Tuesday, April 28, 2009

South Downs Way

From the 6th to the 12th of April, I walked the South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne.

The main novelty of this last hike is that I didn't do it solo but with my youngest daughter Beatrice.

Unfortunately, for lack of suitable prior training, we weren't fit enough. So, at the end of the 5th day we were so tired that we skipped the next leg (from Pyecombe to Lewes).

Apart from one whole misty day under heavy rain, we had always fine weather. Fresh but good for walking.

We met nice people and we stayed in beautiful inns and hospitable B&Bs.
As we advanced we were accompanied by the delightful song of skylarks and chaffinches.

I really don't know why but, in the end, I found the South Downs Way the less exciting of all the hikes I've done in Britain.

I took the opportunity of this last walking to improve the reduction of the gear weight.
I have gained 250 g. shifting from Ferrino Cumbre 35 l. rucksack to the Golite Jam2.
I found the latter less comfortable. But being frameless it needs something to stiffen it; e.g. a mattress which I didn't carry.
I gained some more grammes replacing the waterproof jacket and the rucksack cover by a poncho and a very light windproof.

Thus far I have always stayed in B&B or inns. In the future I would like to be more free and not to be bound to legs depending on accommodations booked longtime beforehand.
Therefore I am considering to carry a light camping gear: a poncho-tarp, a foam mattress and sleeping bag.
But, before embarking in a tough trek abroad (e.g. Highlands) I would like to do some experiments near home in order to stop easily in case something should go wrong.
So, next Autumn I would like to walk a section of the Apennines trail (Grande Escursione Appenninica) from the southern border of Tuscany to Florence.

As usually, I have taken some photos which are now available through the relevant links in the Trail Pictures section.

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