May 12 - Hike camp
Billingshurst to Pulborough
11 miles

We started from Billingshurst at 10am on a sunny Saturday morning and straight off of the train we were getting fly-pasts from a flock of screeching Swifts.

We headed west, out through the housing estate, crossed the A29 and then out to Guildenhurst Manor and the open countryside. From there we picked up the WeySouth Path which we were to follow for most of the day. The Wey & Arun Canal follows the river Arun here and there are many canal artifacts to see along the way. At Lording's Lock the working water wheel keeps the lock full of water and soon after that there are large sluice gates which the boys tried to open. Next there is a very pretty swing bridge where we had lunch by the river.

After lunch the patrols were given a circular path of 1.5 miles to do by themselves. One patrol went clockwise and the other anti-clockwise. They both did very well and even found their way back to the start!

Lots of bugs, beetles and butterflies out in the flood meadows and tadpoles in the canal and it seemed a great place for army games to begin as by now they were all carrying pistols, rifles and grenade launchers (sticks). Further on the patrols were given another detour that went parallel to our main route and they both managed very well. Scout navigation skills are definitely coming along well.

We arrived at Pulborough Station at 6:52, three minutes before the train back. On the train we met some Scouts from Troop 1081 Michigan, USA and we said that we would contact them later for part of the Global Challenge.

Back at the Scout Hut, we pitched our tents for a sleepover. Maybe it was the fresh air but by 10pm everyone was asleep. A great end to a great hike.