I got onto the path and carried on and found to my surprise that I had almost
got to the section of the route which changes South suddenly. I went down the
hill until I came to a V junction just under some pylons. Apparently I had
already walked past the turning - I was using the Bartholomews 1/2 inch map
which is absolutely no use for walking. I took the left hand turn, and
eventually came slap-bang into a mucky farm, and I got mud on my boots and
trousers. I then took a cut back West towards the other junction which
eventually took me to the right hand turning, which was still wrong as I had
already gone past my turning. I came into Falmer. I had no idea where I was,
except that I was on the A27, so I asked someone who looked like a farmer (he
was taking his dog 'Sandy' out) [10:00 am], and he told me where I was. I then
set off up the A27 towards Lewes. At about 10:30 - 11:00, I had breakfast, same
as last night, namely bread, cheese, ham and water in a lay-by.
Then I tootled on up the A27 and came to a S D Way milestone on the left hand side of the road. I couldn't see the other one on the right hand side of the road for a bit, but I eventually got it and headed uphill, under a railway tunnel, where some workmen were doing the railway line, past the Newmarket Inn. The hill was fairly steep, and very long (Castle Hill) and from there it was fairly level up to Ilford Hill and then on down to Mill Hill and Rodwell (???).
About a mile outside Rodmell, I met a man (55-60) who was wearing a light rucksack and had some largish binoculars. He was very friendly and we walked together until the left hand turn when he took his car down to the Abergavenny Arms. I very fortuitously turned down a lift to the inn - one up for me. I joined him in the pub and he bought me a pint of Red and he had 1/2 brown (9p.). He ordered soup and egg and bacon. He belonged to the Rambler's Club and had done the Downs about twice. He was in his car this time doing bits of it with binoculars etc. He had just done 100 miles of the Pennine Way (out of 250m) and seemed quite knowledgeable about the Downs and the Pennine Way.
Both getting a bit stiff in Alf. Had 1/2 pint of Blackthorn Cider (they hadn't got snacks) so we tried the other two - they only did pork scratchings. Alfriston was a pretty posh place - very touristy, full of antique shops and postcards - a real tourist trap. We decided to go straight to Littlington and try the Y.H. I thought I'd try and get in as a temporary member which I did [57 pence] as this was a 'special' Hostel. Cooked our food which we bought at the Y.H. - soup (which we brought with us), beef curry from a tin, bit runny, and yoghurt, followed by coffee. Did washing up and went into Common Room, did diary, played Fox and Geese with Anthony, (won one, lost one) and then draughts (I won) - pretty close though - made lots of mistakes. People here seem OK. One American, one French, two Scots and rest English. Pretty upper-class type, one man (50-55) whom Anthony met in Patcham and had done same walk as AJT who was quite chatty and OK, but a bit lonely I think - talked a lot - a bit boring at times - done quite a bit of walking. AJT went to bed about 10:15. I knocked off at 10:30.
I didn't get to sleep for at least an hour - probably more, but I wasn't wearing my watch so I didn't know what time it was. I had that sort of restless feeling in my back, which made me want to do some physical jerks or something. Eventually dropped off.
Copyright © 2004 by Roger Harlow.
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