Walk from Great Chart

Jake and I went for a walk around Great Chart. It was good! Not going to label everything and count every step – but here are the pictures.

There wasn’t.
Unless he was hiding behind a tree!
Little houses – on a hillside – little houses made of tickytacky – hands up those who remember the song?
Wonderfully square cow -like an eighteenth century painting.

Jake told me how he was traumatised by hooden horses when he was a child – what a bad parent I have been!

A Stile too Far..

I had rather a disturbed night – even after the heatseeking helicopter had left. As we had pitched the tent in a hurry in the dark – we hadn’t really noticed that not only was it on quite a slope, but also that it was placed carefully over a large depression in the ground- so spent most of the night heaving myself back up from the foot of the tent where I had slid off the sleeping mat, and the rest of the night pushing the snoring husband back up his side of the precipice.
Also had a very vivid dream in which I woke to find we had camped on a piece of waste ground opposite a row of terraced houses.
It was a relief to wake up and find that this was the view from our campsite.
Note slight downward angle – and deep rut running lengthwise. Also that green tent blends in more than blatant blue one from Lidl.
The sun was rising from the other direction –
-so it was time to set off and move on.

Phil staring with amazement at a hedge – not sure why.
Cotton reels on the way back down to civilisation.
We rejoined the South Downs Way, and walked along the river to Alfriston, which must be one of the prettiest villages in England.
Saw cows being herded in for milking – the country is a very noisy place.

Unfortunately Alfriston was still shut – apart from a newsagent – so with only a kitkat, two pieces of stale cake from home and a bottle of lemonade we set off for the heights of the Downs.

Phil struggling up first hill of the day – in the background you can just see the treeline where we camped.
A neatly shod, innocent little foot – unaware of the horrors to come. Note, also, the lilywhite ankle.
I haven’t got enough superlatives for this part of the day – it was warm, breezy, gently undulating, beautifully turfy, floriferous, interesting – just thinking about it makes me want to go back up there!
On one side was Newhaven and the sea, and on the opposite side the weald stretched out into the distance.There were even handy signposts to tell us where we were.
Along the ridge were series of tumuli – like a row of memorial benches. ‘In memory of Cunobelinus who loved this place 0009’
There was a very clear disc barrow – with a big depression which would have made a brilliant camping place – except, of course, that skeletal hands would have reached out during the night and dragged you into the bowels of the earth.

We watched a ferry leave from Newhaven.
Then stopped for a non existant dinner break – where Jake and I ate cake – and Phil was noble and didn’t. There were a LOT of flies.

Which close up – are quite cute, rubbing their little paws together.
Picture of man trying not to look like mad professor – but just looking like mad ageing biker instead.

On one of the hills to the North there were a lot of hang gliders taking off and swirling around getting close to the sun. On our hill we had a would be Icarus – but he didn’t get very high at all!
I was getting tired by now – and starting to hallucinate – the cow above looked just like a lion. We headed down hill accompanied by someone whining – ‘how far is it now? Are we there yet?’ It wouldn’t have been me of course.
A cow eroding a sign which asked us to keep to the footpath to stop erosion.
At last – the ground was flat. Once past the dangers of the weak bridge – we were foolhardy and all three of us ventured on at once -we headed full steam ahead for the nearest pub. Phil KNEW it was in Rodmell – indeed had cycled past it earlier this year – and it was marked on the map and all.

Route marched our way past the tiny village of Southease and approached Rodmell – with visions of pints of cold lager and a huge meal being the only thing that was keeping me going.
Alas – the Abergavenny Arms – although still taunting us with it’s pub sign – had closed in January. I was too depressed and distraught to take any photos – just collapsed into a melting heap onto the seat outside. There was nowhere else open – so starving and hot we had to walk another 4 miles into Lewes. Would have been a lovely walk if it hadn’t been so hot, and we hadn’t been walking for about six hours, and if, in the midst of the party, there hadn’t been a woman on the edge of insanity.

This swan was clearly saying to me -‘Jump in – it will be easier to swim’
This was a mirage of Lewes – see how far it was? It was around here that I went around a stile rather than over it – and twisted my ankle.

Then came the stile too far – the bottom step had been removed – and although I managed to get a foot onto the remaining step – there I stuck. I eventually managed to heave myself over with the help of a bit of pushing and shoving by my beloved husband.
We will not mention the desperation of the total re-organisation of the footpath into Lewes – how it had been re-routed around a rubbish dump – and then threw you out onto a very narrow lane which was busy with cars and trucks and lorries heading to dump smelly rubbish.
Eventually we reached Lewes and fell into the nearest pub – luckily Phil had the decency not to take a picture of me!

Phil caught the train back to Eastbourne (the hero) to get the car – and Jake and I had a lovely dinner in an Italian restaurant.