Sleep was restless as ever, I became to hot and coupled with the noise from the other guest kept me awake. I woke at 5am which is my usual waking time on these adventures, I lay there watching my phone tick away the minutes, by 6am I was up and packing my gear silently utilising my honed ninja camper skills. Breakfast was porridge with the other guests, they were all working in the area and sat in disbelief at my adventure.

The weather was a mix of warmth and wet as I set off from the base, I was lucky to jump straight onto a path and avoid the crazily fast road, I passed through Amberley quickly and cut across onto my route and up High Titten. It was a steep climb up to Amberley Mount, almost immediately the route began to take a higher line across ridges overlooking the vast open plains, but with it came the inevitable rain and wind.

Sheep in the mist

The paths changed from grassy fields to wooded trails and into slippy chalk paths quickly, I struggled to gain purchase on the chalk, the added wet creating a rather slick surface to run on. The area was much busier now with car parks peppering the landscape and despite the weather more dog walkers. I passed through Botolphs and over the river Adur with its wide and fast flowing, once navigable by large ships, now only water makes the 20 mile journey.

I was happy with the prospect of an up and coming YHA, the delight of tea and cake made me move faster, Truleigh Hill came quickly and a 20min stop for a refuel and a lovely chat with the staff was DSC_0466welcomed. The weather from here began to deteriorate with every step, the rain increased along with the wind, Haresdean passed without a notice, the only company became fields of pigs and piglets, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtheir snuffling and snorting as they enjoyed their day in the mud. Watching the pigies made me quite happy simple pleasures of eating and rooting in the mud, my feet beginning to now hurt with each step as I climb up towards Ditching Beacon, a local walked a short distance with me declaring this to be a fine view at the highest point. However it was apparent no view was to be had. As I went I passed some DofE walkers, one in particular made me chuckle, that despite the now worsening conditions, he insisted in wearing sunglasses in a vein attempt to look cool.

The rain now intensified as did the wind, visibility became nothing more than 15ft and made the top an awful place to be. My waterproof were distinctly non waterproof at this stage, I sought shelter under what trees were brave enough to grow here and made some urgent calls home to find suitable indoor accommodation.

My phone gradually lost its ability to work sensibly the water invading every nook and cranny of its body and my gear. Water dripped from every part of me as I tried to outrun the conditions on top. My phone had now developed a mind of its own and at one point stopped working altogether. Luckily Kerry was able to ring me and inform me that after numerous calls my original stop of Housedean Farm were able to provide a small pod at a cheaper rate.

Collecting video footage and pictures took a step back as I opted to just get out of the weather, everything was now soaked but remarkably I kept running, I slowly began to descend the hill and the weather eased into a more sensible manner, surprisingly I was passing more people heading out into the bad weather despite the time passing 3pm. Open exposed hill gave way to once more calming farmlands and sheltered damp woods, soon Housedean Farm appeared to my right and what a joy it was, 28 miles in and I was beat but energy levels still permitted running.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Checking in I wandered to the pod and unpacked, changing into dry gear and showered. Evening meal consisted of noodles mixed with baked beans and a cup of tea. A little oil radiator provided some heat to try to dry my sopping clothing. A yellow weather warning held sway over my area for the evening and I was glad no camping was to be had tonight. I watched others arrive and set up for the night.

Tomorrow was day 4, by calculation only some 23miles remained.

Published by bimblingmike

a hiker, a runner and bearded man

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