well ive had a great weekend.just got back from a weekend in the beautiful Sussex countryside.i managed to get out of work at decent time on Friday afternoon and a quick trip home to pick up my pack saw me on the 18h15 train to East Grinstead.the plan,well there was no real plan but i was hoping to get a couple of hours walking in which would see me camping somewhere on ashdown forest.i arrived in East Grinstead at 19h20 and was out of town within 20 minutes.The walk up onto the forest took me through lovely Sussex farm land.I disturbed 2 Roe deer just as i got onto the forest.Just before i found my camp spot i almost stepped on a fox who was out hunting.By 21h00 i was on the forest and setting up camp [ see photo sections ].After a dinner of chilli and rice i decided to have a small fire.Now i know that these days fires are frowned upon and i may come in for some criticism but i feel that if you know what you are doing and keep it small than a fire is a quite all right.I always put it out before i retire to bed and in the morning i scatter the ashes and cover the fire pit back up so you would not even know i had been there.By 23h00 i was in bed listening to the sounds of the forest.Heard a nightjar,a very weird noise a kind of whirring noise.
I awoke about 08h00 and lay under my tarp listening to the forest.Just after i finished breakfast it started to rain.So after packing in the rain i headed off to meet up with my friend Andy who was driving down from London.We had planned to meet in a pub called the Hatch,a lovely old Sussex pub serving great beer.Had a great morning of walking,only needed to travel about 5 km and took 3 hours with plenty of stops,After meeting Andy and polishing off 2 pints of Harvey’s best and a pint of larkin we headed out to find our camp spot for the night.Now the weather was still fine but it looked like we may get some more rain so we headed in to the forest to get some cover from the weather.Whilst wandering along a trail i suddenly decided to head off the track and there it was the most magnificent beech tree i have seen.It just had a great vibe to the area so we decided to set up camp under one of the younger beech trees that surrounded the granddad of beech trees as i have heard that beech trees have a habit of dropping limbs and i did not one of those massive branch’s dropping on my head in the night.
Well i have to say it was one of the best camp spots i have had.Even though it rained most of the night we hardly got a drop on us and we again managed a small fire to keep us warm and to boil up the water for dinner and a hot chocolate.Finally hit the sack at about 01h00 after a night of talking.Awoke late and lay once again just listening to the sounds of the forest..A quick breakfast and we were on our way back to the Hatch and a well deserved pint of Harvey’s.All in all a great weekend.
Its now sunday night,the clothes are washed and my bag is packed ready for next weekend,iam off to walk from Eastbourne to Brighton or beyond.ive spent a small fortune on books from amazon, a new 30l omm bag[on sale] and a pot cosy kit from backpackinglight .co.uk and a couple of new maps of the sussex coast./
i hope you all had a good weekend.