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24th July 2009 - another day out to visit Rye Harbour

 Some said that it was madness to go on this day considering what the weather forecast predicted. They were a tiny bit right, and a very large amount wrong ! On this trip I was accompanied by Iain, and when we met at the station it was dry and bright, but there were some heavy clouds in the sky. At this point we made the bold decision to carry on regardless.

  We used a slightly different route to get to Rye compared to last time. This was also true of the journey home. In both directions there were some long waits for connecting trains, but I don't think the overall journey time was significantly longer, and at each change I had far more time to go outside the station for a smoke. Those opportunities for a smoke made the long journeys far more comfortable for me.

 On the way there we encountered the first rain while we waited to change trains at Ashford. It began to look as if the naysayers might have been right. On the way between Ashford and Rye the rain really pelted down, and it was raining heavily when we arrived at Rye station. A mad dash through the rain, and a perusal of the bus stops showed that the bus to Rye Harbour was due at any minute. We saw it come, but it said Rye station on the front, and made a silly mistake in assuming it was terminating there (just like the bus did when I used it on way home from my previous visit to Rye). In fact, unbeknown to us, it changed it's route indicator and headed towards Rye harbour leaving us behind. After a while the rain started to die down, and we walked to the nearby pub for a swift half as we waited for the next bus.

 While we were in the pub the rain stopped, and the sun came out. By the time we got the next bus everything was beginning to dry in the warm sunshine. 10 to 15 minutes later our bus pulled into Rye Harbour, and the sky had cleared even more. I think our original plan was to have a drink at this point, but we thought it would be wiser to take advantage of what was really beautiful weather, and walk to the beach.

 On the way there we discovered another aspect of the weather that was not very apparent inland. There was quite a fierce gale blowing in from offshore. We were soon discover that this made the sea highly user unfriendly. To make matters worse it was high tide, and I didn't really fancy going for a paddle in such stormy conditions.
waves at Rye Harbour beach
Compare the view above, with this one below of almost the same viewpoint taken on the 2nd of July.
old harbour wall
To give some idea how high the water was, and how big those waves were, there is a man fishing halfway along the raised bit between the wall and the pylon type structure at the end of the raised bit. (please excuse my lack of nautical terms for these items).

Here's another view of those crashing waves
waves crashing onto the breakwater
 Had I decided to go paddling in that frothy maelstrom I think I would have splashed more than my trousers bottoms. I think I would be soaked from head to toe. (for the pedants reading this, I know that maelstrom is technically a whirlpool, but the word has such a dramatic ring to it that I thought it had to be used).

Here's another pair of pictures to compare.
Camber sands at high tide
Above, Camber sands at high tide, and below at low tide on 2nd July
The viewpoint is a bit different, but the extreme lack of sands at high tide is very obvious
Camber Sands at low tide

 We spent a bit longer exploring the beach than I spent when there alone, and made future plans that one day we will go for a long ramble along the coast towards Winchelsea. As my stamina increases, and now we know that it's easy to lop off the first two miles by getting the bus from Rye station, it is possible that we could go quite a distance along the coast.

 Having looked at the beach we made our way back across the nature reserve towards the Inkerman pub. Along the way we saw some wildlife.
These pair of rabbits happily posed for my camera, but without a zoom lens I have
had to digitally zoom in on them - hence the slightly indistinct picture.

Another thing we had a better look at on the way back to the pub was a Martello tower.
These were built in the 18th century to defend England against Napoleon.
(more info here, and more specifically here).
Martello Tower - seaward side facing view
The centre part contained the living quarters inside really thick walls.
That was surrounded by an outer circle of dense brickwork.
view inside the outer wall of the martello tower
Between the outer wall, and the inner tower is a deep space with the traditional council wheelie bin dumped in it.
(I couldn't see clearly enough to identify it, but it would not surprise me if it was a Lewisham council wheelie bin)

Here's a picture of more of the inner tower.
Martello inner tower

 One more thing we saw on the way to the pub was a demolition site.
demolished garge
This may not look much, but it was a bit of history in the making.
The two pictures below, taken just 22 days earlier, show what used to be there.
old garage
Rye Harbour garage
To me, this old garage, before demolition started, looked as if it had remained
unchanged since the 1950's. I expect it will be replaced by modern housing.

  When we arrived at The Inkerman Pub, just a couple of hundred feet down the road from the site of the old garage, we found that is was closed. The reason for this closure was not explained, but I hope they haven't gone out of business because it seemed to be a nice traditional sort of pub with, I was told, a good reputation for very tasty food. There is one other pub in Rye Harbour, and that overlooks the harbour itself. Last time I was there I was not sure about it, but with only one choice we had no option but to try it out. It was actually very good, and although we didn't sample the food there, the menu looked very enticing.

 Drinking at that pub, with the actual harbour outside gave the opportunity for a couple more pictures.
Rye Harbour at high tide
Another view across Rye Harbour

 As can be seen, especially from the two pictures above, our day out had actually been blessed with very fine weather - significantly far better than any weather forecast had suggested. There were still a fair few fluffy clouds in the sky, but apart from the downpour when we first arrived in Rye town, it was warm and sunny. Overall it was a perfect day out.