Wednesday 1st May

Day 1 of our epic adventure across the South Downs! We had a wonderfully relaxing first day, getting the train to Winchester and walking around the ruins of Wolvesey Castle, having a right good moan about the Church's wealth. Strangely, a man saw us walking with our huge backpacks with all our camping gear in and quite obvious "walking clothes" (seriously, no one would wear what I was wearing if they weren't trekking across the country safe in the knowledge only a limited number of people would see them) and said to us, "there's a vintage market just up the road, looks right up your street! Ralph Lauren, Timberland, all that sort of designer stuff". I had no idea we looked like we were in the market for second hand "designer" clothes on a normal day, never mind when we were clearly passing through and definitely not shopping. I couldn't decide if it was an insult or a compliment! I'd like to imagine I looked shabby chic and therefore into "vintage" clothes, but I actually think I just looked shabby and maybe could do with some new clothes and he thought a second hand market would match my budget. Who knows.

After that we walked to a campsite at Holden Farm, where 40 mins previously we'd been told by a sadistic person with an ability to teleport that there would be a pub. I say that because the nearest pub was another hour and a half walk away after that! With the promise of "excellent traditional English pub food" we trekked on, sans backpacks having set up the tent at the campsite. I won't shame the pub in question, they were surely doing their best, but I'm not quite sure the person who described the food as excellent had tastebuds (or a sense of smell for that matter). But at least we had a hot shower to look forward to at the campsite right?! Wrong! We got into sleeping bags cold and slightly pissed off, looking forward for the next morning...

Heather Stock