Monday, 13 June 2016

Day 23 Chichester to Littlehampton

27th May 2016

I would be returning to Chichester at the end of today, so I had the luxury of being able to leave my luggage at the hotel. I try and travel as light as possible but of course I am always conscious of carrying even the small backpack that I do use.  I also wasn't planning on going very far and the services I would be using ran frequently, giving me the further luxury of a relaxed and unplanned timetable.

Fishermen on the beach at Selsey
My first bus was to Selsey. As an "out-and-back" my self-imposed "rules of the trip" meant I didn't have to go there but I wanted to partly because it was once the terminus of a tramway from Chichester and partly becuase it was the home of Patrick Moore.

I was able to take advantage of the lack of luggage to alight from the bus at one end of the village and enjoy a long walk along the coast, past Selsey Bill and on to the terminus at the other side. The drama began on the way back!

Struggling to negotiate a tight junction in the middle of Selsey village, a manoeuvre made more
Changing buses at Selsey after the incident
difficult by the presence of badly parked and moving goods vehicles, our driver allowed the front of the bus to come into contact with an overhanging roof. The nearside wing mirror bore most of the impact and was knocked badly out of alignment so that the driver couldn't see the rear of the vehicle, which made it dangerous when going round corners. I offered my assistance when he stopped to try and fix it but we couldn't manage it and he soon decided he'd have to phone for assistace and we'd have to wait for the next bus. Fortunately this was due in only 15 minutes and with the delay already incurred we didn't have long to wait.  This incident was the first in over 100 bus journeys and over 2,300km bus travel since the start of the trip.

Back in Chichester my next destination was Bognor Regis. There are two routes that connect the two towns - the fast and direct 700 and the slow and very indirect service 60. You'll be able to guess which one I was on - and it was tedious in the extreme.

The last time I was in Bognor was forty years ago when I spent a week as a stand-in manager at the bus station, a stint enlivened by a hoax bomb scare and an evacuation of the premeses. Sadly, that wonderful art deco bulding has since been demolished and I wasn't even able to trace where it had been. Buses, as in so many similar towns, now just use on-street stops instead.

From Bognor I was able to re-join the 700, which took me to Littlehampton - a rather more interesting town with a street market and a long river frontage complete with moored yachts and a cross-river ferry (sadly not on my route!).

The trip "Around the Edge" will  continue on 11th July.

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