11-Dec-2004 -- Friday evening I announced to my friend and colleague Xiang Liu that I will go for a confluence visit by bike the next day. Although he had neither ridden a bike for a long distance nor visited a CP before, he was interested to join me.
We started with the first daylight at 7:30 a.m. in London Hammersmith and made our way to Southern London. For a bike ride it was rather cold, but the rising sun turned to a pleasant day.
At a remaining distance of 13km from the confluence we decided to follow our hungry stomachs and entered the 500 year old “Gallipot Inn” where we got a good portion of venison and beef in a traditional atmosphere next to a fireplace. After that great meal we were satiated but in time trouble due to the fading daylight.
It was critical because the deadline for shooting confluence pictures was at 4 pm. Thus, we spend the last hour of daylight by cycling through the High Weald mountains on our maximum speed. This was challenging for Xiang, but we made it in time to the Granary (see this picture from Gordon Spence's visit) and parked our bikes there at a distance of 470m. We rashly hiked to the point and got the documentation done before the last daylight disappeared.
While being at the point we could see the old Bluebell railway with its white steam passing nearby at about 500 m. The exact spot is about 20 m into a field. In December there are winter grains sowed.
We found our way back home by cycling to Haywards Heath and catching a train to London. Xiang was exhausted from the 100km ride, but happy to have made it.
CP visit details:
Time at the CP: 15:50 p.m.
Duration: 11h (until we were back home)
Distance of bike parking: 470m
Description: At the edge of a large, slightly sloped grain field with young winter grains sprouting. Soil is soaked with water. Small, leafless forest at a distance of 20 m. General area is hilly, the 200 m high Weald Mountains are just to the north.