One of the photography courses that I run is called Photoclub in the Pub and I set a new creative assignment every month for participants. This month I asked everyone to take a short 1 day journey and to make a photo story from the images.
I decided to take my own advice and made a journey too! Just me and the dog heading out in the camper van for a long walk and camping for one night.
We arrived at Fair Oak Farm campsite in Steyning near Shoreham. We arrived, collected a bag of logs for a fire later and got settled before heading out on the walk.
Leaving the campsite we head towards the Chanctonbury Ring, an old iron age fort. The walk is a few miles and the final climb was so steep that Bella couldn't manage to take a rest as she would slide down the hill when she tried to sit down!
The crown of beech trees now at the top of Chanctonbury Ring were first planted in 1750 by Charles Goring of Wiston House and initially not received well but have since been accepted as a local landmark. Some trees were lost in the 1987 hurricance and the trees more towards the centre did not grow well and it turns out this may be partly due to the fact they were planted on top of an old Roman temple.
At 10 Bella likes to take things a little easier so a big walk like this means having a few rest breaks. This little clearing surrounded by redwoods seemed like the ideal spot and who am I to argue!
By this point of the walk it wasn't just Bella who was knackered! I could tell Bella could do with a drink and I could also be easily persuaded, so stopped off at a dog friendly pub for a refreshment.
Unfortunately there was still a fairly long journey ahead of us and I thought I would try to take a short cut. The 'quciksand' and 'cliff edge' signs were just a little worrying.
This is why, my short cut ended up meaning we had to walk in the opposite direction to go around this large rock quarry.
We had to resort to the main road for a couple of miles as the light starts to dip.
Arriving back at the farm just as the sun is finally setting.
Time to light the fire , crack open a beer and cook up some sausages to replace some of those (alledged) 1,350 burned calories on the walk. Google said, so must be true!
First night camping on my own went quite well and the foxes didn't keep me awake too long and of course Bella is always good company.
Another nice morning so a quick stretch of the legs in the wooded area around the campsite.
Bella actually looked like she had a new lease of life, well for 5 minutes anyway and then she ate her breakfast whilst lying down. Sausages, eggs and fresh coffee for me and biscuit and sausage for Bella.