XXII – Lymington to Bournemouth

Hasteful MammalWEDNESDAY’S walk began with an almost traditional start insofar as, having set off to catch the last night bus at just before four am, I got to the bus stop just in time to watch its rear lights disappear down the road. While this did throw my timings into disarray, it also felt reassuringly familiar. Also, In the end, it made just an hour’s difference.

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XIX – Emsworth to Portsmouth

Hasteful MammalYESTERDAY saw what I now consider a ‘short’ walk even though not that long ago I would have considered it a sizeable distance, i.e. twelve miles. The length of the walk was determined by a moment of unexpected synchronicity – it just so happened that I would reach a handy station (Portsmouth Harbour) twelve miles on from Emsworth and that twelve miles from Emsworth would, quite coincidentally, also be my three hundredth mile.

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XVI – Bognor Regis to West Wittering

Hasteful MammalIF LAST week’s walk was brought to you by the words ‘flat’ and ‘dull’ then yesterday’s walk was sponsored by the noises ‘brrr’ and ‘thud-clang!’ The latter is of course the sound of a metal alloy simian undergoing meteorological castration. The Met Office had promised, more or less, that the day would be bright and sunny but only sunny enough that the ‘brisk’ wind (their adjective) would elicit surprise as one’s sunglasses froze to one’s face.

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XV – Worthing to Bognor Regis

Hasteful MammalFOR yesterday’s walk, I once again stayed up all night to ensure that I could catch the earliest possible train without having to worry about snoozing through my alarm or anything. And indeed I could have caught that train had I not been distracted by something else in my tired, slightly trancelike state.

Fortunately I am no stranger to starting a walk half an hour behind schedule, my schedules being nominal at best and designed to accommodate an ambling pace. It should perhaps be no surprise then that I eventually finished my walk before sunset and a good forty minutes ahead.

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XIV – Newhaven to Worthing

Hasteful MammalMY CUNNING plan for my fourteenth coastal walk was to walk from Newhaven to Shoreham on Saturday. Indeed this plan was so cunning it mutated to keep everyone guessing.

In truth, the weather forecast for Saturday was one of bucketing rain, which didn’t sound a bundle of laughs. The best day this week, according to the Met Office, was yesterday (Thursday). So yesterday I went.

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XII – Hastings to Eastbourne

Hasteful MammalI HAVE to admit that, as I lay awake at night listening to the wind drive intermittent sleet against my bedroom window, I wondered if the Met Office’s forecast of ‘sunny intervals’ was perhaps a tad optimistic and that maybe I shouldn’t get up early to catch a train back to Hastings.

It was admittedly still bitterly cold when I did catch that train, and indeed had not stopped being so by the time I got to Hastings at around 9 am.

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VII – Sandwich to Dover

Hasteful MammalTODAY I learned a terribly important lesson about the White Cliffs of Dover

Do not walk them in the rain.

I also learned that while the Met Office is one of the world’s best weather forecasters, and not at all the running joke it was when I was little, they are still not always right. Today’s forecast for Kent was mostly for ‘sunny intervals’ giving way to rain tonight. What we actually got was intermittent showers giving way to rain by about four o’clock.

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V – Whitstable to Westgate-on-Sea

Hasteful MammalORIGINALLY, yesterday was not going to involve any walking as I already had plans. But then I got to thinking that my plans mostly involved the evening and, if I got up really early, I could also go for a walk. Which is how I came to be catching a train at the ungodly hour of not quite six in the morning. Even with this early start, the complications of a Saturday service and multiple connections meant that I only arrived at Whitstable at about 8 am. I immediately made my way back to the harbour, which is where I left off last time.

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I – Gravesend to Strood

Hasteful MammalYESTERDAY, I had a plan to get up bright and early and perambulate part of the Saxon Shore Way from Gravesend to Strood in Kent.

Not out of the blue, you understand, but as part of a wider project. I have long wanted to walk the South West Coast Path, which is some distance from me (I live in London). But then, I wondered, could I walk to the SWCP?

From there it was a short mental step (and a promise of many physical ones) to wonder why I should stop there? A vague intention to walk the coast of Great Britain emerged. Well, more-or-less; I’m no purist about these things.

But first things first…

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