After leaving my frost-laced nest in Herstmonceux, I headed south towards the sea. I rode up and down the Sussex heritage coast and through spectacular spaces. Since I was “in the neighbourhood”, I figured I would walk down to the Seven Sisters Cliffs. From Friston, I went down Crowlink lane and walked the mile through sheep pastures to get to the cliffs.I enjoyed that the sheep had numbers spray painted on them – it seemed like a fun children’s counting game. For the most part, the sheep were pretty unphased at my presence as I walked past dozens upon dozens of mamma sheep and their little ones. These sheep sure do have a pretty spectacular view! Although most of them were too distracted by the grass to seem to notice. Alternately, too busy having adorable family naps.The Seven Sisters are part of the South Downs National Park, featuring massive, brilliantly white chalk cliffs. Apparently their dazzling white is because of the constant erosion, keeping the chalk fresh and beautiful. It is a pretty special place.Before I headed back on the road, I sat down in the pasture for a snack, trying without much success to avoid the generous amount of sheep manure that carpeted the rolling green hills. On my last ride, I extolled the virtues of ‘banana poo stick‘ snacks. On this journey, I brought along a new snack – a brick of smoked tofu. While breaking into the strong plastic packaging was a real challenge that I tackled with my teeth and keys (as I always misplace my pocket knife during my trip – I always pack it and promptly lose it, only to find it once more when I am safely home), the effort was worth it. This protein-packed treat was a perfect mid-day snack.The charming seaside communities stole my heart. Of note was Seaford. Here I met one of the most friendly local residents and his adorable dog, learned a bit about the area, had had a jolly good chat. The chalk cliffs and rocky beach were also completely breathtaking.By the time I arrived in Brighton, it was mid-afternoon on a sunny Sunday, so the seaside path was absolutely packed. The pier was bustling, and I think because I was feeling a bit under the weather and had been craving solitude, the intensity of the beachfront did not hold much appeal for me.Even thought it was only my second day on the road, I was completely drained – mentally and physically. The cough I had been ignoring was intensifying, making breathing more difficult, and realised that I didn’t have another day of adventure in me. I stopped at a really lovely cafe for a delicious pick-me-up and grabbed a super cheap train back to London.
As much as I love being part of the great wild, I was so grateful to be home and the sensation of crawling into the crisp, smooth sheets of my bed was one of life’s purest and truest luxuries.
Remember, this is all part of my “Pedalling for Mental Health” challenge, where I am hoping to raise money for mental health research. If you are able to support this great charity, please donate here!
Today’s distance: 50miles/80km
Total miles logged: 402miles/644km