A-road drudgery and architectural magnificence (Haywards Heath to Three Bridges) - In the name of Thiago - Day 262


After expecting a bit of a drop off yesterday that never came, today it duly arrived. This was more like the urban misery I'd trained for. Long roads, lots of it with no footpaths and the threat of being mown down by oncoming vehicles never all that far away. 

But before the A-road drudgery came some architectural magnificence in the form of the Ouse Valley Viaduct. This structure was built in the mid 1800s and carries the London to Brighton railway line over the River Ouse. It truly is a staggering piece of architecture and myself, 'In the Name of Thiago Memorial Walk' debutant Paul and my old chum Jamie were able to appreciate it, both from distance and from very close up.

It acts as something of a pilgrimage for railway enthusiasts and is also a spot where the average casual observer will also take an interest. There are 39 of those arches, I cannot imagine how long the overall construction would have taken. Quite a while I imagine. Having initially tried traipsing through a surrounding field to get to the viaduct, we journeyed a little further up the A road and found a gateway which took us right up to this staggering structure.

Whereupon I got a little ahead of myself and tried out some of my recently learned yoga moves. It was a bloody good place to do it and strike a light if I can't all of a sudden do a downward dog while keeping my feet firmly on the base. 

Okay so the curvature of this splendid structure may have given me a little assistance, but sod it I'm claiming it! Naturally I also took the opportunity to approach some well-meaning passers-by for a few quid in donations too. I didn't do quite so well on that front today but then again I didn't push quite so hard today as I have done previously. Perhaps I wasn;t quite feeling it as Elisa would say.

This was the trio today, pictured here going on our jolly way from Eastbourne to Haywards Heath. I actually felt pretty good until I got about halfway through my walk. At that point I developed a blister on the little toe on my left foot, which was a right pain in the Harris but I continued stoically on my way all the same. 

Balcombe is a typically English village. There's a village store right next to a wonderful looking pub called The Half Moon. Jamie convinced me that I shouldn't drink in the pub and instead that I should save myself until the end of the walk. He was right of course but equally we all knew that the Snooty Fox in Three Bridges was going to be an utter shithole. It didn't disappoint. Paul, pictured above on the right, did treat me to a Mint Feast though, so my meander through Balcombe had not gone completely unrewarded.

I love the look on Jamie's face in this picture, it truly does make me smile. We'd just walked passed a couple of village oddities and this gift of a delightfully positioned bench presented itself. The gift was gratefully accepted. Shortly after this picture was taken, the long road to the not entirely magisterial Three Bridges began. 

It has been a very different day to the three that had gone before, but it's still been enjoyable. It was good to bring someone new into the mix and create a slightly different dynamic. Four days into my 30 day trip and I'm starting to recognise that anything that represents any kind of a change will be a very good thing.

When I saw this sign, it started to dawn on me that the next phase of this journey is going to kick in. Tomorrow we will wind up in Surrey and then on Thursday I'll be in Croydon. In no time I'll be round London and joining the Grand Union Canal for the long journey to Birmingham. I'm going to miss Sussex and exploring all its wonders but it's time to move on.

I am still very much looking for help with donations and social media shares, which do so much to help me reach my fundraising target. Please contribute if you can folks. 


  1. Keep ot up CG . Just sent another donation from down under. You've got this!!

    1. Greatly appreciated Mum. We're rolling along quite nicely 😍


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