Day 3 of the Week of Pain and a good test it was too. The original intention was to park at Fareham Station, take a train to Cosham and then walk around Portsea Island. Inevitably, the car park was full and instead I drove into Pompey and down to the Campbell Road area, one of the few places south of Fratton Bridge (and probably north of there, as well) that has no parking restriction. So many “Max 3 hours” everywhere else, and so typical of all major cities now, even a non-moving car attracts finance.
A pretty decent wind in my face as I walked westward to the Historic Dockyard, through Gunwharf and then at least started to have a tailwind as I passed the Cathedral, the reason why Portsmouth is a city, rather than the certificate other new cities have had to beg for. Pretty bracing on the sea front, all the way to Eastney, with a nice but rather pricy fish and chip dinner about halfway along.
I took the dead end road to Southsea Marina and back before tackling Locksway Road, passing the Old House at Home and the Oyster House, both pubs that I visited a few times years ago. The OHAH, as it was always abbreviated, along with Avenue Hotel, Museum Gardens, Lord Chichester and Oakwood, were places where I always played well (darts) and won far more often than not. But darts are not the focus this week and I continued past the end of Locksway Road to take the path that hugs the east of Portsea Island right up to the top where it joins the very last section of Eastern Road.
I wasn’t aware of it previously, but there is a People’s Memorial along the coastal walk. There are also a number of benches with names of ex-servicemen, and 23 and 25, the first two ages I saw, are just terribly too young to die.
There was even more off-road action as I carefully crossed the main road onto Hilsea Lines, the nature trail, followed by the military trail. Not that I saw too much nature and, thankfully, not much in the way of military manoeuvres. It was a pleasant and generally unknown path to the A3 and thereafter it was a duller traipse down south to the car.
Not directly south, but a route through the lattice of side roads in Copnor and Fratton. Quite pleased with 17 miles on a testing day, plenty of wind gusting about, especially on the sea front and the eastern edge, along with some uneven stony and gravelly ground that pulled at the calves and poked at the feet with every step. But don’t feel too bad at all. Ready for Day 4.