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I forgot to tell you about Lewes Castle!! How remiss of me. Only one of the most amazing attractions of the town..

When I first arrived in Lewes my attention was drawn to the fantastic 14th and 15th century buildings in the high street and I didn’t even notice the castle….probably also because I was sitting on the left hand side of the taxi ๐Ÿ˜‰ and despite what I used to tell my daughter, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head, so I missed it altogether.

And unusually for me…..as with Newhaven, I didn’t do my research prior to visiting.

On my first Saturday here, during my break, I set off to explore and whoaaa, there’s a castle.

My first glimpse of Lewes Castle

But as mentioned in a previous post, I had neither mask nor money with me ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช Never mind, I’ll come back next week (the castle is only open on Saturday atm due to Covid-19). But of course next Saturday was raining. So no castle.

However this Saturday last, I had to visit regardless of the weather because I leave Lewes on Friday.

Saturday dawned rainy and windy but with an occasional blue sky sunshine, so off I went. They have a really good system set up. You’re greeted at the door by a lovely lady who takes all your test and trace details, you sanitise your hands, then she sends you off on a one-way system through the museum first, after which you can buy your ticket for a visit to the castle. Ergo, the museum is free to visit (I think).ย  And visit you must.

The museum is not large, 2 rooms downstairs and 2 rooms upstairs, but they have a most amazing set up depicting the history of the area and the many artefacts that have been found in Sussex. An intimate little museum with just enough information to read and look at without being overwhelmed. My favourite artifacts were the swords. Wowww.

I had a good read, took some photos, bought a few items from the gift shop for my grandson, paid for my entry and another lovely lady guided me across to the gate and let me in.

I love castles ๐ŸคŽ๐ŸคŽ There’s a massive shortage of castles in South Africa and the only castle I’d had experience of before coming to the UK was Cape Town Castle which isn’t really, but is rather a fort with grand ideas masquerading as a castle. It also has a history as a prison and is still a symbol of European oppression. Although to be fair, I guess most castles here have the same sort of background.

Anyway, back to Lewes Castle…

Like many castles today, this too is just a shadow of its former glory, but its fabulous. I climbed innumerable stairs to the top, sadly not the very top of the towers, which is where I really wanted to go, but the remains of the Great Hall will have to suffice.

Dozens of stairs
The Great Hall

The views across the valley to the hills are absolutely stunning, especially beautiful with the autumn colours. From here as well the view looks back in time to the 1264 Battle of Lewes.

A good view too of what used to be the Tilting Ground, now a bowling green, and in the distance I could see the windmill I passed a few days ago on my walk to Kingston. Awesome.

The Tilting Ground

The wind was blowing a gale and howling in my ears, flicking leaves and branches here and there….just brilliant. It was wild. Yes, there’s a couple of trees growing out the side of the building and there’s a tree slap bang in the middle of what was the Great Hall…now that’s wild!!

Nature takes over…

As you can imagine with the unpleasant weather, there were not many people up there, so it was easy to explore, although there really wasn’t that much to explore. Shame about the towers – closed atm due to Covid-19. Geez, I just realised reading that sentence back, that I used the word ‘there’ 3 times ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค” English eh.

Coming back down the stairs you have fantastic views across the town and to the cliffs, and travelling from across country the castle can be seen from miles away….the position is brilliant.

Views for miles around

In the courtyard is a fantastic Russian cannon and some wooden stocks

A bit of history:

A work in progress like most castles in England, Lewes Castle, originally known as Bray Castle, follows a motte and bailey design but unusually, has two mottes and was built on and added to over a few centuries.

The first motte, known as Brack Mount was completed shortly after the 1066 Norman conquest of England.

Both of the mottes were built byย William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, who also, along with his wife Gundrada, built the nearbyย  Priory of St. Pancras.

The mottes would originally have been surmounted by wooden palisades.

The second motte, known as the Keep, was completed in the late 11th century.
Both of which were built by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey.

Soldiers from the King’s army, set out from the castle to engage with Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Lewes in 1264.

Towers were added to one of the shell keeps in the 13th century.

The barbican gate was added in the 14th century.

Certainly not as enormous as some of the castles I’ve visited in the last 19 years, but no less impressive, it stands guard over a gap in the South Downs overlooking the towns of Lewes and Cliffe and the River Ouse that winds it’s way between the 2 towns.

In the distance…it looks far, but it’s only about a 10 minute walk

Lewes castle has the distinction of being the 49th castle I’ve visited as part of Project 101.

I’ve compiled a short video of some of the exhibits in the museum

I can highly recommend a visit to Lewes Castle if you’re in the area. At the moment they’re only open on Saturdays, but that might change in the future.

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Weirdly I’m so enjoying this book.

A fascinating look at the machinations of government, political campaigns and what goes on behind closed doors, our famous Number 10 in this instance, and how incredibly quickly it can all go very wrong…

What’s quite exciting about this book too, is that I can remember most of these events; the campaigning, Blair handing over to Brown, Brown subsequently throwing in the towel, seeing Samantha heavily pregnant in the glare of her husband’s narrow victory. The palaver and calamitous headlines when Cameron formed a coalition government with Clegg – christ, you’d be forgiven for thinking a great big black hole had opened up on planet earth!!! ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช

I also remember the smug expressions in the Rose Garden ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”

I’m about a quarter of the way through and I’m enthralled. I’m not a fan of DC or his party, but I ‘almost’ feel sorry for him ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคซ

I was never into politics in South Africa. We had 1 party and that was the Nationalist Party. You reached voting age and voted for the Nationalist Party. Actually there were other parties of course but for decades the NP dominated. And then in 1994 things changed and the ANC came into power. And so that party has since dominated..again for decades, and even though there are other parties, its really a 1 party country.

But in the UK, its a different story. I’m constantly fascinated by the political scene and how it all works, even though I’m avoiding anything related to politics atm. This book is easy to read, not a pedantic tome but it cuts to the chase.

I remember with the last election, I was eligible to vote and so I took a keen interest and read everything I could lay my hands on. I read all the different editorials and some of the rags, depending on the political leanings of the current client.

I’ve always had a leaning towards conservatism, with a massive dash of liberal, but I liked the policies of the Labour and Green parties. Right then? Or left? Go figure!! One day I decided to do one of those stupid polls on Facebook to determine which party I should vote for. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ wtaf???

It came up as UKIP!!!! Excuse me while I die laughing ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™Šโ˜ ๐Ÿ’€ UKIP???? I loathe that party, I loathe what they stand for and I PARTICULARLY loathe and despise the leader of that particular party at the time. (I’ve seen him in action in person, and he’s vile, a loathsome creature). So when the results came back for UKIP ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜  ๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคฎ Bloody Facebook. I’m sure the poll was rigged ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ and I definitely didn’t vote for UKIP.

Anywayyyyy, back to the book. Its fascinating and since the weather today was so horrible; raining and windy and I’m really tired (coming to the end of a particularly stressful assignment), I decided to curl up in bed and read. I don’t care how much money they get, or how much they make afterwards, but that is one job I would not like….

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My very 1st postcard along the Ring of Kerry arrived yesterday ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

This is one of the features about the Conqueror Virtual Challenges that I enjoy the most….

Charlie Chaplin- Waterville, Ireland

Waterville

Between Ballinskelligs Bay and Lough Currane (lake) on a narrow isthmus lies the coastal village of Waterville. Flanked by two championship 18-hole golf courses, one to the north and the other to the south, this small town of 496 residents is a bundle of surprises.

Waterville began as a village in the 1800s and although it remains a small village, you will never be short of something outdoorsy to do. There’s a plethora of walking and cycling routes with both easy and difficult levels. The Equestrian Centre conducts pony camps, horsemanship courses and beach rides. The Sea Synergy is a marine awareness and activity centre, with their main objective to educate about marine life and ocean conservation. Operated by marine biologist and ecologists, the organisation runs educational adventure tours and summer camps for kids and teens.

A walk on the promenade will bring you to a statue of Charlie Chaplin who enjoyed Waterville so much that for a decade he returned every year for holidays with his family. Obtaining permission from the Charlie Chaplin estate, Waterville hosts the annual Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival.

When the first transatlantic cable was installed in 1858 between Newfoundland Canada and Valentia Island near Waterville it didn’t come without its problems. Working for a mere three weeks due to weak cables, it took five further attempts across nine years to eventually succeed in maintaining a lasting connection. The Atlantic Telegraph Co. had a monopoly over the industry and as a result the Commercial Cable Company from New York was established to break the monopoly and reduce prices by successfully installing cables in 1884 from Waterville to Nova Scotia. This brought a hive of activity into the village and the need for more housing to accommodate company personnel who settled in the area. Waterville became the European hub for the Company and at its peak was the largest cable station in the world.

Its so interesting to read about places on the actual route of the virtual route I’m following. I lived in Ireland for 6 months back in 2001/2002 and we travelled the country extensively. It helped that my sister and her husband lived there at the time, and loved travelling as much as I did. I went back a few years later (one of 8 trips) and we travelled to Galway and Conamarra where we enjoyed a fantastic holiday. Afterwards my friend and I hired a car and travelled right along the west coast, the south coast and the east coast back to Dublin over 7 days. Along the way we drove along part of the Ring of Kerry and it is stunning. I’d love to go back now, or as soon as, and walk the actual route.

But for now I shall content myself with the virtual postcards and the information that accompanies it, while I explore and walk around England.

If you’d like to join me on these virtual challenges, you can sign up here via my link.

https://www.theconqueror.events/r/CE1474

This is not an affiliate link and I don’t make any money from people signing up, but you get a 10% discount on any walks you sign up for and I think I get a 10% discount as well….which is a moot point really since I’ve already signed up for all the walks I want to do ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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With just 4 days left in Lewes, today I was determined to find and follow the Egrets Way.

At least now I know where it starts, I didn’t waste 3/4 of my break trying to find the route.

But first I stopped off at Trinity Church, Southover. I’d been past it a number of times but it was always closed – today it was open ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ There’s quite a history attached; “The church of Southover originated as a ‘hospitium’ or guest house to serve the nearby Priory of Saint Pancras founded by William de Warenne and his wife Gundrada in 1077 AD.

The tower was built in stages between 1714 and 1738, after the collapse of the earlier tower with spire in 1698. This may have been caused by hanging a ‘Great Bell’ in the previous year, which proved too much for the earlier structure. The location of the earlier tower is not certainly known,
but from what evidence is available probably stood where the Gundrada Chapel is built now.

I was delighted to find a scallop shell in one of the glass windows with St James right above it โคโค

After my brief visit to the church I walked down St James’s Street to have a closer look at the house at the end of the cul de sac – it looked like a gingerbread house. Imagine my amusement when on closer inspection I discovered the name of the house; The Gingerbread House โ˜บโ˜บ Just perfect!!

The Gingerbread House โ˜บโ˜บ

I made my way towards the river via the carpark and soon picked up the Egrets Way. I’m dead keen to walk along the riverside to the little village of Southease, also a Domesday Book village and near to where Virginia Woolf, who at the time lived in nearby Rodmell, committed suicide in 1941 in the River Ouse.

Of course with all the rain over the last few days, and boy has it rained, the river is in full tumultuous flow and the riverside path is mostly a muddy quagmire, placing obstacles of watery pools in the way.

Fast flowing River Ouse

But I trudged along, determined to get as far as I could, zig-zagging from one side of the path to the other trying to find the least squelchy and muddy bits to traverse. Thanks be for my walking poles, as always they kept me upright when the mud was determined to see me on my bottom.

I arrived at one gate to find a pool of water right in the middle surrounded by mud, so balancing precariously on the wooden edges and hugging the upright struts I sort of swung my way around and through the gate….but I didn’t get very much further since the path at the next gate was just too muddy; and so I said “no, just no!”.

I beat a retreat and returned the way I had come.

Once past all the muddy puddles et al, I crossed a grassy patch and picked up the cycle/walking path that is sensibly gravelled and continued on my way.

The riverside path will have to wait for another time – perhaps when I eventually walk the South Downs Way that passes through Lewes, I may just divert for a few days and actually walk along the river to Southease….if it hasn’t been raining!!

Time will tell.

Meanwhile I followed the path, beneath the grim and dreary railway underpass, through a fine, new wooden gate and before too long I recognised the place I had originally seen the signpost for the Egrets Way, near the recycling centre. It also gave me the opportunity to see where I had gone so very wrong at my last attempt

Dreary underpass, fine wooden gate

Once I realized the error of my ways, the what and why became apparent. Instead of turning left, I was endeavouring to find a way through to the right ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ‘‰โŒ๐Ÿ‘ˆ which of course would have taken me onto the railway line….clearly I need to do a map reading course ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Even with the help of Google maps I still went wrong. How have I managed to not get lost on previous walks! Luck, I guess ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž

So now that I  know my daft mistake, it doesn’t really matter since its unlikely I’ll walk that way again while here…but I’m glad I resolved the issue.

So whizzing along I made my way back into town, passing some interesting houses, the only surviving section of the Franciscan Friary

Amazing relic from 1224!!

and while chatting on the phone to the relief carer who’d just left due to issues at the house, I once again went off piste….I had planned to go to Tesco for a packet of my secret vice, but since I was so completely not going in the right direction, I gave up and went back to the house.

On the way I passed the castle for another look and more photos ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜…wish the weather had been this fine on Saturday!!

Lewes Castle

Next a brief stop to take a few more photos of the 15th centuryย  bookshop windows….and spotted another book I would dearly love to buy – bad luck, the shop won’t be open again till Friday afternoon and by then I’ll be on my way….

I’m on the home straight. Hoorah!!

A little video with some more images from my walkabout today. The weather was fantastic

Lewes

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Hoorah! Today’s walk was fruitful albeit shorter than usual. Not only did I finally find the blessed Egrets Way path after going off in COMPLETELY the wrong direction ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช and wasting 45 minutes of my break in the process (Passing the railway station should have been a clue…๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”),

But I am once again a ‘Trail blazer’ However, whilst it may appear that I’m a trail blazer, I wish I could tell them how useless I am at reading Google maps, especially when the map moves as I turn my phone to see which way to go๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜ 

And my mileage reached 40% on the Ring of Kerry virtual challenge and so another tree will be planted.

As for the toads crossing, I wonder what happened to the fast toads… ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿธ

Alls well that ends well…and another day bites the dust. I only have 7.5 days to go and I’m off, back to Ramsgate. Can’t wait to see my Boobee

This adorable, funny, gorgeous little guy who holds my heart in his hands – my Boobee

His nickname came about from 2 sources….he has loved playing peek-a-boo from when he was tiny, so I started calling him Boo, and now he says “boo” which is just so cute I could eat him…. Meanwhile his parents have been teaching him sign language as a tool for better communication with people who have no hearing. He learned the sign for bee ๐Ÿ and it was so cute I kept asking him to sign it….and one day, I got all muddled when playing with him and called him ‘Boobee’. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚โ˜บโ˜บ so now he’s my special special Boobee…..aka The Blur because he’s never still for one second and I can seldom get a photo of him that isn’t blurred….his Mummy, who sent me this photo, has the same problem…our phone cameras are just not fast enough to capture him in one place โ˜บโ˜บ

He’s a charm; funny, smart, cute, humorous, outgoing, friendly, loves Peppa Pig madly and is just adorable. I am so blessed to have him in my life.

Some other random photos from today, not as interesting as usual as my 6.84km walk wasn’t either….

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I’ve been chatting to my sister V in SA (1 of 4 who still live there) about coke of all things. She was relating an episode from yesterday when she and our youngest sister D were showing D’s kids how to make a coke float – for the uninitiated, that’s coke and vanilla icecream. It fizzes up and makes a delicious, albeit very unhealthy drink, and a glorious mess if you don’t drink it quickly enough ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

I went on to say that much as I loathe coke and the company behind it, it’s the only drink that will suffice on a hot summer’s day of walking. It slakes my thirst and gives me an energy boost when I need it most. It’s also very good with pizza and due to its chemical composition, it dissolves heavy food….the only other time I drink it.

From there the conversation went onto our planned Camino in 2022. We’re going to walk the Portuguese Coastal Route from Porto to Caminha and then inland to Valenca and from Tui to Santiago de Compostela.

It will be my 2nd walk along this route and her first, also her first time walking the Camino since she’s cycled the French Route some years ago with our father who was also a keen cyclist.

I’m not into cycling and prefer walking, so to her credit, she’s up for walking the route. Our conversation brought back memories of my pilgrimage and that I drank a lot of beer during my walk ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช My last reply to her went like this:

“No my tummy either but it seems to do the trick with thirst and heavy food (coke).
My choice of tipple on the Camino was beer ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธof all things…I usually had my 1st one at between 10am and 11am depending on whether there was a place open to serve ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿคญ Mind you, now that I think about it, that’s probably why I enjoyed the Camino so much ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ”

Since I seldom drink, this was a departure from the norm for me, but as they say…..”when in Rome….” and all that, it made perfect sense to keep the Portuguese locals and other walkers company. Anyway that’s my reason ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿบ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

11:14:58 ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿบ

My memories of the Camino are many and varied. I had such a fantastic time….it was a huge challenge and I cried a lot from pain, but I also laughed a lot and met some super people along The Way. Portugal is such a beautiful country and the route follows the coast which meant I had the Atlantic ocean to my left every single day till Caminha.

So many memories of an amazing experience

More about my Camino https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2017/09/11/day-5-porto-to-vila-do-conde/

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Walking never fails to throw up a few surprises and today was no exception.

It poured with rain this morning and I thought for sure my plan to walk during my break was scuppered. But by early afternoon the clouds blew away (mostly) and the sun shone bright and by 3pm it was lovely and sunny, albeit very windy.

I decided that today was the day to walk along that disused railway line, and I’m ever so glad I did….there was a delightful surprise in store.

Looking back towards the town from the entrance

It’s a beautiful walk, hundreds of trees create a green tunnel with crispy autumn leaves underfoot, and of course….lots of muddy puddles.

I did some ‘Paul Simon’ as I walked and as usual thanked my walking poles for keeping me upright ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ Of course it had rained, ya dim woman. What a day to choose. But never no mind, on I plodded…slip sliding away…the nearer my destination….

About halfway along I noticed a beautiful towering Victorian bridge and just beneath that a group of 6 people standing about. Not at all sure what was waiting ahead, I tried to look confident and in control…as I neared the group I could hear singing

To my delight the group of people was a small choir practising for a concert and enjoying the acoustics provided by the bridge!! They were grouped around a brightly burning fire dancing merrily, it looked utterly cosy and I felt quite envious

Magic.

I stopped to listen to listen and they kindly agreed to my recording it โ˜บโ˜บ the sound was amazing. After saying my thanks for the impromptu concert, I carried on along the path right to the end and passed a 2nd bridge along the way, but sadly, no further choirs….

As I neared the end of that wide green green tunnel narrowed suddenly and petered out into a narrow path amongst bushes. The whole length of that section of the railway line is 1.216kms ๐Ÿ˜

Uninviting…

Walking back I was hoping to hear the group singing again but unfortunately as I neared the bridge I noticed them walking ahead….too bad. Their singing was amazing and I could still smell the fire.

I noticed a few left overs from the days of railways past

The detritus of humans

From there I took a quick walk upstream, on the west side, to the end of the pathway. The river, swollen with water after the downpour had burst its banks. It looked quite amazing; fat and lazy meandering its way downstream.

The path is fantastic to walk along, so I walked right to the end.

Followed right to the end…

I love this view the most

My favourite view, looking downstream

In all a most enjoyable walk and despite not pounding along like I normally do, I managed a decent 7.53kms / 12238 steps. I also noticed that the hill, at the top of which I’m currently working, has an elevation of only 65 meters….it feels more like 650 when I’m trudging back after a long walk ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mapmywalk

And now I only have 8.5 days left in Lewes. Time to conquer that blessed path downstream to Southease….

Oh and please cross fingers ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž for a fine day on Saturday. I want to visit the castle, it’s my final opportunity.

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WordPress reminded me its notjustagranny’s 11th anniversary today…..11 years!! Can hardly believe it.

Mind you I was blogging well before that under a different url but that was a long time ago.

My blogging is mostly a hit and miss affair, and contrary to the advice of the gurus I haven’t been consistent. Mostly because I felt I had to log on via my laptop and that’s not always desirable or practical.

I did not want to blog via my phone and resisted going down that path for years. I found it time-consuming and tedious.

But technology has changed and its sooo much easier now to just get on with it.

Besides that, I recently logged off Facebook after watching the documentary Social Dilemma….voila, suddenly I have more time.

So without further ado and adon’t I’m now blogging more regularly via my phone….sorry ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

It’s much easier to upload photos and videos to wordpress media but sometimes I get too enthusiastic and upload too many and then I can’t remember which I have inserted and which I haven’t.

I’m sure there are hundreds of unattached photos in my media.

Anyway here’s my achievement award from wordpress…thanks folks

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There’s so much to see and do in Lewes that I’m quite kept on my feet.

Today I set out on my 2nd attempt to find the river pathway and although I wasn’t successful, I believe I’m getting closer ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Saw this on my walkabout

Egrets Way….

I initially followed the instructions from a local but I’m afraid it led me to a great big green field and a gate and although I can see from mapmywalk that I was close to the river, it wasn’t quite where I should have been.

However, I did go off at a tangent on the way back and discovered more of Lewes.

I walked along streets and lanes as yet untrodden by myself, and passed a couple of old favourites

And an old water pump

9.64 kms all told and slowly I’m reducing my 2020 Conqueror challenge deficit. 731.8kms to go by 31.12.2020 ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช

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Hoorah!! I did it! I finished walking the Inca Trail; virtually ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Hoorah!

My walk today; 10.38kms took me over the finish line by .08km and challenge #4 is complete. As always the postcard that popped into my mailbox is gorgeous and really makes me want to walk the trail for real. But its quite a long way away, so I shall settle for having walked it virtually.

Machu Picchu

Voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca citadel steeped in mystery and myth. Thought to have been built on the request of the incumbent Emperor Pachacuti as a royal estate, Machu Picchu is an engineering marvel. Built without mortar, the stones are cut so precisely, they fit perfectly together. Sitting atop two fault lines, during earthquakes the stones knock against each other and then fall back into place.

The rise and fall of the Inca Empire lasted a mere 130 years. Following the Spanish invasion of the Inca Empire in early 16th century, Machu Picchu was abandoned with the Spanish unlikely to have ever seen it. Left to the elements the citadel was grown over by vegetation and forgotten over the centuries until 1911 when Hiram Bingham III of Yale University, visited the site as part of an expedition in search of another city. Returning the following year, Bingham spent 4 months with local labour to clear the vegetation and the next 3 years excavating and studying discovered artifacts.

From here the final descent into Aguas Calientes is on a hair-raising 9km zig-zag mountain road called Hiram Bingham Hwy. Barely wide enough to fit two cars and lacking guardrails, it is an unsealed road and a rough ride that is not for the faint of heart nor for those who are prone to vertigo.

Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, book yourself into a thermal bath to rest and recover your weary body. Take a walk through the local craft market before settling in for dinner. Try the Peruvian national drink, the Pisco Sour, whilst indulging in the spicy and bold flavours of Peruvian cuisine.

Fantastic!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

My ‘real’ walk was a little more mundane, but no less satisfying. I had a plan, hmmm??๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช to follow the river from Lewes to Newhaven. It looks easy enough on Google maps and I spent a few hours last night researching possible routes. But none of them were really clear so today I decided to scout the route as far as possible, and see how far I could get.

Not very far as it turned out ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

At 2.74kms I faced a wee challenge, a very locked gate and the possibility of unwanted company.

I debated climbing over the gate, but after consideration thought it would be rude and didn’t fancy getting halfway across the field only to find said ๐Ÿ‚ behind me!!

So instead, I retraced my steps and returned to town.

I then decided to follow the river upstream, since downstream wasn’t quite working out. Much better route.

Very pretty, lots of green and a fab path. I crossed over the river via a pedestrian bridge and found myself on the Sussex Ouse Valley Way, and a very walkable path.

The views of the river and valley are just perfect and its well away from any traffic, except for the occasional cyclist.

I walked for quite a distance – I could see the Offam church spire peeping up between the trees, the same forests where the Battle of Lewes was fought in 1264

and here I encountered a whole herd of cattle. I walked on some way but in the distance I could see a cow bellowing loudly and having a hissy fit, so before she got the whole bunch worked up, I retreated…as Henry III should really have considered…

This fellow wasn’t one bit interested

Once back over the river, I did a bit of a dogleg and discovered a disused railway line….heading enticingly off into the distance. Not very far according to a local lady, just 1km. So I shall head back that way next week and walk it.

Then with just 3kms to go I headed back to work and after going around the block twice LOL I finally reached 10.38kms and my break was over. But I reached my goal and completed the Inca Trail.

I do so love walking and could really just keep going….

Scenes from the walk
Looks a bit like a bow and arrow…

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