Two o’clock in the afternoon, in a wood near the Devil’s Jumps (Iron Age burial mounds) we heard a rustling noise and assumed it was deer. But a beautiful, alert and lively badger made a surprise appearance!

It was a day of nature’s best. Red Kites, Adonis Blue butterflies, kestrels, a fatapillar ( Sophie’s naming), yellow hammers, skylarks and wild flowers of all colours including wild marjoram.

Heading out of Queen Elizabeth Country park after sussing out  the SDW route ( not brilliant sign posting) we were overtaken by a chirpy gang of Gurkhas and then camoflague clad army types and had our own cheerful day walker to gee us up – thanks Jenny!

Lovely long paths shaded by beech trees took us to the top of Harting Down. Where, on a bench in the shade of a clump of hawthorn trees, we sat and took our first libation in the Whisky Way – toasting David Lindsey.

We took the long way round Beacon Hill as it is the official route of the SDW and was less steep but very hot.

We soon saw our first glimpse of Bignor and Goodwood with the Trundle and the sea beyond.

Only downer was that my new Sony compact camera decided not to work. iPhone pix only tomorrow.

We’ve now walked 40 miles and don’t feel we’ll struggle to finish the walk – or the whisky!

Adonis Blue