2017-06-26 - South Downs Way
* The plan was to mountain bike the 100 mile South Downs Way over the weekend after flying in on Saturday but due to a loose cassette in the rental bike, we decided to regroup in Eastbourne and hike on Sunday instead. This is our story.
Saying good bye to the partial ocean view (if you craned your neck) outside our window and the washbasin in our room, Neil and I left our hotel. We first rode our bikes to the Eastbourne train station and locked it to the wonderful bike racks. Then game time. We started the hike to Alfriston. The trail was only 10.5 miles but with the additional walk from the train station to the start of the trail plus small detours, it ended up being about 13.5 miles. We had a blast.
We hiked across the beautiful rolling hills of green grass and white chalk cliffs and enjoyed the lighthouses and visitor center.
The Seven Sisters area was particularly beautiful.
After the Seven Sisters, we left the shore and headed inland through fields filled with sheep.
We met a woman named Jenny who hiked with us for a few miles between the forest and Afrison. She has hiked the entire South Downs Way in parts as well as other long trails in the UK.
We stopped at Afriston for lunch and visited the church originally founded in 1360. The 10.5 mile journey back to Eastbourne was smooth going as well. After climbing up some terrain that would have been tough to mountain bike, we climbed up and over the green grass hills.
We hiked down to see the Long Man but the angle was poor from above. No one knows the origin or meaning of the Long Man. Neil and I started chatting about future dreams and plans and the time passed quickly.
Eventually the ocean swung back into view and we left the trail to head into town.