopefully they won’t bother us much during our go past the Olympic zone.

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