Log No 307. Wed 7th May 2014 - Fishbourne to East Wittering, 17 miles (4697 miles walked)
It had rained through the night and just before I got up but the showers seemed to have passed by and after getting off the bus at Fishbourne at 08.10 it was cloudy with sunny intervals when I set off.
The Chichester Ship Canal
I left the main road to take the minor road to Apuldram and then onto a farm road to pick up a footpath to the marina at Birdham.
The disused Chichester Ship Canal runs alongside the marina and after crossing over it I started following the footpath signs for the New Lipchis Way.
This footpath followed the side of the Chichester Channel and went through West Itchenor, the harbour of which is called Chichester Harbour, and on to its conclusion at East Head, the east side of the entrance to Chichester Harbour.
Footpath along Chichester Channel
For most of the morning I had been walking into a strong cool wind but now I had reached the coast it was going to be more on my back.
Looking back across Chichester Harbour
There were groynes as far as the eye could and it was all stones above the high tide line.
The beach from East Head to Wittering
The tide was out beyond the end of the groynes leaving a good sandy beach to walk on.
I stopped in East Wittering for lunch and to get supplies then I phoned the campsite in Selsey to check there was space for me only to be told the campsite was closed and was unlikely to open again. It was just a small site on a farm but there was a big holiday park next to the farm so I would have to use it instead.
In the time it had taken me to have my lunch etc the tide had come a long way in and there wasn't that much sand to walk on now.
The coastline back to Wittering
I went up to walk on top of the stony embankment and just past the Holiday Village saw a sign saying No Access along the beach to Selsey, I ignored it and carried on.
Half an hour later I regretted my decision, at some time there must have been flooding in the area and they had solved it by digging a deep channel through the stones to the river. It was full of flowing water and there was no way I could cross it. I had no alternative but to retrace my steps.
There was no easy way now to get to Selsey, I would have to go back to East Wittering and find an inland route.
It was 14.45 by the time I got back and as it would be a good 5 miles to get to Selsey decided to stop here. There was a small campsite right in the village, Gees Camping.
£20 for a pitch but the warden would let me have it for £16 because the weather wasn't that great. I explained what I was doing and said my budget was limited (as it happened I had my Parkinsons t-shirt on) but she said £15 was the lowest she could possibly go, the site further up the road charges £30 and anyway I might even be trying to con her!
Having done 17 miles I didn't want to have to try and find another site so I said okay. She found a sheltered spot for me between two static caravans, after talking a bit more she said I could have it for £10, but she still wasn't convinced I wasn't trying to con her.
What would I have got for my £20? no hot water, no free shower and I had to bring my own toilet roll!
A while later when I was coming back from the toilet block she shouted on me so I went over and her boss had arrived and she had said to give me the £10 back.
A while after that the warden came to the tent to ask me if I would take a box of Cup-a-Soup which she wouldn't use.