Sunday, 29 June 2008

Ashdown Forest Circular – (Sussex) – 29/06/08 – 13.1 miles exact – IVC

The day started with the slight inconvenience of Osterley station being closed for refurbishment. So rather than bookmarking todays walk with an additional 2 miles walking each way to Boston Manor underground, I decided the best course of action was to cycle there. It was proving however not to be a good day for stations as I was forced to queue up twice for my train ticket at Victoria, with the clerk claiming there was no such place as Ashurst. A quick check with enquiries proved there was, only for the second booking office clerk to come up with the same line again. A slight loss of temper later and she somehow managed to find the station after all (apparently I wasn’t the only one in our group to have this problem).

However having all got there in the end the walk started along the Wealdway on what was an overcast but muggy day. Needless to say there was plenty of nettles (see picture), and just like last time out I was fully kitted out in my shorts. One moment of interest before lunch was passing two reasonably adjacent pillar boxes overlooking the weald. However with the threat of a German invasion having passed, they no longer appear to be manned.

Lunch was at the Anchor pub in Hartfield, where they had a nice collection of cigarette cards in a frame next to where I was seating, featuring characters from Dickens. Anyway I had the (so so) Cod and Chips and a pint of Cider (no change there then). Unfortunately the desert menu didn’t seem all that coherent (chocolate and peppermint mouse anyone ?), so three of us ended up buying Mars bars instead.

The afternoon found us deep in the Five Hundred Acre Wood (where Christopher Robin Played), heading for Pooh Bridge. Having finally got there, we found the approach was actually covered in Pooh (of the horse variety), which I can’t remember Diane Louise Jordan having to cope with, when she was there with Countryfile. Anyway there was a few half hearted attempts at Pooh Sticks by some of our number, before it was given up as a bad job and everyone moved on.

A few small climbs later and we were then retracing our steps back to Ashurst station, which gave us short’s wearers a chance to get reacquainted with the nettles we had come through earlier. Thus by the time we reached the station, our proud owner of a satellite GPS was able to tell everyone that we had come exactly 13.1 miles (that being 1.1 miles further than advertised). Certainly that extra 1.1 mile didn’t spoil the day for me. Oh no I had to wait till later in the day when I got back to Boston Manor underground station, and found my £700 bike stolen, in order to do that.

1 comment:

  1. I know all my hundreds of readers are probably still concerned about my bike (no in fact make that thousands of readers). However I am pleased to say that the police recovered it for me within a couple of days.