This was, for me, an epoch-making trip. The main reason why is that it is something I've always wanted to do but have never got around to/ found the right people to do it with. To be able to carry everything you need on your back, do a long hike with a 3 and a 6 year old, and to sleep in the open, without a tent and covered only by a basha--this was an amazing thing. Our view last night, on a huge hill in a tiny grove of stunted and wind-twisted hawthorn trees, was spectacular.
Tony's insights and expertise added greatly to the trip. He could help us with our knot tying. He could point out edible mushrooms--my six year old found roughly three carrier bags full of beautiful mushrooms, some very large, all edible (without Tony double checking, we never could have taken them). A whole new world has been opened to us: we can now with some confidence walk out our door, get a bus to Woodingdean, then walk till we feel like camping for the night. We can, at least at this time of year, almost survive just on the wild fruits we've eaten this weekend: blackberries, hawthorn berries, mushrooms (field, parasol and fairy ring--this last one grows in a 'fairy circle', which Tony found). How great pot noodles taste after an eight mile walk with a heavy pack!