We awake after our first full day on the road and the immediate priority is to check if the awning has survived another night. Whilst I had little doubt in my engineering ability it is still refreshing to see it standing in all it’s regal splendor.
Yesterday was the first day that we had not packed for weeks, in fact the reverse as we start to unpack. Of course we have far more than we need and can’t find some of the things we thought we had packed. No doubt over the coming weeks we will refine our requirements to the essentials.
After catching up with some work yesterday we had a pleasant stroll around the RSPB reserve at Pagham Harbour. Today calls for more challenging walking, so after a scan of the map we drive off to Chichester and commence our first stroll into the Sussex countryside.
Over the years I have come to learn that there is no advantage in showing Lyn a walk in a book. The pages are subject to detailed scrutiny and what looks like a good wander is rejected because of a steep hill, or length of walk. To combat this the new ploy is to just walk using a map. The rough calculation of distance can be easily misrepresented using a straight line between points and a strategically placed thumb over a steep incline works equally well.
So today we start off on a disused railway line, clearly no steep hills here. It is not long before we encounter our first interesting conversation. A young lady in a motorised buggy is out exercising Barclay her black Labrador. Barclay is a Canine Partner and is enjoying the part of the day when he can play. So meeting Crosby considerably adds to his fun. Crosby’s brother is a Partner – a worrying reminder that his failure to obey commands is all down to us and not a lack of inbred ability. Barclay’s mum tells me how having him has totally transformed her life. For many of us our dogs are pets, but for others they are an essential part of being able to live life as fully as possible. www.caninepartners.org.uk
On we wander to the village of Mid Lavant, here the old railway station has been converted into homes, fortunately the ornate detail to the exterior remains. The station was opened in 1881, but this line has been closed to passengers since 1935 and the freight service, supporting the local sugar beet production stopped in 1970. The line operated south of the station to serve a gravel pit until 1991, but it now all forms part of the Centurion Way.
After a brief stop for a sandwich, too brief in Lyn’s opinion, we are off again and soon climbing up onto the downs the views back over Chichester and out to sea make the effort well worth while.
Our journey back to the car is all downhill, but the estimation of distance was clearly wrong with Lyn not happy with the last 45 minutes, whereas the boys thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the four hours we were out. Our way has covered eleven miles.
After the walk a trip to Bosham is our next stop. This is an incredibly interesting village, it is said that Earl Harold, later to become King Harold set sail from the here for Normandy in 1064 and this is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. Also King Canute’s youngest daughter is said to have drowned in the local millstream in the early 11th century and her remains are buried in the Holy Trinity Church.
All in all well worth the visit. On the day that the news was all about global warming and rising sea levels it was a reminder of the impact that this will have on such communities. The village abounds with permanent flood defenses even to the extent of one house having the smallest door I have ever seen.
The road at the sea front is tidal, so impassable at high tide. Obviously the sat nav on the delivery vehicle trying to navigate the road, Canute like, did not have tidal information. But then again you would imagine the driver might be able to roughly distinguish between high and low tide.
As Arkwright might say “All in all it’s been an interesting day”.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 120 – Chichester
3rd April 2014
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2014)