Thursday, 9 July 2015

The sixccessful solstice microadventure

Our six microadventure hadn’t followed our original plan. We'd originally wanted to head out on the solstice, but life conspired to prevent this and although delayed, what actually transpired was a truly memorable trip with a distinct 'S' theme.

Having stated back in December that the solstice was a dead cert for a microadventure, a combination of DIY nightmares and other commitments meant that going out on the actual solstice would have been a rushed trip to a previous location. We recovered the evening with a BBQ at the kids school and despite having to carry two kids a few miles home, a great time was had and a lay in after a hectic week was very welcome.  Deciding to delay by a whole week meant a much more organised duo setting off after work on Friday on a ride to one of the Surrey hilltops with a wild swim planned for the morning.

Actually getting out the door on Friday was a bit rushed as I hadn't packed and faced the usual challenge of fitting enough into one bag, it was hot and I was stressed but eventually I got the essentials in without exploding. I'm certainly getting better at carrying less stuff and post Gravel Dash find it a lot easier to cycle with a bigger rucksack; but a frame bag is definitely on the list of next purchases.

Arriving at the chosen hill at around 8:30 we were both surprised how busy it was, there were groups of scouts and walkers hanging about, so we found a quiet spot and settled down to cook some food and enjoy the view. Feeling much more relaxed with the obligatory egg custard tart consumed we pondered life for a bit and I could finally feel the stresses of the week begin to fade away. 

Boys will be boys. Enjoying a log jump in the woodsWith the hilltop still busy we set off to find a better view of the sunset and stumbled across a tempting looking berm. Further exploration of the trail turned up a small tree jump and we set about sessioning the jump and berm as the light began to fade.  Singletrack- The first S of what would be six S’s was ticked off.

Heading back to the top we enjoyed a cheeky spot of Honey Jack and found a flat spot to make our camp, I was sure I heard voices…

Tucked in our sleeping bag we watched the clouds clear and the stars come out. Laying in our bivi bags we watched the international space station passing over, and it wasn't long before we soon fell asleep.

I was woken briefly around 3am by some headtorches and clicking walking poles which must have been a surprise for the walkers as we were  visible just off the main path, but despite being very visible nobody came to investigate.

Morning dawned to a beautiful sunrise and while cooking breakfast two walkers came down from the top and it turned out they had spent the night only a few hundred yards away from us; we chatted about our plans for a bit and then set off on our individual adventures.

Andy enjoying our early swim.Packed and ready to roll, we set off towards Guildford towards our Swim spot, riding the singletrack we found the evening before (which seemed to go smoother even with a fully loaded bike); we rode the few miles into Guildford.  The day was warming up nicely as we found our swim spot and after a baywatch style entrance we were soon splashing about in the river. We attracted a small audience as we swam, dodging the rowers and relaxing in the cool water.

After some careful towel work we were back in our bike gear and heading back towards Newlands corner for a cup of tea and then on towards home and I walked through the door around 11am and back into Dad mode.

Lee even made a video of our trip:

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