Part 3: Jungle life & Why ecotourism

At this point you may be wondering how spending 5 nights trekking through the jungle trying to sight hairy and taking part in various activities with the Ibans could possible help stop big companies and loggers with their sight on $$$ out? Well…it is in fact the only and ultimate way of protecting the forest, as the true power is held in those who LIVE on the land CURRENTLY and have done for hundreds for years. They hold the rights and final decision making for anything involving “their” area. Therefore we, as partakers on this specific tour act as a link between the tribes and environmental decisions. By encouraging them to stay living on their land and not be “bought out” by the offers of money from these companies we can assure that their culture lives on and so do the trees and hairys. These tribes have lived so closely to this land and hairys for such a great amount of time that they know the most about the animals. It is through groups visiting this area and supporting their lifestyle that we can stop the rainforest being logged. Staying at the purpose built longhouse just opposite the river from the Ibans also means we can interact daily and integrate activities. With Alvin as mediator this answer holds so much hope for the hairys survival. It is the last chance for Pongo pygmaeus, pygmaeus.

Now just to touch on what this part of the trip involved more elaborately…The only way to reach Jinging is by a 2 hour longboat journey, which if were a car ride between my hometown and city would be a bore but instead was like riding through a documentary that’s come to life! The wide river that narrows to a stream towards the longhouse is encompassed by divine glorious rainforest. Trees towering over and growing amongst one another either side of the river is the most blissful image eyes could lay sight on while we pass through calm waters into upstream rapids which the Ibans tackle with ease. We go on a walk a day to take our chance with hope at the prospect of spotting just one hairy in the wild. Keeping silent with Alvin, Christina and a couple of Ibans scattered towards the front and back of our group they thoroughly use all senses to find traces of a hairy. We look out for trees swaying where they possibly are or nests sitting where they’ve been, Alvin shows us fruit thats been half eaten or engages us in the smell of the plant they like to nibble at which wafts through the air in places. We are all eyes and ears as we quietly take each step up around and through the jungle attempting to manoeuvre ourselves while keeping watch on those swinging trees-hairy? Or the wind? A difference in movement we learn before departing on our treks. Unfortunately for me I haven’t had the chance on my two trips to see hairy in the wild, even though it has been recorded that there are 1000 in the area surrounding Batang Ai, where we were. I will also take this opportunity to make a point of the fact that only 150 are said to be in the space inside of the national park-which is actually a greater number of hectares than the surrounding. This just shows how ideal the habitat must be in areas such as Jingin as they favour this part of the rainforest so highly over the national park. For as much as i would love to see hairy in the wild and will persist to do so as in some cases groups have witnessed mother and baby not moving for up to an hour, the top priority is in knowing that they are living safely and naturally.

While walking we learn a great amount about the other living beings in the rainforest, listening out for hornbills and sighting cleared spaces where pheasants have been doing their elaborate courtship display. This trip we had a particularly exciting and unexpected discovery: day-old sun bear markings, a species that was believed to be extinct in this part of Borneo. Deep scratches on a tree where they had been eating an ants nest was hopeful news that we rejoiced in taking back to our friends at Matang. Our walks took us to waterfalls and around small mountains on slippery edges with soft sand. We navigated our way through wet leaves and hanging vines while keeping ever observant.

Other than trekking we spent our time with the Ibans on the longboats in further searches for hairy; on the pebbled beach with a fire bbq and freshly caught fish; rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, all cooked in the branch; exchanging skills such as bamboo weaving, and other cultural traditions or games by the riverside. Our longhouse had electricity from a generator turned on in the evening for light and gas for Christinas famous meals. Our longhouse had an open roof which allowed for the outstanding abundance of insects inhabited in Borneo to be found on your bed so our first task was to set up the necessary “mosquito nets”.  If these are not closed properly they may fail to work at keeping the spiders out-which one of our members experienced!

Between the walking, heat, humidity and intense darkness experienced in the deep jungle, falling asleep was hardly ever an issue although i did find myself reaching for headphones and meditation music one night before stopping to realise the heavy sound of the river metres away was soothing enough to sedate myself.. Time spent in this environment brings a whole new level of enchantment to the connection of humanity and nature. You get used to the leeches sucking your blood and discovering insects you’ve never seen before in surprising places such as your bag or toilet, but these things one could say will be less missed. I can assure you that the morning routine of bathing in the river following a session of yoga cannot be replaced with any other form of mind clearing activity. On the journey back we kept our eyes peeled for the chance of spotting hairy in our final hours but had no luck so sat through our euphuistic “real life documentary screening” back towards civilisation.

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Part 2: An introduction to my experience with the Orangutan project

This second trip has been crucial to understanding the complexity of the issues facing the world’s most threatened Orangutan sub species and their environment where they still roam free ‘outside’ the Batang Ai National Park borders in the last of the Iban owned, wilderness river valley communities; Jingin. My initial visit, last year left me overwhelmed by the scale of the issue. It was a two week volunteer tour that i decided to take spontaneously after viewing a documentary on the species, our closest relatives that are facing high risk of extinction. The  project i chose not only let us observe and take part in the rehabilitation efforts at Matang Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre but also aims to work with the local tribes on this precious piece of land near Batang Ai. The aim is to help the Iban save Hairy in the sustainable and natural ecosystem that they have inherited from their ancestors which is a model of human/wildlife interaction that goes back hundreds of years. It is the last hope of Pongo pygmaeus, pygmaeus(***for local taboo reasons “hairy” is the name we use)

This time around my trip began in the village home of a selfless couple who have dedicated their lives to real conservation on this grand task of saving hairy. During my stay with them I joined part of the tour(Alvin runs and Christina volunteers) to re visit the hairys in their last remaining habitat and the tribe that lives within the area. The full tour, which i had the opportunity to take part in last year, starts with work such as animal husbandry, cleaning cages, making enrichment treats and contributing to construction they may be working on during the time of current at Matang wildlife rehabilitation centre, one of the bases for the Orangutan Project. Here you not only take part in jobs alongside short term volunteers, long term volunteers and expert staff at the centre, local and international but receive an informative introduction to the animals themselves, particularly hairy! Monitoring behavior of all the species being rehabilitated at the centre is an important aspect of the volunteer’s tasks as they are constantly receiving hairys and other animals which have been orphaned and terrorized or hurt in one way or another. The goal for those at Matang is to give life to the injured animals they rescue, which is a strenuous job with such an influx of different animals of various ages/stages in their life and problems. The people at Matang do an incredible job at dedicating their time to each individual that comes in and are often working long hours through the nights to keep the latest casualty alive. During the time I was there the people at Matang were having sleepless nights with dependable primates and taking turns to observe the slow Lorises just released in the wild.

For the best interest of hairy it is the next part of the tour that we use to work towards keeping the primates out of rehab centres and in their natural environment, because it is clear that everyone at Matang, especial CEO Leo Biddle would much rather see them healthily swinging in the real trees than struggling for life in his care. From Matang the tour extends next to Bako national park to further our knowledge and understanding of the Bornean environment as a whole. We take part in trekking under the guidance of Alvin who well informs us of the flora and fauna we are passing by and through. This in combination with our experience at Matang prepares us for the most important part of our trip; contributing to true hairy conservation with a sustainable, holistic approach. Jingin is the wilderness riverside community where a tribe of Ibans live, that the orangutan project have made relations with in order to reach long term conservation goals together. It is also the gateway to the Malaysian side of the only viable natural habitat for this sub species. Through uniting with these native people, including 2 other Iban valleys that we can keep sight of the chance that Batang Ai has a real good chance of becoming the last true refuge for Pongo.P.P.  Batang Ai National Park is our sub species last hope. Numbering probably slightly over a thousand in all the three WWF declared 1 million hectares straddling the international border.

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Borneo trip part 1: Village living, Kenyalang

I once again find myself exploding with motivation and newly received knowledge as I sit in Kuala Lumpar airport awaiting my next and final flight home, to Australia. I am re filled with the passion, empathy and insight that I was fortunate enough to experience 14 months earlier, a month before moving to England where I am now returning from. This return visit began staying with Alvin(tour guide for the orangutan and tribes project) his wife Christina, and their beautiful family. The two hour drive to their village from Kuching airport was lead through greenery as we arrived at the rural community of a couple hundred where the tribe are descendants of head hunting practices just a generation ago. The seven skulls they still keep are now stored away from sight as it does not align with their new religious practices of Catholicism. The village consists of a longhouse which home 17 families, dating back to the 40s, made purely from resources found about the land; a “short” longhouse with 4 families, and some individual houses which generally hold 3 generations, including cousins, aunts and uncles. Alvin and Christina’s place where i were staying is situated across the river which the community is based around, so crossing via the recently installed bridge was a necessity to do anything including carrying shopping goods home and any equipment used for building their new house! This also goes for access to the school which has 38 students, begins at 7am(!! Ending by 2…)and provides meals and government support to encourage families to send their children. One very slight positive contribution the Malaysian government have made towards their people, while still neglecting the concept of sanitation, waste collection and recycling amongst other standards we take for granted. This kind of neglect allows practices such as throwing rubbish into the river to be perceived as normal-because the tribes have been doing that generation after generation so why change now? Well, this is one of the realisations of that mixing point between old traditional habits/culture and modern society where now very little waste is made of organic materials.

The totalling 7 nights i spent in the village was split in the middle with 5 nights in the jungle, one in the city of Kuching either side to commute and 3 extra before departing(2.5weeks altogether). The period amongst the family in the village was what i was most looking forward to and turned out to be the climax of my time in Borneo, as unlike the jungle trekking it was a completely new experience. I immensely enjoyed the way of life that feels so much more connected to the earth. As someone who is conscious of their environmental impact and relation to nature i basked blissfully in waking to a cold shower with a bucket of water. This was not only refreshing due to the high humidity but knowing i could monitor so closely my water use and keep it minimal was a perfect alternative to my short showers at home, especially when three washes a day was needed to cool off the sweaty air.

Choosing to reside away from the city means a more peaceful living environment but puts pressure on work life in upholding finances far from job availability and modern luxuries. In this case living closely to the land becomes a necessity not just a tradition. The grandmother spends her days planting rice in her paddy which sustains the family, and other members will pick wild fern or vegetables growing in their garden to cook a substantial and tasty meal. The variety of plants available for eating in this small area is absolutely plentiful with a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables including sorts such as pumpkin leaves which i never really thought of as existing before, let alone as more than a bi product. I suppose as an outsider it looked as if they would just walk down the road, path or field and pluck luscious greens from all directions but maybe thats just my lack of connection in comparison to their years of practice being bought up living off the land, learning the nutritious value and medicinal use for their surroundings. Their everyday life motions were my nirvana and their wealth above any materialistic possessions, tangible or intangible.

I am so fortunate to have been welcomed into this home, temporarily taking over one of the children’s bedrooms and sharing moments I will cherish with the warm hearted family. As well as the opportunity to live by such standards i regard as high in vitality which i hope to further alter my lifestyle towards in order to live with a more harmonious frequency amongst the earth and family. Being the only (fair)white(with colourful tattoos) that most may have ever been in presence of in the village called for some funny questions and statements surrounding my habits of second hand shopping, unfussiness to get dirty in the mud and clothing choice.

During this time i attended a funeral at the longhouse with an open coffin, prayers, church service and singing before the boat led the body to the cemetery in the jungle for burying. The ear piercing crying and wails provoked my own thoughts on death as i glance at the husbands eyes staring off, lost. It was here that there was no language barrier between the cultures, just compassion for a universally horrific situation. Other events included visiting the 5/6 year old school class as they attempt their English with a quiz i ran; viewing fireflies in the trees; lots of mid day napping, exhausted by the heat and acquiring and improving foraging/cooking skills and inspiration for further development. The highlights above all were reading with the children of the family; language exchange; daily yoga and exercise with half the village kids getting involved. On occasions having them strewn down the road skipping, sidestepping, running and stretching(sound familiar?) the few cars passing pass questionably “what.are.you.doing?” and the many moments that the people i arrived hardly knowing were transformed to feel like family.

I departed with further respect for these people, their intelligence and awareness of their surroundings, and the love i received and reciprocate during my time with a family that i hold in my heart dearly.

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grandma on the way to her rice paddy

grandma on the way to her rice paddy

proud grandmas rice paddy

proud grandmas rice paddy

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Summary

Hello followers! As the “skate” has been completed Blading for Borneo as a project is coming to an end, but this doesn’t mean there will be nothing to follow!

Tomorrow I am flying to Borneo to spend some time with the people, wilderness and orangutans of Sarawak. I will keep you updated on my experience and the current situation there to share how valuable your input is. The donations have been transferred coming to a total of $1713.70AUD

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the journey and project. I shall post shortly about my trip and goals for the future.
The crowdfunding page is still active and accepting further donations.
The Orangutan Project rely on donations or funds from volunteers to run so please give generously.

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Here is an interview I did that I’ve included as it didn’t make publication:

Tell me about your skating trip. What are you doing?
Inline skating solo across the south coast of England 517km in 8 days. Covering an average distance of 64km per day

Logistically how does it work? What are you carrying/where are you staying etc?
Carrying as very little as possible, bare minimals including one other outfit/maps/backup battery. Being hosted by people through the hospitality exchange website couchsurfing.org and also the equivalent for touring cyclists(warmshowers.org) which made the trip a lot easier(originally I was going to camp) but in this case it allowed me to meet people with similar interests, have somewhere stable to sleep comfortably, eat and wash clothes, recharge phone ect

Why did you decide to skate across England?
To see a large part of the country I havn’t explored

Why did you choose the route you did?
 The route was inspired by a national cycle route(which is still being constructed so was sign posted in places but also had many open sections)
I wanted a distance that would be challenging and to also explore a diversity of landscape. I faced a variety of tough situations many hills, narrow winding country lanes and big busy roads

What town did you start/finish in and when?
Hastings, East Sussex- to Plymouth, Devon on the 15th-22nd September

What’s your connection to the orang-utan sanctuary?
I recently had the opportunity to take part in the Orangutan Project on the island of Borneo, one of the world
’s biodiversity hotspots. Here I engaged in the rehabilitation efforts at Matang Wildlife centre. I was able to observe the released, semi-wild orang-utans of Semenggoh Nature reserve and the seven different habitats of Borneo in the remaining Bako National Park, in addition to trekking through the rainforest to meet the Iban tribes – descendants of the Borneo head hunters.

How have you been fundraising and how will you donate the money?
My fundraising is done through a crowd funding account which I will withdraw from and given to the Orangutan Project to help improve the conservation efforts in Borneo, as the Bornean Orangutan is endangered and facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

What’s been the highlight of your skating trip so far?
As well as combining my passions of skating, the environment and conservation I was encountering difficult circumstances. Having no one but myself to rely on for decision making was challenging, empowering and liberating especially passing through open forests and heathland for miles with no one in sight

Why did you decide to skate, rather than walk it or do some other type of fundraiser?
Skating has always been a big part of my life. I previously competed in inline figure skating competing in four world championships and wanted to now combine my current goals of exploring England and fundraising for the orangutan project with a new area of skating I hasn’t experiences before.

Would you do something like this again?
Yes im looking forward to the next challenge!

Have you had much support from back home?
I’ve had lots of support from back home thanks to the internet I was able to communicate with my family and friends bouncing ideas off them. They were also there to encourage me on when I was in doubt, so I’m very grateful for that.

The end-ish

Total mileage: 321(517km)

Hello all! I’m back in Brighton after a wonderful week-plus recovery, wandering and visiting various places and people in the UK. I discovered my final destination Plymouth was a lovely place despite knowing nothing about it before arriving. I spent a day rolling throughout the city on an express tour of all areas. Once purchasing a couple of essentials including a £1 jumper(only having my few skating clothes with me) and book I then took advantage of being in the south west to Explore the beauteous Cornwall. Known for its natural wonders I spent time walking and regaining my previously lost appetite. I met someone where I was staying who knew some hidden gems so stuck around there for some time as they showed me around. Then I made my way to the corner of the country where there were very few people, and I was the only under 50year old in the sweet little hostel. It was perfect! A well needed sleep in and chill time to leisurely hike and relax felt great. From Cornwall I then traveled back across the country and up to visit some family for hiking in the Peak District, stopping for afew hours in Bristol on the way where I found the greatest not-for-profit bike café and workshop ‘Roll for the Soul’. Highly recommended!

The fundraising total currently stands at $1078.70
Thank you for all the new donations and a special thanks to my hosts along the way for contributing to an incredible experience!!

But it’s not quite the end yet..stay tuned for further posts!

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Post-skate shop

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Day 8: Dawlish-Plymouth(47miles/76km

My last day of the journey felt much like yesterday’s…racing against the sun after a challenging morning. My vague non detailed map and imperfect navigation skills have been the number one setback time wise each day.(Second would be surface)

The first half of today was through high hedged lanes and the uncultivated Dartmoor National Park, southern Britain’s largest and highest upland. Crossing down the far east I passed Haytor Rock and granite hilltops amongst bright green, yellow and bronze moorland. The dramatic landscape caught me thinking twice about where I was in the world!
The road I followed was extremely open and fortunately quiet, free of walking groups and tourists I passed at the landmark. Such tranquility.
On my way down to the tiny towns I sat behind a cyclist around the downhill corners so was able to enjoy the ride at speed without fear or too much judgment of oncoming traffic(besides estimating more stopping distance than them on the bike with brakes)

Trying to find the cycle track by the busy main roads was a back and fourth battle thanks to terrible signage. After an hour of confusion and frustration I found myself on
the direct way to Plymouth, which was now pleasantly clearly labeled.(The route I’ve been following this journey is new so has many big open sections which have no indicators. I could hardly ever rely on them at all)

Starting my final battle with hills and rough surface I came up with more techniques to conquer the heights, attempting to take some pressure off my heavy legs. Towards the city the way flattened out and I rejoiced entering Plymouth before sunset!

FINISHED!! 8 incredible days…Thank you for your support and following me! I appreciate that your interested in my journey but please be aware of why I did it. The Bornean orangutan is facing high risk of extinction and the Orangutan Project are a small ethical company doing amazing work against that happening. Can you spare a tenner? fiver?? The smallest of donations add up so jump over to http://www.gofundme.com/d0h684

I’ll be sharing follow up posts shortly! But for now some rest…

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Day 7: Axminster-Dawlish(47miles/76km)

Wow.
I sure had my doubts about today..as did everyone I spoke to!! Higher than ever!!!
Determination sure got me far. Besides the first couple days, the mental challenge has been tougher than the physical…

I set off from the house to the bus station early where I took it to Axminster-the point at which yesterday’s skating met today’s route. Not ready to face the road or hills yet i splurged on some green tea in the warmth of a cafe. Until now I’ve been managing to live off £1.50 a day. Are you proud dad? Aleesha can budget!

Sooo what was I up for today? One thing was certain…Mooore hiiiils!!!! I have definitely become accustomed to them. It doesn’t change the fact that they take an extra amount of time and effort! But some great climbs and magnificent views makes it well worthwhile. They describe Devon(“deep valley”) as ‘mostly rural with soft landscapes in the south, and the highest cliffs in all of the United Kingdom.’ Upon reading this I nodded towards my phone.

Feeling revitalised I stepped out to blue sky, and within just 2 minutes of skating out of town(with naked hands as I left my wrist guards at the bus stop) I was in the countryside breathing in fresh air with warm rays of sunshine beaming down. My mind was cleared, being soothed by nature. The following few hours were spent going in circles trying to find an alternate route to the major roads and through the back lanes. I ended up back in Seaton(the very last place I finished skating the day before) and studied my poorly detailed paper cycle map hard.

Leaving at 2pm I had 38miles(61km) to make up. Understandable why people I passed lacked faith in me and were apprehensive towards my endeavour. This is where I throw in the most cliche saying ever, only because it got me to my “unattainable” goal: DONT.GIVE.UP..whatever you do just keep rolling! I vowed to keep stops as short and least frequent possible maximising all time possible. It was a race against the sun! Through muddy tracks, twisting narrow roads, hill after hill I crossed stunning landscapes.
With a couple hours of sunlight remaining I stepped onto the longest, widest stretch of lovely tarmac cycle path I’ve experienced, and skated alongside a magnificent lake while the sun set. Running with skates in hand through the open section and guessing my way in the pitch black(traffic free) I arrived at my destination to more welcoming hosts and a shower to clean my past 2 days of sweat and dirt off.
Completely buzzing I couldn’t sleep at all for hoouuurs!
Last day tomorrow!!

Photos: not many due to the restriction on stops but the old telephone box below was in the middle of a park housing books to borrow!
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Day 6: Dorchester-Seaton/Bridport(40miles/64km)

Oh my dear followers..what stories I have for you today…before I go on: note that today was the one night I couldn’t find a host through couchsurfing or warm showers. I had an idea of where I wanted to go but was planning on taking it as it comes…well that sure is what I did..let’s keep in mind that the part of the country I travelled through today had very little cities or towns. 90% of my day was travelling through pure open countryside. Which was by the way divine.

It all started when I put my skates on this morning and…my skate didn’t roll..my bearings have been through a lot these past days, sand and whatever else. This is something I thought would be ok; I’ll just clean the bearings when I finish I thought; be reckless with your skates for once! No need to savour them for anything! just get through this journey!! Well that’s when I made a phone call to Asha(Kirby; founder of skatefresh) aka: my English Susan Brooks(both of which I could list numerous titles for but let’s just say two amazing influential people who have created successful businesses in the skating world)

Originally I asked her about cleaning methods but instead she sent me on a mission for multiple sets of new bearings. Off came one wheel with the completely seized bearing and after much googling and many phone calls I found myself skating to Bridport with a three wheeled skate. Here I managed to rotate my one set of wheels id been meaning to do the past nights, amongst changing the bearings and getting some tips from the guys at the bike shop. With 6 hours until darkness I planned to spend the night in Seaton where I knew of a hostel.

The rest of the day was spent getting there..hill..after hill…after hill!!! And windy narrow country roads which yes were lovely and smooth but impossible to gain speed at all on when considering there are cars and trucks possibly around each tight corner.

I did make it to Seaton. Only to discover that it was in fact a Saturday night and the one hostel I had in mind was booked out. Hours of further googling and calling and considering a wiiiide variety of different options eventually led me to almost leaving the town for elsewhere but then missing that bus(watching it drive by!) which I was told was the last.
I was craving a shower, blanket and cup of tea. Traveling with so little on my back, sleeping anywhere on that coastal town was going to be so cold.

I’m going to wrap this up now.
Yet another bus passed through I saw and ran over.
I met a young hippy couple living like gypsies moving and traveling around from place to place and got on the bus with them back in the direction I came(Bridport where I stopped for the skate maintenance) to her mums house. I got my blanket and cup of tea:)

I hope this was entertaining and readable.
My mind has shutdown.

I’m exhausted.

Mental note to self: get into downhill skating someday

️xxx

Photos featured: the first was after climbing a massive hill to which would of had a superb view, if only there were no mist. Check out the dirt in those bearings! And how brilliant is the rabbit painted into the grass

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Day 5: Highcliffe-Dorchester(43miles/69km)

This morning started off slow with some light thunder and rain that cleared quickly but left the roads really slippery. I ended up walking for a bit then skated along the seaside promenade before finding myself on a sandy gravel path to head inland. It’s times like this that cycle routes don’t work for skating. So with little option the skates came off and I set off through some countryside where upon reaching road again I realised I’d left my high vis jacket behind. This was a sad moment as id become quite attached to the vest that was keeping me safe and identified; that I spent each night re sewing the poorly tacked letters onto. But by this time I was well behind schedule, as for various factors the morning hadn’t gained momentum. Anyway after beginning to walk back to fetch it I decided to be detached from it. At this point I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere(and really wanted my vest) but set off onto some long quiet country roads which turned my on the brink tears of weakness to joy as I strode through miles of open forest with smooth tarmac, no one in sight and trees trees trees. Euphoric! Heading up afew hills I had a craving for fruit, and then there on the side of the road were endless blackberries. Yum! Also: found my running high vis top which had been sitting in my bag I forgot about. So ups and downs but at the end of the day I’m left with great memories.
Staying with a couchsurfing host tonight who I spent a lovely evening and meal with before he left his flat for me while he visits his partner and kids for the weekend. The generosity of hospitality exchange warms my heart and I’m enjoying doing some surfing after a busy summer of hosting!

G’night all! And thank you once again for your encouragement which is powering me through!

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Day 4: Southampton-Highcliffe(27miles/43km)

Another short skate today made me almost feel lazy…untill I think back to the killer of day 2 and distance with hills to come!
I was lead out of the city and into the New Forest guided by my super host Harry. At this point there was faint thunder and dark clouds so after making some ground eventually had to seek shelter. The rain passed over and I continued deeper into the forest through woodland and heathland. The scenery is absolutely indescribable with wild ponies, donkeys, cows and geese peacefully wandering across the land and roads interacting calmly and lovingly with one another or passers by. Some donkeys befriended me as I sat eating almonds and they gently acknowledged for me to share with them. I proceeded to do so untill they started to mistaken my hand as edible and I thought they were going to step on top of me in affection for food.
It was a blissful day! Also…
✔️Long smooth open roads
👍Forgiving traffic(I assume this was as they had to be with all the animals crossing…so what’s another random on the road)
👪Staying the night with extended family

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