coastline

I checked the weather forecast as usual. Just a few days before my long-planned excursion, the odds were in my favor: Saturday would be sunny with zero chance of rain. I should have known better. One and a half years in England have proven that weather forecasts can’t be relied on – specially when it’s more than a few hours ahead.

I was determined, though. No heavy clouds and mist were going to stop me from keeping to my plan: I was finally going to hike the Seven Sisters!

Hiking Seven Sisters, UK

The Seven Sisters chalk cliffs are one of the finest and unspoiled coastlines in Britain. These white cliffs form part of the South Downs in East Sussex, between Seaford and Eastbourne in the south of England.

A simple commute from Victoria Station took us to Seaford, where the famous hike begins. Or, at least, the longer version of it. If you’re not an eager hiker or are running short in time, I recommend you take a bus from Seaford to the Seven Sisters Country Park – you’ll save about 1.5 hours hike (then again, you won’t have the chance to walk through an open golf course fearing for your life – which is an absolute thrill).

During this first part of the walk, we had the path for ourselves – with the sea on our right and sheep on our left. After an hour, we arrived at a beautiful little beach. Unfortunately, we hadn’t realized that between us and the beach was a river that led us away from the coast for probably 1.5 km. That wasn’t the major problem, though. It was the path next to the river: filled with deep mud!

As we reached the bridge to cross over, we realized that this was the actual beginning – the Seven Sisters Country Park. We felt relief to see that there were many other leisure walkers and avid hikers on this way towards the coastline!

Seven Sisters, UK

Seven Sisters, UK

Seven Sisters, UK

It was a pleasant walk (despite the wet weather), with surprisingly varied backgrounds: hills, sea-side, sheep, cows, rivers and even an old lighthouse! My tip: if it had been raining before or during your hike – take the bus to the Seven Sisters Country Park (unless, of course, you’re wearing your wellies!)

Practical Information

Route: From Seaford to Eastbourne (along the Seven Sisters)
Elevation gain uphill: 565m
Elevation gain downhill: 522m
Length: 20 km
Duration: 4:30 – 5:15 hrs
Difficulty: Easy
Wikiloc: Seven Sisters

Have you been to the Seven Sisters?

“One sight of such a coast is enough to make a landsman dream for a week about shipwrecks, peril and death.”
Charles Darwin, 1834

Arriving at Cape Horn, Chile

Cape Horn has been for centuries the nightmare of all seamen, as well as the dream of adventurous travelers. The waters that surround this sinister rock are some of the roughest and unruly ones Worldwide. Its waves can often reach heights of over 20 meters, crashing violently against the rocks. Wind blows in all directions with enough speed and force to through you overboard and every second day of the year, it’s likely to get caught in a storm. The Cape Horn route is, in fact, one of the most dangerous nautical passages in the World.

Before the construction of the Panama Canal, the only nautical route to cross between the Atlantic and the Pacific was to dare the southern route bypassing Cape Horn. There are an estimated 800 shipwrecks near this black rock!

Planning Our Arrival to Cape Horn, Chile

On our first evening on the Stella Australis, the expedition cruise that would take us from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas, we were warned about the possibility of experiencing significant shakes and unrest when approaching the cape. Crew members advised that, as weather changes radically, we might even not be able to disembark on Cape Horn. We would only by the next morning.

At 6:00am we woke up to a grey sky but a surprisingly calm sea. It was time to get ready to get on our zodiacs to explore the cape!

Arriving at Cape Horn, Chile

Cape Horn, Chile

Cape Horn, Chile

Once on Cape Horn, I realized how sinister and dramatic it landscape is. Besides for the Albatross statue (pictured above on the left side of the picture), which is a monument to the many sailors who have lost their lives surrounding the rock, the cape houses a lighthouse. A lighthouse that shelters a seaman from the chilean Navy together with his supporting family, living in this harsh climate and isolated from civilization for a whole year.

Chilean Flag on Cape Horn, Chile

Cape Horn, Chile

On our way back to the cruise, we were surprised that our zodiac gave a sudden turn to follow the coastline… to watch a colony of sea lions!

Cape Horn, Chile

Sea Lions in Cape Horn, Chile