How can a well-organised trip with the best of people fall apart completely? British weather...
It's been a crazy couple of weeks with uni in full swing and as it happens with things that demand a creative flair and gentle coercion, you, my dear blog, have been neglected. So many cool things to share and if I tried to catch up on it all, I never could. Instead, let me describe to you the amazing day-trip from yesterday!
After 5 weeks of full-on learning, UCL deems us worthy of having a half-term break described as "reading week" where it is thought that we would, well, spend time reading. In reality, it's more like the oasis we set our eyes to during the grueling term and finally take a breath of relief. As such, we planned to go for a hike on the Saturday for a well-deserved break from work. The plan was to follow the most scenic coastlines on the south of England, from Seaford to Eastbourne.
Our trip began bright and early, meeting up around East London and then driving along the M25, across the Thames on the Dartford crossing, all the way to the bottom of this island. The autumnal colours sported by the canopies we drove through along little country roads were just magnificent and spirits were high until we reached the halfway point. That's when the grey clouds filled the sky and it all came pouring down. Not as exciting but we thought it might still be alright when we got there!
Seaford is an adorable little town, just 30mins away from Brighton. We found a place to park the car and finally getting out, we realised the truth of the weather. Not only was it just pouring down, the winds were so strong that it was difficult to just stand. We started walking towards the seafront and at this point, I was being blown back so hard that it was not possible to put one foot in front of the other without holding on to a wall. Somehow, we reached the seafront and I ran towards the water. Not one of my smartest ideas as just a few seconds later, a huge wave came crashing and, as though I wasn't drenched enough, everything below my knee was soaked.
This all sounds pretty bleak but in reality, there was something exhilarating to feel the true strength of nature upon us. We humans sometimes feel all-powerful in everything we do but in situations like these, you realise the truth of our minuscule existence.
All hopes of the hike vanished, we rushed back into the center of town and into a pub. Cold, wet and hungry, we tried to re-evaluate our decision and make a plan from there. The pub wasn't serving lunch till midday and it was only 11am so we bracingly decided to go back out. A few minutes more of 'exploring', we found ourselves turning into a cute little cafe with chequered table cloth and WWII memorabilia decorated across the walls. We warmed ourselves up with teas and hot-chocolates and considerably brought down the average age of the people in the room.
It turned midday so our next hike? Back to the pub! If you are thinking this trip seems more to do with eating than anything else, you are right. My shoes still squeaking with seawater, it was only fitting to have fish. With a huge portion of cod and chunky chips, I was filled to bursting and in the dark, warm ambience, quite sleepy too!
Even the couple minutes walk back to the car was one that required us to pull together our moral fibres as the wind and rain continued to lash outside. Back in the car, we decided to drive to Eastbourne and see the coastline from there. Even the crazy winds couldn't discourage me from adding another city to my collection as I went out for a run along the beach. Going out, I could hardly see ahead with the wind against me, and grains of sand and water striking my body. As I turned around and head back for the car, the same wind was a blessing as it felt like I was being carried back and kept pushing me to run faster.
Completely soaked and with none of the original plans working out, this trip was still amazing! Spending time with friends, discovering new places and, of course, eating! - what more could you ask for?