South Downs

When: 1 – 4 May 2009

Present: Keyna (organiser), Claire, Alan, Simon H, Geoff, Kath, Catherine, Maggie, Trudi, Joanne, Steve, Dan, Beckie, Maisie

First camping trip of 2009, run by the very capable Keyna.

The first disaster was finding the campsite. No signs, and no-one in the village of Alfriston really knew where it was. Simon ended up sleeping in his car 200 metres from the campsite. While Keyna did try to leave him a voicemail with specific directions, he didn’t have his voicemail set up or his phone turned on – or even with him… Toilets and showers were a 200m walk from the tents. Oh well. We all got used to that over 3 days. At least the showers were red hot.

All others managed to find the place by asking locals in the know, and having listened to Keyna’s voicemails on better directions, and a grand total of 14 plus a splendid baby turned up for a drunken evening. Alan managed to crawl into bed at 5.00am. Good effort Al!!

Despite the hangovers, everyone was ready to go by 9.30am (took a LOT of rounding up actually with Maggie being the worst) and we walked along the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs to Beachy Head then back inland across the rolling hills to make a lovely 15 mile circuit. Great BBQ for the evening and all asleep by midnight.

Sunday saw more sunshine and a 12 mile walk that went across the top of the South Downs and the views were magnificent. England at its greenest. Sunday night was an evening in the 500-year-old George Inn. Very civilised. Kath turned up in a very posh top. Everyone else looked quite ordinary.

On Monday everyone was up for yet another walk – this time 8 miles through a number of “bottoms”. There were plenty of horses, the Wilmington Long Man, wild garlic, some purple orchids, bright green beech forests and a load of other spring flowers.

Keyna Garner

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