Monday, 20 September 2010

Crowhurst to Battle – (East Sussex) – 19/09/10 – 11.7 Miles – IVC

This walk was a little bit further out than I was anticipating or particularly wanted to travel on this occasion. So perhaps if I had read the details a little more closely I would have noticed it was an hour and a half out from Charing Cross. Anyway whatever, nine of us including our fusspot leader assembled at Crowhurst station, for a fine day that had just a slight Autumn chill.

Our first point of interest was a disused railway bridge, where we made our way under it through an aluminium tunnel sitting on top of the sleepers. Having negotiated that our fusspot leader was keen to point out that the silvery/white bit at the bottom of the horizon was in fact the Sea. A bit further on and we were made to turn round again to check out the faint outline in the far far distance that apparently was Beachy Head.

Having crossed a main road we found ourselves walking through a heavily wooded area under a lot of canopy. We made way for two little girls riding junior size ponies, and then soon after found ourselves being followed by a black bull terrier of sorts. This dog was a bit of pest partly because he was constantly under our feet, and partly because he thought it was a great laugh to run slightly in front of our group, and then squat down and defacate in our path. Having done this on three occasions, he then returned to his teenage girl owner (who had no doubt put him up to it).

Our fusspot leader had been chuntering on about the upcoming golf course, and once we got there kept going on about the muddly path through and around it, whilst the rest of us were debating did he mean muddy or muddly ? Whatever he meant, he was basically taking this walk out of ‘Time Out Country Walk’s book one’, whilst our leader of all leaders was giving his version of where we should going instead using his OS map. Anyway having negotiated that, our fusspot leader started a new panic saying we had to get to the pub by two thirty, otherwise there would be no lunch (something that had apparently happened on the previous week’s walk). When we did finally get there at two twenty five, the pub turned out to have a new name and owners, and was serving food all the way up till nine o clock.

Anyway this was a great little pub (sorry I forgot the name, but it is in Crowhurst for those who need an exact reference) run by a cheery landlady and her husband. I had a burger, two eggs and chips, plus a pint of cider, all for eight quid (rare value in a pub these days). Yet once on our way again, another member of our group proceeded to lecture me to tears about why I should do more cooking for myself, until I had to pretend to faint in order to get him to stop.

Having seen the 1066 footpath signs I did wonder whether we would be seeing something a little historic, but apparently not as we were going to be approaching Battle from the wrong side. Oh and apologies for the lack of decent pictures by the way, but having assured me the night before that he was fully charged up, my camera decided at around this time to conk out.

As we passed through another pine mono culture, there was more debate between fusspot leader, and leader of all leaders over which way we should be going. This got a little more regular after fusspot leader, who had been threatening us all day with this gauntlet of nettles we were all going to have to negotiate later on, was overruled by the leader of all leaders who found us a sting free passage instead (much to my disconsolation actually, having found a large catapault type stick to swat them aside).

Having negotiated a different gauntlet of sorts, namely a sewage works, things inevitably came to a climax when the group split in two. Fusspot leader wanted to stay to his exact route, which would include taking in Battle Abbey. However the leader of all leaders, rightly in my view giving the gloom of the day and how time was moving on, wanted to get to the station in order to get the 1820 train. Thus five of us went with him, whilst fusspot leader found himself now leading a group of two who certainly missed that train, with the next one going at 1843. Obviously one felt a tad ungrateful to our fusspot leader here (although end of walk breakaways are the norm for this group) however I didn’t get home till 2100 hours, and that was really enough for one day.

Walks since last blog entry:

1 x 6.5 mile (run)/walk – Grand Union/Osterley Park
1 x 14 mile (9 kg ruckack walk) – Richmond Stn/Park (inner & outer loops).