The South Downs Way


Sunday 16th September 1973

Up at around 10:00. Breakfast of sausages (on sticks) with Ryvita and Philadelphia. Fire still going. Set off at 12:00 mid-day. Both feeling thirsty, but no water. We walked for a couple of miles until we came to Littleton Farm where we drank, washed and filled up with water from a trough with a ballcock. We seem to have suffered no ill effects. Yesterday, Anthony noticed some small red spots on his shoulders. Today they have inflamed rather badly. I've noticed one or two small ones on me. Anyway, we set off much refreshed from a good drink and wash across Burton Down, where we came across lots of pheasants, and after an unsuccessful attempt to slaughter one of these fowl, we crossed Bignor Hill. We kept overtaking and being overtaken by 3 boy and 2 girl hikers, and met one other hiker and a few weekend strollers. After our unsuccessful attempt at slaughtering a pheasant, we carried on along a chalk and flint towards Bignor Hill and over it. We rested at the top, and were overtaken by the five other hikers while we rested on the grave of some hunting person. Then we set off again, overtook the five other hikers and headed for Amberley which was reached without one rest. Just outside A. on the river was a tea house where we had 4 to 5 cups of tea each (I think I had five) and sponge cake, and bread and butter and sticky coffee cake things. We were very much refreshed by this as the track from Bignor to A. had been very rough and hard. Camp 3
Camp 3

The tea house was in fact mostly lawn by the river - very picturesque and v. English as was the tea etc. A busload of people (physically handicapped) arrived as we did, so we had to wait with aching feet while we queued for tea. Queues seem to bring out the worst of people. One woman in pink, who came from a coachload of tourists, managed to push in front of me, and then started making comments about the social workers being slow in ordering their tea as there were a few hassles about the large number of orders. A girl social worker turned around and said that they were ordering for a coach, and the pink woman said that she came from one and wasn't ordering anyone else's tea, to which the social worker replied in a peeved way "But they're physically handicapped." The pink woman shrivelled apologetically.

Anyway, we decided after bloating ourselves on tea to look for a place to camp and then go for a drink. That wasn't much use, so we were on the way to Amberley proper to have a drink in a P.H., when I noticed that the Bridge Hotel had a bar, so I had 1 1/2 pints (big ones) of Watneys Red and AJT had 1 pint of brown ale. Then we found a public footpath and camped under some trees near the railway line. We made a fire, and I made a small individual tent of polythene, and AJT slept in the open. Bed about 10:00 amid the thunder of trains. They flashed quite spectacularly.

Camp 2
Camp 2
Camp 3
Camp 3
Camp 4
Camp 4

Copyright © 2004 by Roger Harlow.
 
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