We set off north through Gravesend, through the gated section of the town centre to the station, and then on northwards up the bank to Northfleet. A Wrightbus Pulsar, 3755, came down the other way. I mentally commented that nearly all the normal local buses that I had seen during the day were very new rolling stock.
We passed Northfleet garage - crammed with stock today - and continued into the village centre, where we passed DMS1868 on the 480.
We descended the bank to Ebbsfleet, and climbed up over High Speed 1 and up past Swanscombe. Arriva's Fast-track Volvo B7RLE 3804 came rolling down the hill on service B to Gravesend.
Beyond the Greenhithe junction we met red TfL traffic to and from Bluewater. New OmniCity 15086 came along on trhe extended 96, heading for the shops, and as we approached Dartford we came up behind Arriva's Enviro2200 Dart 4029 on a 428.
We dipped down into Dartford, and past the stops at the library, to pull up at stop R in Instone Road. While we were there one of Arriva's oldest local buses swept past: twelve-year old Dart SLF 3268 on the 477
Arriva Pulsar Gemini 6216 passed on the 492 - the third time I had passed it today!
We reboarded, and set off, back round the loop to Dartford Station and up the bank on the road towards Horns Cross. OmniCity 15043 came westwards on the 96 to Woolwich.
Descending towards Swanscombe we met another Gemini, 6213, climbing up the hill with homebound shoppers.
We climbed up to run along the ridge between old chalk quarries on the right and the cliff to the Thameside marshes on the left. Ahead the Thames shone blue as it swept round the bend past Gravesend and out past Cliffe.
We continued through Northfleet and Gravesend, back to Milton Street, where we found RF28 just arriving back too.
Most of the people had gone now, and the single deckers had been lined up in a row as they came back from last runs. Here already were RF679, RF406 and SC390, while RF489 was coming round to join them.
I went round to say my farewells, then sought out my homeward ride...
Part Six: Across the River
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.
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