Thursday, July 16, 2009

7 June 2009 - Day 8: Seaford - Newhaven - Brighton

7.30 a.m.

It's sunny but with ominous lurking clouds. Drying and packing take a while.

Breakfast at Buckle Caravan Park is basic but adequate, though later I make phone calls and Sue tells me I should be eating more carbs. The site is drying out after heavy rain but everything looks fresh ... for the time being.

12.30 p.m.
Temp: 20.4C, humidity: 32%, wind south south west, sunny periods turning to rain.
O.S. Explorer Nos. 123/122
Distance cycled: 14.4 miles

Up on the beach the sea is ultramarine but it's time to leave. National Cycle Route 2 is a path meandering alongside the A259, eventually leading to Newhaven station and that train again.

Newhaven port is right by the station. In a fantasy moment I had packed my passport, and with such uncertain weather I was considering spending four dry hours each way on the Newhaven ferry.

Unfortunately, despite a boat waiting, there isn't one scheduled so no choice but to continue on towards Brighton,

past the jetty and on up a long, long, straight uphill road through a council estate, with radio and conversation spilling out of windows, and two young girls practising their drum majorette flag twirls. At the top I stop at a store for snacks, before continuing along the Route 2 path. Coming into Peacehaven at the junction with the A259 there is a bulding which is marked as a motel (the Brighton Motel) on the O.S. map, but has had a more recent incarnation and now derelict. So unsurprising they didn't return my calls.

Route 2 continues parallel to the coast but higher and away from the traffic, and halfway along this stretch it crosses the Greenwich Meridian. It starts to rain, becomes heavy, but the excitement of reaching the Undercliff path into Brighton makes it bearable.

The path is empty of people and very wet.

It continues past the marina development and soggy graffiti

on towards the pier where I turn left to stay with Rachel, who rents a room in a rather grand house off the Lewes Road. Too tired to cook, we go out to eat a delicious Japanese meal.