Cami-flage Day 5 – Tuesday 15th September 2020
I shan’t bore you with the weather comparison between Surrey and Menorca today – suffice it to say that the two were pretty much comparable, with the sun shining in both places and Mahon (30°C) simply being warmer by 4°. So the conditions were set fine for a fine walk around Virginia Water Lake with a sideways shuffle into the Valley Gardens (the justification for today’s headline).
Here’s an outline of the walk, which lies just north of the A30 and the Wentworth estate (the golfers among you will know where that is, of course). Being largely beside a lake it’s rather unsurprisingly rather flat
but full of lovely greenery and scenery. The basic walk around the perimeter of the lake is some 4½ miles, and we expanded it by around the mile necessary to match the Menorca equivalent by wandering into the neighbouring Valley Gardens.
Along the path one sees a variety of things from majestic trees right down to rather engaging things you can make from them.
Shortly after the start of the walk, there’s a pond called Wick Pond, which is normally very pretty, but today it was lifeless and covered in algae. However, there was one attractive thing about it.
We may be halfway through September, but Summer is not yet dead (though Autumn is on its way – see later).
The next landmark is the famous Totem Pole, not an item you normally expect to find in Surrey. But there it is, and there was nothing for it but to show it to our gin bottle.
Incidentally, the chap at the top looks rather as if he is scared of heights.
Walking along towards and into the lovely Heather Garden, one could see the first stirrings of approaching Autumn.
and the colours can be wonderful.
The Heather Garden is always a pleasure to visit at any time of year. You can always find pleasant scenes.
(We can’t decide whether to call the above Dougal or The Very Hungry Caterpillar.)
There was a certain amount of watering going on (how else can they keep it looking so splendid?), and one particular sprinkler caught my attention.
We mooched about afterwards in a wooded area on the way back to the waterside
and I tried my hand at a true photographic cliché.
after which we made our way around the far end of the lake where it would have been rude not to stop for tea and cake.
Just before the café the path crosses a five-arch bridge, which you can’t see at the time, since you’re actually on it. But you can get a nice view of it from the later path and this seemed a good excuse to get the gin bottle out again.
On the home stretch, there’s another item which one wouldn’t normally expect to find by a Surrey lake – Roman ruins.
The final landmark came as a bit of a shock. Again, somewhat counterintuitively as you walk alongside a lake, there’s a fairly substantial waterfall called, somewhat less counterintuitively, the Cascade. It’s normally very photogenic, as you can see from a photo I took there about a year ago.
It looks as if something fairly horrible has happened – trees have been cut down, perhaps because of storm damage earlier in the year, and the water supply is either inadequate or has been cut off whilst work is carried out. In any case, it’s a sad scene.
It was a shame we couldn’t end our walk with a great scene, but the rest of it was very pleasant – a nice walk in splendid scenery in agreeable weather, plus ice cream, tea and cake. What, as they say, is not to like?
And so ended the walk on day 5 of our Menorca substitute holiday. We will be back in the neighbourhood again tomorrow, walking around Windsor Great Park; a somewhat longer walk after which, as a reward, we will have a Nice Lunch. We’re looking forward to it and hope that we can virtually enjoy your company, too. See you tomorrow!