Saturday, 31 May 2014

South Downs Way Day 4 Saturday 31 May

Miles walked 21.

I slept very well in my wood. I was actually heading for an open barn which I had marked on my map. Access to it appeared to be through the wood as there was a clear path. However, it was quite a walk to it and the wood had a wide clearing just inside so I bedded down right away at 10pm. I saw the silhouettes of a couple of cyclists pass by heading for home and went straight to sleep. There were a few squawks and snuffles of wildlife in the early hours. I woke at 5.20 and was away by 6.50.

It was a beautiful sunny morning. I dropped down to Amberley. It was quiet as I passed through although the trains were quite frequent even at that time. There was then a long climb up to Amberley Mount. I stopped for breakfast and coffee at 8 and restored the energy levels. Walking along the ridge for most of the day, bikers and joggers were out in force. As yesterday, the coast and sea were in view only a few miles away, Worthing and Brighton, I think. It got very warm as the day progressed.

There are water taps every few miles, each one indicating on a sign where the next tap is in each direction. With my new Ortlieb water belt, I was able to carry two litres and not feel the weight so I never ran short.

Elevenses were had at Chanctonbury Ring, the site of an Iron-age hill fort. I took the opportunity to phone and wish my mum a happy 93rd birthday.

In the afternoon, I was hoping that the YH at Truleigh Hill might have a café but no such luck so I stopped and brewed some tea which was a real restorative. Above Devil's Dyke I stopped to cook whilst enjoying the view of the hill fort and beyond. On then to Saddlescombe where there is a National Trust campsite. I filled up with water and pushed on. I'm camped above Saddlescombe with just some distant sheep for company.


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