We had an unexpected trip to Hastings and decided to take on one of the local lengthy walks.
I’d heard about the Rye to Hasting coastal walk but was surprised to discover that the route from Rye station to White Rock Hotel was a whopping 13 miles – what possesses people to walk that far?
Neither of us really do hiking, and while Lynn doesn’t do running either, she is prepared to adopt a run/walk strategy in order to get the hiking over and done with sooner.
I wasn’t well prepared for the adventure but luckily the time out country walks website had the route’s gps available to download and it opened in Runmeter, my current gps app of choice. It proved to be a lifesaver as the 1066 walk was really badly signposted from Rye and I had to rely on the breadcrumb trail to indicate when we’d run off course, which happened often.
Whatever tracks that might have once indicated the direction, were well and truly obliterated by the shoulder high foliage, and the route frequently took strange road avoidance detours that messed with my already inadequate internal compass settings.
We were “lucky” to coincide with one of the few good summer days but the humidity was something shocking. We set off with a 2 litre bladder pack and two standard bottles but I think I’d sweated as much within the first third of the route. We replenished on lemonade lollies as the opportunity arose but then we hit the latter half of the trek – a cruel and isolated, cove hugging, cliff climbing, monster of a trek.
I can no longer remember how many times we reached sea level, only to find ourselves cut off by the waters, with the only onward route marked by a vertical climb up a set of steps built either by giants or conservation volunteers trying to conserve energy by cutting out half a dozen risers. Lynn had to fashion me a walking pole just to get me up.
I was gasping for fluids by the time we made it to the cable car perched above the Stade area of Hastings. A perfectly placed ice cream van shone like a beacon in my hour of need. It had run out of water merely seconds before my arrival. I could have fainted but stood strong and compromised with a double scoop ice-cream with chocolate flake. It was almost as good as a Stella.