Jim met up with Sikka and Julia at Brighton Station, more riders had planned to be there but several fell by the wayside with sickness and tiredness! It was unexpectedly cold as we set off from Emsworth Station. We passed by a pig farm with fields of healthy looking pigs, and rode on through beautiful quiet lanes and the pretty villages of Westbourne, Southbourne and Funtington.
Here was the delight of Watery Lane, where a clear, fast moving stream attracted Mallard ducks and Sikka discovered a mother with eight tiny fluffy ducklings.
Then, at West Ashling pond, Julia provided Nairn’s oatcakes to feed a lone black swan and unidentified mottled ducks. Also, Jim was delighted to identify several black and white tufted ducks proving that Julian’s suggestion, from the last sighting, was correct.
A group of ‘honking’ geese sent us on our way and we continued on to Bosham and the Anchor Bleu pub for lunch. Fortunately, Jim had booked a table and it was a lovely surprise to sit upstairs looking out of a picture window onto the Bosham channel. We all enjoyed the good food and pleasant service.
After lunch we were able to cycle around the edge of the quay towards Fishbourne. The road was still very wet and slippery with clumps of seaweed in the wake of the outgoing tide, a novel experience!
We stopped for afternoon tea at Fishbourne and then sped on to Chichester feeling happy and satisfied by a wonderful day out… thanks to Jim!
Sikka & Julia