My dad and I had climbed mountains before this weekend and we felt that we wanted to do a different challenge so we did some research and spoke to friends and we said that we would walk the whole of the South Downs Way.
We’d been planning this for a while and all we wanted to do was go.
We bought lot of new equipment like a kettle and a gas stove from GoOutdoors and we found that they were much lighter than we thought they would be.
As we were planning the weekend we planned what we were going to eat each day, making sure that we were picking light weight foods.
My Dad carried the tent and I carried the food which meant that my rucksack constantly got lighter throughout the weekend.
We travelled to Winchester by train from Waterloo station after getting a tube from Bank where my Dad works.
When we arrived we had to walk to a caravan site 3 miles away. It was quite basic. There was only 1 other tent with a local artist staying there, which meant that it was a very quiet night and we could have a choice of where we could pitch our tent.
Some of the caravans looked lovely and the grass was kept in very good condition. Nearly every caravan was fenced off and the camping area was fenced of too. They had clean drinking water, clean toilets and nice showers.
We woke up super early and only saw 2 other people awake at that time.
We saw lots of hills with beacons on (beacons are large torches which people used to set on fire to signal things to other people far away).
We saw some offroad motorcyclists zooming around as we were walking and could not stop hearing their loud engines for a long time. We also saw hang gliders jumping off a hill in Queen Elizabeth Country Park and even saw a charity bike race.
We started to get really tired about a mile from the Sustainability Centre and I could really feel the blisters on my feet. But we carried on waddling and when we arrived there were no staff so we had to go searching.
Eventually we found our pitch which had someone in it with a BBQ cooking their dinner so we had to wait for them to finish. Luckily they went to their teepee quickly and they were kind.
We had a very good nights sleep.
The Sustainability Centre had very strange toilets as they had a straight hole into some hay were your waste got decomposed. The showers were solar heated which meant that they were hot and were lovely!
When we woke up water had got under our tent’s outer as it rained that night and we’d put the tent up in a hurry. We had to dry it off as we had breakfast. The washing up facilities were good as the sinks were clean.
As we left from The Sustainability Centre our aim was to get to Petersfield station (which was not far away from the south downs track) so that we could get back home by train and tube, and we made it!
So that was the first 26 miles of the south downs way.