|Tom's daily walk....|
Tom Bowman and I have travelled all over South America when we were colleagues at Microsoft. And later, when we were both working at the BBC, on one jaunt we were both stranded in HK, then Dubai and then Istanbul. The world ground to a halt from the dust cloud in 2010.
Now there's less travel and more time to think and write. Thank you Tom.
Chichester Harbour, early hours at Langstone
It’s usually first light when I set off down the track and across the fields to the Chichester Harbour shore at Langstone. Just before the sun appears, the birds in the hedgerow look at you quizzically and a little proprietorially, the path is their domain it seems at that hour.
A corner of the harbour I like is by the Royal Oak, reputed to have been an 18th century resting place for smugglers including the notorious Hawkhurst Gang. From here at low tide you can see the remains of the Wadeway, the path across to Hayling Island used when the ferry wasn’t running. It predates the railway, and the later road bridge, perhaps all the way back to before the Romans. No-one fancies it today!
Langstone with its pretty cottages, sometimes sandbagged against high water, old mill and associated pond and gorgeous views is a popular spot.
Best time to be there if you prefer it quiet is right around dawn. Sometimes you will be totally alone with just the ever-changing view and resident and migratory birds for company. But there is an early morning community of regulars. Some are now on first name terms, maybe won over by my fussing over their dog, others are still on comment about the weather or just nodding terms. The early hours allow for more private hobbies, like the middle-aged mum who sits and draws or writes under the same oak tree every week.
Tarry at home for another hour before setting out though and the shore front is transformed with runners, multiple dogs and even prams. Some people add to the human detritus along the shore, others are dedicated to keeping the place clean. Aside from high summer the litter pickers have it under control. The birds don’t seem to mind too much either way.
Some mornings I can walk east along the shore as far as Emsworth and hardly see a soul. Often though I’ll take the track beside the woods and fields of Warblington Conservation Area, past the Saxon era church and the ruins of a castle destroyed by the parliamentarians in the civil war.
Time to get home for breakfast.
Walk with Tom most days right here <link>