Thursday, July 16, 2009

16 June 2009 - Day 17: Gumber Farm to Chichester

10.30 a.m.
Temperature and humidity unmeasured, wind light and westerly.
O.S. Explorer Maps Nos. 121/120
Total distance travelled by bicycle: 10 miles. More by train.

Goodbye to the bothy. It's been fantastic here but I'm ready to leave.

It's hot as I start off. Some sheep who missed out on available shade are cooperating as a group and tucking their heads into the shade created by each other's bodies. They're not stupid!

Stade Street runs south west towards Chichester, and I'm an old hand on this path now. Extraordinary to think Romans travelled along it. I tuck my toga up and reach the road at the bottom in about an hour and a half.

After an uneventful, mostly downhill ride I reach Chichester, and eat lunch, courtesy of M&S on a bench in the main shopping street. I feel like an alien. Enough, I'm due tomorrow in Eastbourne for a community event at the hospital, which requires a stressful journey with the fully-loaded bike on the train.

Getting the unwieldy bike off at Eastbourne is gruesome, and even worse for an older woman in a wheelchair, as people flood on.

6.10 p.m.

The Big Sleep, where Rita has booked us two nights, is delightful - kind of retro 50s/60s in the bar, and sparse, white and functional in the bedroom - and we have a sea view from high up on the third floor.

After nights in tents I can't believe I'm somewhere so nice yet cheap, which requires more photographs just to believe it's real.