Category Archives: Expeditions

Our route along the South Downs Way

Comedy photo of reading a map next to a signpost
Comedy photo of reading a map next to a signpost

Some people have contacted me to ask for our precise route along the South Downs Way, including walks to and from train stations.

We covered the South Downs Way (from Winchester to Eastbourne) over four weekends, carrying our own tents, food and stoves. This meant we could only walk up 15 miles per day comfortably, stretching to 20 miles only if necessary Continue reading Our route along the South Downs Way

A review of campsites along the South Downs Way

Camp for the night
Camp for the night

Here is a list and review of each camp site that Ishai and I stayed at during our hike across the South Downs Way. We carried our own tents (sharing a two-man tent), stove, food and water and always booked the camp sites before arrival.

We covered the South Downs in four weekends, arriving on a Friday afternoon at the first site, walking to the second campsite on the Saturday afternoon, and then continuing the walk to a train station to return home in London. (Incidentally, if you are planning to do something similar, investigate a Friends and Family railcard to save a small fortune on rail tickets).

This required a fair amount of research beforehand. The first source was the Official South Downs Campsites and hostels. This was compiled in 2013 and doesn’t include some of the campsites that we stayed in (I asked the owners to add their campsites to the guide). Continue reading A review of campsites along the South Downs Way

Walking the South Downs Way: Weekend #4

Arriving at Falmer station
Arriving at Falmer station

This was our fourth and final weekend walking the South Downs, totally self-sufficient carrying tents, food and cooking equipment.

This weekend started in Falmer, next to the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club stadium and opposite Brighton University, and finishing in Eastbourne. We agreed with the rest of the family to meet us half way through the second day (Sunday) for lunch and join us for the walk into Eastbourne.

We were aware that during the winter period we’d have lost our training advantage of the previous three weekends – our bags felt heavier and the hills felt steeper and longer. Continue reading Walking the South Downs Way: Weekend #4

Meru film review

Meru film posterLast night I was invited to a pre-screening of a new film called Meru. The pre-screening was organised by The North Face, one of the sponsors of the film.

The film itself was fantastic – edge of the seat stuff. It’s a documentary with interviews and pure first-person recording – no camera crews or drones. But it’s still exciting. At one point I jumped out of my seat just as everyone else in the cinema winced. I don’t want to give anything away, so there are no spoilers here. Continue reading Meru film review

Kilimanjaro Diary: And down again

RainforestAfter yesterday’s summit we all slept extremely well last night. And the rain disappeared too. The camp was still damp and muddy but at least there was no rain.

Strangely I woke up with one of the worst headaches of the week – a piercing pain at the front of my head. Two paracetamols and some breakfast cleared it. I rarely get headaches and have taken more paracetamol this week than 2015 combined!

The porters and guides held a special ceremony this morning to thank us for our tips. We’ve had team of 84 support staff with a single primary aim – getting us to the summit yesterday. The ceremony was 30 minutes of singing, dancing and smiling. It was lovely. Continue reading Kilimanjaro Diary: And down again

Kilimanjaro Diary: The hardest walk I’ve ever done

At the top of Kilimanjaro and I'm crying with emotion
At the top of Kilimanjaro and I’m crying with emotion

We’ve done it. We’ve all done it. All 18 of us and the doctor reached the Stella Point summit at 7:14am today. And it was one of the hardest walks I’ve ever done.

After dinner last night we went straight to bed wearing our summit clothes. This meant we would only have 4 hours sleep maximum and of course it was wonderful, quality rest, rudely interrupted at 11pm.

We had a snack and began the trek to the summit. The aim was to reach Stella Point between 6 and 7am. Continue reading Kilimanjaro Diary: The hardest walk I’ve ever done

Kilimanjaro Diary: Walking to Base Camp

The incredible view from our tent at Kilimanjaro Base Camp
The incredible view from our tent at Kilimanjaro Base Camp

Today was only a short walk. Despite short distance we are at such a high attitude that everything is an effort.

Once we arrived at camp we were all tired and had some time to relax. This set off a moderate headache, which I sorted with some Paracetamol.

We are now staying at the Base Camp which is a cool name alone. This site is amazingly beautiful and I’ve taken some photos from my camp bed of a third Kilimanjaro summit. Continue reading Kilimanjaro Diary: Walking to Base Camp

Kilimanjaro Diary: Trekking doesn’t get better than this

This is what my office looked like in the evening: writing this diary in the mess tent
This is what my office looked like in the evening: writing this diary in the mess tent

Another ten hours’ sleep – when I texted Mayrav and told her, she said I am sleeping more than her.

Aron and I got into our sleeping bags (emphasis on the plural) it struck us how warm it was – I slept in a single layer last night.

We were given a lie-in this morning to 6.30am.

Clothes are now starting to get grubby. We all chose what quantity of each clothing to bring and I brought only one pair of walking trousers which are now pretty dirty! Continue reading Kilimanjaro Diary: Trekking doesn’t get better than this

Kilimanjaro Diary: A lovely long walk to the Lava Tower

Shira Two: Camps are now getting cold
Shira Two: Camps are now getting cold

After my diary entry yesterday, Jeremy W took a turn for the worse and the doc has given him a full medicine cabinet- something like 9 tablets in total. It was difficult to see such a close friend in trouble like that – but he improved overnight.

And overnight was much more mild, with a beautiful starlit sky and distant city lights. It was impossible to capture the views with a camera or words. We stood outside in awe. Continue reading Kilimanjaro Diary: A lovely long walk to the Lava Tower