Day 90: English Coastal Path

D90: PORTSMOUTH to FAREHAM

Monday 12th September 2022

Today miles: 13.7 Total miles: 1503.0

Following a decent sleep I was back at the Portsmouth ferry terminal before 8.30am feeling completely refreshed and motivated. I wasn’t sure how far I was going today, I’m heading home this afternoon so need to get back to London Kings Cross before 3pm.
I needed some breakfast, so on arrival in Portsmouth I dropped into the Co-Op Store. I spotted an unsavoury looking character entering the shop and having watched him slip a bottle of wine into his jacket I couldn’t stop myself and confronted him as he made for the exit. Fortunately he just dropped the bottle into a nearby display and left, muttering under his breath. I waited for a few minutes, paid for my shopping and then also left. Five minutes later I came across a ‘Subway’ store, my favourite takeaway. I ordered myself a foot long Spicy Italian sandwich and immediately ate the first six inches, whilst sitting in the sun.

I had not expected much from today. The river banks in large urban areas, particularly on the outskirts tend to be full of heavy industries and they’re not particularly attractive. The first two miles through Portsea and along the motorway towards North End were past the Royal Navy Base where the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth II is currently docked. I wasn’t sure why, maybe it was the subway sandwich or the sun shining but I was just loving the walking.
I reached the large roundabout on the junction of the A27 and the A3 and grabbed myself a quick coffee from Mackies before then walking alongside the A27 for an hour and arriving in Portchester. The walk around Portchester Fort was particularly enjoyable. There’s a nice strip of grass around the edge of the harbour and several well placed benches with views out into the water. I took a long break after the Fort and enjoyed the second half of my sandwich.

I dipped my feet into the warm water before continuing along the Northern edge of the harbour. During my refreshment break I had decided to head towards Fareham, only half a mile from the harbour. I’ll then jump on board the train to Southampton. I walked around the edge of Cams Hall Golf Club and unusually I managed to not annoy any of the golfers. The final mile took me back onto the A27. I found an Aldi Store where I grabbed some extra drinks and snacks for the journey home.

The blisters that had appeared last week have finally cleared up and I had began to enjoy the walking even more. I felt sad to be leaving the coastal path for another six months.
Summary: During 2022 I’ve walked along the ECP for 28 days and completed around 550 miles, that’s an average of 19+ miles per day. Early next year I should reach Poole and the start of the South West Coastal Path, I’m really looking forward to that section.

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