Thursday, July 16, 2009

19 June 2009 - Day 20: Chichester to Earnley ("Bugger Bogner")

Goodbye to The Big Sleep, after one more carb loaded breakfast.
At Eastbourne Station, the staff are their charming selves. Funny that, staff at all the other stations have been friendly and helpful.

Im determined to have a quiet, photo-free journey, but it's impossible not to meet people. Isobel boards with an old post-bike. She used to work for the Post Office and saw the bike, neglected with piles of other ones, and claimed it.

Isobel turns out to be an illustrator, now teaching Foundation Art at City College in Brighton.

Neil and Phillip opposite me are discussing the Gills (Gillingham Football team) so we establish a Kent connection. Phillip (left) grew up in Whitstable but they now both live in Canterbury. They must be pleased their beloved club has recently been promoted.

2.00 p.m. (roughly)
Temp: 21.4c, humidity: 25%, Westerly wind.
O.S. Explorer Map 120
Distance travelled by bike: 6.4 miles (train back to Chichester from Eastbourne

My plan was to cycle to Bognor Regis. However, on my route west, Chichester to Bognor Regis is backwards in a south-east direction. This has been depressing me as the roads are fumey. So it comes to me (with apologies to the residents of Bognor) and in the apochryphal words of a dying George V, when reassured by his physician that he would again see the town, "Bugger Bognor". I don't need to do this, and instead choose National Bicycle Route 88 which follows the Chichester Ship canal south.

At the beginning of the route I meet Mark, who has delivered "my ladies" by community transport for a boat trip, and is awaiting their return. We drink coffee from the Canal Trust cafe while he waits.

The route is peaceful and pastoral, but also well-used. A selection of images follows:

Some parts of the canal are blocked, especially further on near Chichester Marina; the people at the Canal Trust cafe told me they want to restore it, bit by bit.
On the other side of the marina are very different boats, not for leisure, but for living.

I arrive at the Red House Caravan and Camping Site at 6.15 p.m. The pitch is about quarter of a mile long and I pitch Filthy Fox at the far end and enjoy a dinner of odds and sods.