Their story, in their words….
Our challenge was to walk to Brighton from Sussex Downs starting in Arundel, it was estimated that it will be around a 20 mile walk to get there (6 hours of walking).
We all met a day in advance to buy the food for the trip so that we would be sorted for the next morning. On the day of the walk, we met early in the morning, took a tube to Victoria, sorted out packed lunches and got on a train to Arundel. It started of quite smoothly, we were seeing all the noted landmarks and happily skipping along taking pictures of the castle and fields with sheep!
Then our path was starting to fade, it was becoming unsafe to go any further as the path was very close to the motorway. Befuddled, we decided to go back to the previous checkpoint to think of the next step. With 30% battery left on the map-bearer’s phone, it suddenly turned off and stopped working. Fortunately one of our team members was familiar with the area and suggested we could take a bus to Littlehampton which would still be 6 hour walk to Brighton.
We read books, meditated and drew pictures to fill the hour wait for the bus, and when it came we cheered and ran to it with relief. For the rest of the journey we walked earnestly along the Coast looking for tiny crabs in the sand, listening to music and sharing funny stories.
Then the rain: it started as a whisper in the air and gradually built up to flood of water droplets falling on us partnered with strong winds pushing us into the direction of Brighton. This happened four times but we persevered! Three hours into the walk we took a break to recharge; staggering with soaking ankles we purchased fresh seaside fish and chips, and then immediately resumed our walk.
We continued walking while staying on high alert of the hungry seagulls. We had to catch a train at 9pm; no time could be wasted. We were speed-limping in the rain, hoping to get to the far away Brighton lights soon. At late 8pm we got on the bus to the heart of Brighton to catch the train. We hugged each other, admired the beautiful night view and enjoyed a reward for ourselves of warm doughnuts and hot chocolate for the amazing achievement we did.
We are thankful for the Mark Evison Foundation for giving the opportunity to do this, it was a great once in a lifetime experience and so much was learnt. We will never forget it!