Dawn till Dusk: Backpacker Transformation Day

Downsizing Day

The day had finally arrived and although we knew it was coming and had been planning it for some time, we weren’t prepared for what an epic day it would be.

Our plan had been to downsize what we carried from two backpacks, a cabin bag and a small shoulder bag to just two smallish backpacks (How to downsize a backpack mid travel). Why? Well we were finishing a spell of housesitting and had planned up to six months of travelling that included multiple flights and a few long distance walks where we really didn’t want to be carrying more than we had to.

What’s going on?

So Monday February 24th was the day we left one housesit in Winchester, Hampshire and returned to another in White Colne on the Essex/Suffolk border. This was the day we would be downsizing and storing our bigger bags in our tiny storage locker plus picking up some papers from our daughter-in-law Tabitha on the way. I’ll run you through the plan……

  • Car from Cheriton, Hampshire to WInchester station
  • Train from Winchester to London Waterloo
  • Underground from Waterloo to Westminster
  • Split at Westminster Underground station
  • Underground from Westminster to Victoria (Jo)
  • Underground from Westminster to Stratford (Jon)
  • Wait at Stratford (Jon)
  • Train from Victoria to Maidstone, Kent (Jo)
  • Walk to Storage Unit via Golden Boot shoeshop (Jo)
  • Store large backpack and case (Jo)
  • Walk to Maidstone East station (Jo)
  • Train from Maidstone to London Victoria (Jo)
  • Underground from London Victoria to Stratford (Jo)
  • Meet up on Platform 10 at Stratford Station
  • Train from Stratford to Marks Tey, Essex
  • Train from Marks Tey to Chappel and Wakes Colne, Essex
  • Taxi from Chappel station to housesit in White Colne, Essex
  • Pickup car and drive to Bentley, Suffolk to collect Ed the German Pointer
  • Drive back to White Colne
  • Collapse!

That’s it.

From Dawn till Dusk

With all train tickets and taxi booked, and times checked we were ready for the off at 9am from our lovely housesit with Tessa and Nigel in Cheriton, Hampshire. We knew this was the most sensible day to visit our little storage unit in Maidstone as we were passing through London and it was best that Jo did the Maidstone leg as is a world class storage packer. When she packs the unit becomes like the Tardis and when I attempt packing it turns into a matchbox!

“Ready to go in Cheriton with three backpacks, a cabin bag, and a shoulder bag”
“Winchester station”
“Still smiling for some reason …..”
“Loaded up waiting for the London train”
“Jo with the big pack and case at Waterloo”
“Westminster underground station before we sadly split”
“The Golden Boot in Maidstone where our daughter-in-law Tabitha helps out”
“Golden Boot redesign by Tabitha”
“Storage unit at Maidstone, although our unit is the size of a foot locker and not a room like these”
“Lonely trip out to Stratford and the four hour wait”
“The absolutely dreadful Westfield shopping centre at Stratford where I sadly waited”
“Together again at Stratford ready to head to Essex”
“Arriving at Chappel and Wakes Colne ready to meet the taxi”
“Back at White Colne before heading to pick up Ed in Suffolk”

Did it all go according to plan? Hell yes. Apart from the torrential rain that Jo had to power through in Maidstone of course. Unbelievably every train was on time, the taxi turned up within minutes, and the car started. Ed was all ready for us to collect and by 8pm we were sitting down with a coffee and a bacon sandwich, a justified break from our normal healthy eating, as we were just starting to wilt after such a busy day. Still smiling though but ready for our bed and maybe a quieter couple of days ahead.

What a day!



  1. What a day indeed but a perfect example of how things are more likely to go plan when they are planned well. And by the way a bacon sandwich is a perfectly acceptable item for a healthy eating plan. A fine combination of carb, protein and fats and there’s even good stuff in ketchup!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yikes, sounds exhausting! I can symphathise with the pain of having to spend time in Stratford’s shopping centre – I think dreadful sums it up pretty well. It has to be one of my most hated places in London and I’ve never actually gone shopping there, just been dragged through when other people wanted to do stuff in the area.

    Liked by 1 person

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