From Brighton it rains. We leave the town along the coast road and once out on the South Downs we’re enveloped in low cloud with limited visibility, maybe 100 metres. From my perspective it’s not raining: if you’re in the rain cloud you’re just getting wet rather than rained on.
As we drive down from the Downs into Eastbourne we come out of the low clouds into regular rain and immediately see a sign: “Welcome to Eastbourne, The Sunshine Coast”.
I drive into the town along a high street close to the railway station and am unexpectedly surrounded by buses and throngs of people getting off and waiting to board buses.
Apparently I missed the “buses only” sign and am in what used to be the high street but is now a well camouflaged bus terminus. I’m almost nose to nose with a bus and the driver is looking at me and shaking his head.
I do a bit of vigorous “I’m lost” arm waving and weave slowly in between 6 or 7 buses, carefully avoiding the people milling about on the road, and out to the other side into the continuation of the high street.
From Eastbourne we continue along the coast road, the A295, because it looks like a nice scenic drive on the map. This is fine until Pevensey Bay, just a few miles outside Eastbourne. Then I realise “scenic” also means roundabouts, narrow roads, traffic lights, busy streets etc.
Pevensey Bay is where William the Conqueror landed in 1066 but I’m not going to make any comments suggesting if he’d met the same traffic chaos when he landed he’d have possibly given up and gone back to France.
So I relent, turn on the GPS, and we leave the scenic coastal route for what I hoped was a more direct route to Hythe, our stop for the next couple of days. And it mostly is more direct except for a couple of “wasn’t that the turning?” detours, one of which took us for several miles along a lane wide enough for one car. We successfully maneuver around the one car we meet coming towards us by driving slightly into the roadside hedge.
In Hythe, the rain has stopped but it’s a very grey afternoon. Our hotel room overlooks a completely deserted seafront. Maybe it’ll be nice tomorrow 😊