There was much favourable comment as people boarded and saw the coach interior of the Reliance, complete with antimacassars. They originally had coach fronts too, but were rebuilt with bus fronts for a dual-purpose role.
We turned east this time climbing up through Denton and along to Chalk, where we forked left onto the lane to Higham. It was a real contrast to be up on the open Downs, away from industrial Thamesside. Views were extensive, and around us the fields were turning golden with wheart and barley.
We turned the corner at Higham, to cross the railway, and paused at the station stop for photos.
Now the lanes became even narrower, not much wider than the bus. But we reached the main road (B2000) between Strood and Cliffe without meeting any opposition, and turned left through Cliffe Woods to climb up towards Cliffe. There we located the bus stand next to the church, pub and carpark, and made the reverse turn to stand on the stop. There were toilets too, open on a Sunday!
The crew chivied us back aboard: we were a trifle late leaving. We rolled down to Cliffe Woods, and located the correct narrow lane to head for Higham Station. As we crossed the railway (once the Thames-Medway Canal), a Networker pulled away towards the tunnel leading to Strood.
We turned right onto the road to Chalk, and enjoyed the broad views over the Thames as we rolled down towards Gravesend.
We were still late back, and SC390 promptly rolled round onto the stop to load up for another 16A trip to Harvel.
I went to find something to eat, and then found something else with a touch of luxury to ride in..
Part Five: Reaching out westwards
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
Ian's Bus-stop 1 2 3 4 5 6