Hiking gadget: folding sit mat

It is one of my favourite hiking gadgets and so useful here in the UK. When I hiked few weeks back and we had a lunch at a pebble beach, I had the most comfortable seat of all!

mat

It is soft, thermally insulating, very light and does not take much space in your backpack. And it gives you a bit of luxury when you want to have a rest  during your rambles.

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Seven Sisters Coastal Walk

I was not hiking since summer last year so as soon as the winter was (almost) gone I started pondering over my first spring destination. It did not have to be anything special, even a short walk in the countryside would do. I simply could not wait to leave a big city for one day and enjoy vast open space and the view of horizon.

Luckily, I found a meetup group which was planning a walk over the chalk cliffs of Seven Sisters – a place I wanted to visit for a very long time. So I booked my place and on March 19th boarded a morning train to Seaford, excited about the mini-coastal adventure.

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My excitement slowly faded away during the day. I was mentally prepared to climb 7 cliffs so when we reached that number and there were still more to go, I lost hope we would ever get to Eastbourne. Don’t get me wrong, I was enjoying the hike just at some point it looked more like an high-intensity training then a nice walk. Constantly going up and down, up and down and… up and down…

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The weather was not perfect but it also was not terrible. The sky kept cloudy all day long and the wind got a bit cold in the afternoon but at least it was not raining. Also when you need to walk up-hill so many times it is much better when it is cooler. I went once on a coastal hike on a beautiful sunny day and trust me, at some point I really missed clouds and shade.

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The views from the cliffs were amazing. Infinite sea joining the sky far far away, glimpses of sun light dancing on the water and vast open-space all around us. Despite many people walking the cliffs that day, you didn’t feel cramped. Such a wonderful feeling after all that time spent in the city!

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But all good needs to end at some point. In the late afternoon we finally got to Eastbourne and, after a short break at a local pub, we boarded a train back home. And I, still wearing my hiking boots, have already started thinking about the next destination…