i woke up early on saturday morning,so decided to head out early.I caught the 06.44 train to Buxted in Sussex and was walking by 08.20.The day was grey and overcast with the wind gusting at times and i expected to get rain at any time.My planned route was to head towards ashdown forest via the small village of Fairwarp and make camp at one of my many used spots.The walk started off pleasantly with Fallow deer spotted almost immediatly [ok i cheated i did head through a deer park]The wind was blowing but it felt good to be out walking.It had been a good few months since i last got out.I stopped for a cuppa around 9ish in a grove of pine trees.I made good time and arrived in Fairwarp too early for the pub[i must change my habits of early starts s i always get to the pub too early]so with my plans scuppered of a pint i headed ontowards a spot called the airmans grave which is a memorial to a wellington bomber crew who crashed and lost their lives on the forest during the war,1941 i believe.It was the first time i had been here and it was good to see that they are still remembered,as poppy wreaths had been left.I left the memorial and headed up over the heathland towards my camp spot which was now only about 2 hours away and crossed paths witha large dog fox who longed surprised to seee me.I reached my camp spot very early about 14.00 and as it was still dry but blowy i decided to set up camp and have a peaceful afternoon collecting fire wood and reading.whilst collecting wood i spotted a small herd of Roe deerI had picked up a book,The way to freedom,core teachings of tibetan buddhism by his holiness The Dali Lama, years ago whilst in Nepal but never read it so as a last thought i had thrown it in to the pack.Luckly as there had been no rain i managed to find some pretty dry wood hanging in the branches of the surronding trees.So with the tarp up i snuggled down into my PHD bag with a cup of tea and my book and before long the wind and birdsong had me drifting off to sleep for a well earned afternoon snooze.
I awoke to find it had grown dark so my thoughts turned to food and a fire.it did not take long to get a fire going and soon i was tucking into homemade chilli and rice.i always finish off the night with a hot chocolate and a tot of something warming and this was no exception i had a hip flask of sloe brandy to fight of the chill.
Sunday dawned still grey and windy and after a leisurely breakfast and breaking of camp i head north towards the village of Hartfield and once again managed to reach there an hour to early for the pub so i changed my route so i could get at least one pint of Harvey’s in.So it was off across the drenched Sussex countryside to ashurst wood.After a quick pint i headed off to to my parents and a cup of tea before heading back to London.
i will be writing up the kit report at the weekend when i have a bit more time,as my girlfriend is off to to Brazil on Friday followed by me next Thursday and i have a
shed full of things to get done before then.