The one with the penis display!
WEATHER: A sprinkling of sunshine throughout the day with a nice cool breeze. Perfect walking weather.
DISTANCE: 16.49 miles in total
LOCATION: Buriton to Cocking
A fantastic day with spectacular views. I just took my time and didn’t rush as today’s hike was only 10-11 miles... or so I thought!
Highlights were, Hayton Downs National Trust, 🦌, a bit of an adventure (sort of got lost), terrible wind, a penis and free food!
THE LONG WINDED WAFFLY VERSION:-
🌅 I left a bit later today (7 am) and waved goodbye to the pub. Packing up was much easier today as the tent was dry.
🚶♀️ A good night's sleep and my swollen ankle have reduced. I also had some Mountain Fuel last night and smothered my ankle and shoulders in Voltorol, so I feel great! I’m gonna take it easy though and just enjoy the walk.
🐓 7.30am Buriton chalk pits are lovely. Cockerill's cockadooing, I’m recording videos and totally absorbed in my surroundings.
7.50am I arrive in a gorgeous little village square that looks very English with its duck 🦆 pond and little quaint ⛪️ church. I can’t find the South Downs Way signs anywhere so I check Guthook. Oops, I’ve had my own little adventure! I really don’t want to go another mile back up that steep bank so I decide to be adventurous and just follow my instincts. There is a general footpath sign that is pointing in a similar direction to where I’m meant to be. Let’s see if that works!
💡 8.10am, guess what I found? A lovely South Downs Way sign was shining like a beacon at the top of a hill. Right, I’m on track again. “Julia, concentrate on where you are going this time”!
Wow 😮 just wow! I enter the National Trust Park of Harting Down and there are not enough adjectives to describe this scene I see before me. I feel compelled to go live on Facebook to share the moment... it’s that good!! The mix of different landscapes with little quaint villages in the distance. I spot a couple of church spires and I stop to ask a local what the building is on the hill in the other direction... it’s folly. How cute.
☕️ 10.20am - there are no coffee shops or cafes on today’s route so I decide to make my own. I take off my shoes, air my feet and lay down in a fabulous spot whilst my Jetboil works its magic. A couple of people walk by and have a quick chat. I’m in no rush today. I feel that I’m on a go slow. I’ve got 4 miles left to do so I should be in Cocking (still funny!) by lunchtime.
11.06am I have a mini mountain to climb. My brother phoned me when I was halfway up and I’m not sure that he was impressed with his sister's heavy breathing. I finally reach Harting Down trig point and take a few panoramic photos. I stop here for a short to absorb the moment and then make my way down.
Side note: The cashew nuts, raisins, and porridge oats are giving me extra wind to carry me up these hills! Good job I’m in the outdoors! (I now know what a second wind means!)
👿 12noon - Devils Jump, burial mounds dating back over 3000 years. Lots of humps all in a row.
Rachel.... just saw a 🦌!
12.20pm - Penis man (no emoji for that!). I was minding my own business and singing to Lucy Spraggon when I saw him! A man of a boy 24 years old was standing to my right with his shorts and pants around his ankles and he was having a wee. Not against a tree discreetly, but facing the path and peeing onto the track that I was just about to walk on! I didn’t know where to look (but couldn’t help myself!). He was wearing a bike helmet, but I didn’t spot a bike. I covered my eyes and said sorry as I walked by, and he apologized as well. Next stop... Cocking! (Ironic eh?).
2.30pm - I make it to Cocking and find myself in a dinky post office in the middle of the village. I ask the guy behind the counter if there is anywhere I can stay tonight and he tells me the nearest campsite is 6 miles away! The local pub is closed for refurbishment and my hopes of finding somewhere here are vanishing quickly. I launch the Guthook app (my new best friend) and see that there is a place called Hilltop Cottages that was just half a mile from where I was standing. I should have guessed by the name, but this place was half a mile UP the hill! After a quick phone call, Pauline confirmed that they do have a pitch available, shower and! Yippee!
I go back into the post office to buy some supplies but the man said “here, have this” It was two packets of ham. “The date runs out today, and also have this” (a massive fresh-baked loaf). Perhaps he thought I was a homeless person? I didn’t know what to say apart from thanking you. The bread would not fit in my pack so I had to carry it in my arms... up the hill. I expect I’ll see some ducks on the way!
With my throbbing ankle and aching shoulders and a massive loaf of bread, I plod back up the hill to find my pitch for the night. I’m looking forward to a warm shower and something to eat.
Hilltop Farm is a working farm and Pauline and Richard are exactly like characters in the Darling Buds of May. The portaloo and shower were grim, but the free tea, and charging my phone made up for it. They are also hosting the Mercedes Speed Festival, so posh Merc cars and off-road vehicles have been making themselves at home on the field next door.
Right, time to switch off now. I’m thinking of getting a b&b tomorrow as I’m craving a hot bath (or shower that works).
Night night all.