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Out for a walk in Sussex

Sara and I are out for a walk this morning. It’s the day after the Endurance Life Sussex, the ultra for me, and the 10 kilometers for Sara. I have to say my legs feel surprisingly good. Sara just has a little bit of pain in her left knee. That’s all.

Okay, I am not saying I don’t have any pain in my muscles. I definitely feel my legs, especially when we walk uphill, but they are not as bad as I had expected. As long as the hills aren’t too steep, I am doing fine.

Muscle pain

I had expected way worse. Yes, I know it’s only Sunday. It’s not the day after a big race, but the day after that, muscle pain is at its worst. However, I do see this as a good sign.

To keep our legs flexible, we’re walking from East Dean, where we’re staying at the Tiger Inn, to the coast; to Birling Gap. I’ve drawn a little route in my AllTrails app, and we’re following that one now. It is more or less 3,5 kilometers to get to the coast with a detour, and 2 kilometers to come back in a straight line.

Falling in love

I have to admit, I’m falling in love with Sussex. It’s beautiful here. The green rolling hills, the wide views over the ocean, the white cliffs and the kilometers and kilometers of hiking trails. Most of them, like the one we’re doing now, go through pastures filled with grazing cows or sheep. One of them looks at us with her big, brown eyes. When we come closer, she takes a step back and starts to pee.

What makes this area so special for me, are the hills. Probably because I come from a flat country. But that isn’t all. I like the little stone walls around the pastures. It has something authentic. It’s so much more beautiful than barbed wire. Plus, at the edge of every field are trees and bushes. Sheep and cows can shelter from the rain and the sun, if they desire. In the Netherlands fields are just open, flat, empty spaces. On top of that, here you can walk through them, as many people do this Sunday. It makes you feel close to nature, close to the animals.

Chocolate milk and cake

We stop at the cafe in the Visitor’s Center at Birling Gap for tea (Sara) and chocolate milk with a piece of cake (me). Yesterday I burned 4.500 calories, so I have to make up for that. At least, that’s what I tell myself as an excuse to eat pie for the third day in a row.

Half an hour later we’re on our way again, back to East Dean, walking over Went Hill, through an area of sycamore woodland full of nests of rooks. They are definitely not nature’s finest singers. We pass some more sheep, climb over a little wall, with help of the typical wooden steps and return to the Inn.

Last Friday we sneaked in some book shopping, now it’s time to rest our legs and open one of the new books. With another cup of tea of course, but this time without pie.

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