I promised myself that I wouldn’t blog everyday – it would be far too boring, but with Day 1 completed I saw it as a huge relief to finally be on my way and worth a one off. From here on I would try to keep my write-ups to twice weekly and hope that wasn’t too onerous. Research prior to the off revealed that attempting a blog on one’s first expedition isn’t the wisest thing to do. I never made any claims to being wise.
Having stopped overnight with my mum in North Hampshire prior to heading down to Southampton, she packed me off with a degree of unabashed worry plus some sandwiches and half a tonnes of cold sausages for the day – so much for weight saving rucksacks. Meeting up with one of my brothers in the inconspicuous Mayflower Park was a very brief affair as I threw him the keys to Snickers and at 9:18 lumbered up the quayside with an old work pal and future support driver (Reesy) who was sporting a hangover after a work meeting in town the night before.
Rather fraudulently I hastily headed off to catch my first permissible ferry to Hythe and to get out of sight and on my way without any fuss or bother. It worked. Once out-of-town the first thing of note that I passed was of all things a sodding oil terminal. The irony of that moment really wasn’t lost on me and I had no doubt that I would be seeing a few more on this trip, all of which I suspected would be strategically placed just to make sure I didn’t forget what work looked like.
Exactly 20.3 miles via Hythe, Beaulieu and Bucklers Hard were completed in perfect weather and an extremely rapid time, mainly fuelled on adrenalin and the aforementioned relief. Even after taking 30 minutes for lunch, I strolled into Lymington at 3:30 to meet up with my brother and Jake the dog. A quality stopover with hook-up and a decent shower was a very welcome surprise and the odd evening pint or two were supped with equal pleasure. By the way – I can definitely confirm that Hampshire mud was just as deep and wet as Leicestershire mud, but just a little less sticky. Weather forecast for tomorrow….errr…. not so good.