Cami-flage Day 1– Friday 11th September 2020
One of the things I’ll do as we go along is to compare the weather between Surrey and Menorca for each day, just to see what we’ve missed. Today looks on the face of it to be a mixed bag:
So, Menorca is nice and warm, but might rain, whereas Surrey will be cloudy until later and not particularly hot. Actually, on balance, I think Surrey wins.
Anyway, on with the story of the day!
It seems to be a tradition among the organisers of walking holidays to make the first day the toughest. This has certainly been a common feature of walking holidays we’ve been on. Maybe this is to soften up the tourists and make them grateful for the small mercies of easier subsequent days? Whatever, Day 1 of the Cami de Cavalls on Menorca as planned by the Cami 360 crowd would have been the longest, at 12.66 miles. and so it was that our first replica walk was also a long one – officially some 12.45 miles. In the end, we did 13.28 miles around the Surrey countryside, according to Endomondo.
This being (1) a long walk and (2) the first of, we hope, 13, there was lots to see and take photos of, so please bear with a long and rambling post. With luck, subsequent entries will be more concise, though I can’t guarantee they’ll be any higher quality.
The general scenery was very pleasant – lovely woodland tracks, occasionally by the water.
Above is a largish pond called the General’s Pond. In the early part of the walk, there was some very attractive heather
and we decided we didn’t want to bump into any of the moles responsible for these molehills!
Many of the tracks were sunken.
The first several miles were along a formal path called the North Downs Way,
along which is a whimsical “Fairy Cottage”.
Other interesting things were on offer: some funky fungi:
A steam engine outside a business centre
And a sign which I hope features a typo, otherwise equine outlook is generally gloomy.
We then walked past Moor Park House, which has a chequered history and some lovely buildings
and also features a cellar, which was the perfect place to feature the first photo of our bottle of the Menorcan gin, Xoriguer.
Shortly after this was the second obvious place, which was outside “Mother Ludlum’s Cave”, the one-time abode of the White Witch of Waverley.
The next landmark was the ruins of Waverley Abbey, the first Cistercian abbey in England, founded in 1128 by William Giffard.
I flew the drone here, but didn’t do the site justice, mainly because we were beginning to need to get on with it in order to be on time for lunch. Here’s the best I can do.
I got a better result with a shot of Waverley Abbey House, the events centre on the other side of the river, though.
The next stop was the village of Tilford, where you can find the Barley Mow and where we found lunch.
Tilford is also home to a famously old oak tree, which we thought would be a good backdrop for another shot with the gin bottle.
At this point, my phone, which was recording the mileage for this journal, gave out, I’m not quite sure why. Fortunately, I had included a power bank alongside the drone, so we were at least able to maintain continuity. I was quite pleased to have included this, as it’s exactly the sort of thing that you learn from bitter experience to pack the next time.
We then tottered off on the rest of the walk, feeling very full of a delicious lunch. The countryside around this part of Surrey is delightful. You’ve already seen photos of the scenery, but there are some wonderful buildings on display, with great tiling and brickwork
and just fantastic settings – for example Cutmill House, which has the largest weeping willow I’ve seen for many a year.
And so, some seven hours after we started, we got back to the car for our journey home. It was very nice indeed to be able to have a proper cuppa on arrival, and, now I’ve written the day up, I’m going to treat myself to a gin. Possibly two.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the first of these walks. Do join us as we carry on the endeavour to recreate an overseas walking holiday in the UK. Tomorrow, all being well, will see us visit the highest point in Surrey – Leith Hill. See you then?