A quick overnighter

It is now a week ago that I managed to sneak a quick overnighter in. I left work Friday afternoon early with all my kit and caught a train to Ashurst in Kent. It was a dry blustery day and I was looking forward to stretching my legs and finally having the first camp of the year.
After chopping and changing between train, tube and back to train I arrived in Ashurst at 3pm. The good thing about starting here is that the footpaths start right outside the station. I was very soon striding out through the Kent countryside with the wind battering my back listening to birdsong. I dropped into the Medway valley and followed the river for a short while. I could hear but not see buzzards but soon spotted a nest high up in a tree. Buzzards have only just started to reappear in this part of southern England.
Today I was only walking for 3 hours and by 6pm I had reached my camp spot for the night under a wonderful old yew tree. I set up my tarp as a wind break and soon had my camp all in order and a pot of water on for soup. The wind was in the chilly side a a warm mug of soup soon warmed me up ,whilst I was drinking the soup I started my meal, Mexican chicken with spicy black beans served up with cheese and a wrap. I noticed a lovely sunset through the birch trees which surround the spot and are dinner watching the sky turn from orange through to purple.
The wind soon died and I noticed that also all the cloud at blower through and that I would soon have a sky full of stars.
I warmed my self over a small fire and then turned in for the night.
I was using my POE sleeping mat which I bought nearly 2 years ago and have only used four times and has gone down in the night on two occasions. I had sealed all the seams hoping that it would solve the problem. The problem has not been solved but it only deflated once, more work needed. I was using my new inflatable pillow (make of it I can’t remember ) which did work and was very comfortable.
Morning came cold and bright and after firing up the bush buddy and getting the coffee on at 6am on reluctantly climbed out of my warm PHD bag and started breaking camp. I was walking by 7.30am and headed up over ashdown forest towards Forest Row and on to east grinstead.
I gathered wild garlic when I stopped by the Medway for a second breakfast of fresh pain au chocolate. I followed footpaths to Ashurst wood where I finally spotted a buzzard gliding over a small wood then it was on to east grinstead and lunch with my parents before a short walk through woods and more wild garlic collecting to dormans station a d home to oxted.
All in all a successful overnighter and my soul realigned after months of winter.

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2 Responses to A quick overnighter

  1. Neill Tupman says:

    Great little tale. I like the 2nd breakfast mention, you’re turning into a hobbit exploring The Shire!

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