Trainhopping in Seaford, the UK


seaford_09rNo, I’m not back in the Philippines yet. And no, I’m no way near Batanes.

This trip was supposed to be “aimless”. One weekend, I was just thinking of train-station-hopping. I just needed an escape! But then on second thought, I might end up disappointed and that would mean wasting some bucks. So I hurriedly searched for a day-trip destination—and Seaford it was!

Three train stations, three hours of travel, and I’m in Seaford, Sussex. The aimless pursuit turned to be an unexpected 7-hour hiking!

It started with the death-defying (3.22km) 43-minute walk along Eastbourne Road; where it felt like any moment I could be run over by speeding cars at blind curves. Google maps was right, it would be about 45 minutes of walking from the train station to reach The Golden Galleon (jumpoff point for the hike); I just didn’t pay much attention to Google maps’ note that at some point, there would be missing pedestrian paths! And true, it was almost suicide to be walking on a narrow highway with no sidewalk or missing pedestrian walkway! It made me wish for some good Samaritan in a car to stop beside me and offer a lift to my destination!

After 45 minutes of a near-death walking experience, I was welcomed by the countryside’s amazing view! And I began hiking, in search for the Seven Sisters Country Park. I’ve met a number of busy groups along the way; made me a little envious for a moment there. And the realization that I am hiking alone made me a little sad.

But then, the feeling of freedom and independence, and the ability to travel alone nameless and faceless, the feeling of being small in such a big world: these all overshadowed the feeling of sadness.

So I continued my hike, on my sneakers! Later that I realized, it never was a good idea to be hiking in sneakers; my feet started to get sore, so I stopped and I let the view give me the comfort that I need. The panoramas were awesome; I got lost in their beauty! This gave me the initial feeling that I’m seeing Batanes (one of my dream destinations in the Philippines), though I’ve never been there! How possible could that be?

After minutes of immersing myself in such breath-taking view, I decided to continue with my hike. I walked on my sore feet until I saw the chalk cliffs!!! And I had to ascend and descend 7 peaks of the rolling hills to get to the end. Honestly, I have no idea what awaits me after the 7th peak! All I have in mind is that a hike would never be complete without reaching the “summit”, or in this case, reaching the end of the trail! So I continued with my journey, even if that means getting injured knees.

It took me more than an hour to get to the end and…tadah! The lighthouse, I saw it—first, from afar! I almost thought my hike was endless! But as I got closer to the lighthouse, I know I’ve reached the end of the trail! Batanes it is!

All the fatigue that I felt from what seemed to be an endless hike was suddenly gone after seeing the view from where the lighthouse is–it was just superb! I could only wish I had easy access to that place; I would love to be there every weekend!

I sat on the grass, near the edge of the cliff, enjoyed the view, and people-watched!

Time flew fast. Five pm. I didn’t know how to get back except by hiking for more than two hours along the same trail; I couldn’t find a public transportation around. I needed to get back or I might run out of daylight.

And I did pass the same trail, only this time I had to take my shoes off as my feet couldn’t stand another 2 hours of torture! But thank God for the grassy trail! It wasn’t that much difficult to be hiking without shoes, though I felt the strain on my knees as I completed my hike back. I really wanted to just slide my way down the hills!

Six hours of hiking, around 17-18 km, I really thought it was endless! But I’m glad I survived the hike back to the jump-off point after two hours despite my sore feet and injured knees!

And then I asked around for any public transportation to take me to the train station (as I don’t want to walk again on that highway!!!) and I did find one! I thank God for public buses; I’m back at the train station!

And you know what’s next.

Got home at almost midnight and passed out for 10 hours, straight! 🙂

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