Sunday, 27 September 2009

Day 1, Burwash botch

Today's jaunt (10.7 km; 6.6 miles) took us on a quasi-circular walk that actually began at our holiday home's front door ... at least, that was the plan.

Day 1 Burwash walk

After heading out southeast from Burwash, the walk's first point of interest was Bateman's, home of the British writer Rudyard Kipling for a good part of the early 20th century ...


So far, so good. Unfortunately, things went a bit awry after this point. Although I'd programmed the walk's route into the GPS, a memory problem meant that it had vanished by the time we started out. This shouldn't have been a problem given that we had a walk description and a map of the route. However, shortly after Bateman's a mistake interpreting said description set us on the wrong path. Unfortunately, though we were very much on the wrong path (as shown here), we were still able to stretch our book's instructions to match our surroundings. This seems to be something that we excel at, and our contortions to (mis)match words with what we see around us can be pretty impressive.

After about 15 minutes, we finally clocked our mistake, by which point we were the best part of a mile from its genesis. Reasoning that we could use our map to correct for mistake number one, we dutifully trudged onwards and into making mistake number two. Actually, we did get ourselves briefly onto the right path, but somehow managed to overshoot it. After winding up in an unexpected field, we despaired and thought about tracing our steps, but gave the walk one final chance to come good (it was a close thing). This time our luck was in, and after clambering over some barbed wire fencing, we got ourselves back on track.

In the end, the walk was actually a rather nice fields and forests affair, and with the weather so good it was easy to be forgiving of our mistakes. Aside from Bateman's, which a final late mistake saw us accidentally gatecrashing without paying, it was really just a nice jaunt in the English countryside. It did bag us our first oast house though ...


After recovering from our unexpectedly extended walk, we had a look around Burwash itself. It's more-or-less a one street town, with a just few short lanes padding it out. As is pretty much de rigueur for English villages, it had a great church in it, so there was much photographing of stained glass windows ...


After the previous evening's vegetarian-stretching dinner on the town, we opted to try out the barn's self-catering facilities. We also raided its video library for the evening's entertainment. Unfortunately, we'd seen almost everything worth watching, so against our better judgement plumped for an unknown Russell Crowe vehicle dealing with an ice hockey team from the polar wastes of Mystery Alaska. But, much to our surprise, it was actually perfectly acceptable entertainment. Totally generic, but very capably done. And served well by a good heart and some choice profanity.

Full set of photographs available here.

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