I think it can be a good idea to have several not-so-long stories about my friends’ and me exploring the nature. Both nature surrounding us and nature of our own.
The first story will be about my long walk in south England. Mainly the purpose was to try new hiking boots in advance of a 4 day self-reliant Scottish hike.
The idea was to find a nice place not too far away from London, so here is a track:
Train took me to Billinghurst, then a bus to Midhurst where 20km walk began (I didn’t know it will be 25km instead).
It was great to get out from London: landscapes were amazing, air much cleaner and weather not too bad! The first third of a walk was across farmland, routes were marked on the map and usually were the outlines of farms. I was surprised that I didn’t meet that many people. I think there was one family not far away from Midhurst but next time I saw people it was after 10km walk.
I was walking light; just a bottle of water, some snacks and anti-rain cover. Maybe 2-3kg in total. So the walk was pleasant and quite forgiving for my not experienced in hiking body. I decided to have two stops for snacks and rest, the first one was once farmlands were over and I climbed a hill where found a very nice place to rest.
Next part was to go through a timber forest, which was a great change of the scenery. But I was a bit distressed because of continuous gunshots. Apparently it was a time for sqiurrel hunt. In the forest there were many strange observation platforms, saying that unauthorised people should not climb on them. Well it didn’t stop me. Evidently the forest was in use, there were stacks of timber laying on sides of dirt roads, probably drying or just waiting to be collected.
Once the forest was over there was another part of the route along the farms and some local roads. Next stop for rest was just before entering Kingley Vale forest, the final destination. Kingley Vale is a very old Yew Tree forest very popular among druids and witches. There is an interesting place there, called Devil’s Humps. At that point I realised that 1 litre of water was almost gone, and that next time I will need more.
Once I entered the forest there was a blast of thunder out of nowhere, but the rain didn’t start for a while. The forest is beautiful, it is quite dark and it is interesting to explore the world below yew tree branches. Just doing so I found something hanging from a branch. A quartz crystal on a string. Someone left it there to signify a completion of something in their life and I found it to mark a new period of mine. Some believe that crystals are entities with their own will and that they enter our lives to guide us or to protect us. Before use they should be cleaned from all the old energy trapped in them. There are many ways how to clean crystals, but most common are by placing them in running water, or in the sun/moon light; by holding them over a fire or a smoke from sage leaves, as well as bury them in the ground. In any case, once the crystal is clean one should set intentions as to what role the crystal will play: a protection or a guidance or anything else.
Once out from the forest I found out that the last bus to Chichester has already left, and I have to walk another 5km along a road to get there. This last bit was boring and tiring. So do check the timetables 😉
All in all it was a great route, great day out away from london. I have discovered beautiful land, get acquainted with a crystal which will be my companion on the trip to the Burning Nest and Scotland later on.
PS. lessons learned
– being out in nature is liberating, especially when prepared for a rain
– if hearing gunshots go away from them, if unsure, be brave and bright
– check your return routes carefully and have an open time return ticket
– snacks and breaks are very important, it is great time to sink into environment
– 1 litre of water is not enough for a day hike, it feels bad to run out of water