Cami-flage Day 13 – Wednesday 23rd September 2020
And so to the final day of our Cami-flage walks. From the weather perspective Menorca has the last laugh; our expectations were set low by the Met Office weather app – correctly so, as it turns out.
Our final walk was a round trip from Denbies Hillside and up round Ranmore Common; a shorter walk of about 8 miles.
(Dorking is just off to the right in the image.)
The walk started with a great view over the North Downs
(I have a confession to make – I have titivated some of these photos to make them a little less dull and more colourful; the above is an example. So one or two are not exactly as they came from the phone.)
We soon joined the North Downs Way, which at this point is a long, long straight path.
That’s a magnified view along it, Here’s what it really looked like.
Long and straight. It passes several great views such as these
which are, of course, enhanced by having a gin bottle in them.
If you have better eyesight than mine, you can even see Leith Hill tower on the horizon.
It’s a very enjoyable trail to stomp along. It reminds me of a story about a lady who used to keep herself fit by going for an exhilarating tramp in the woods every day. She died unexpectedly, and her family were really cross with her when they discovered she had left all her money to the exhilarating tramp.
As we walked along, we could hear some very loud crashing, bashing and gnashing. We eventually came across a very industrial strength bit of forestry kit in use beside the path,
although it rather looked like it was Forest 1 – Human 0, as the driver was seen getting some huge spanners out in order to do something arcane to the crashing-bashing-gnashing appendage on the front.
This is a very splendid forest trail, with some great groves of beech and yew trees along it
and a precipitous drop to the left in places.
It is part of the North Downs Way, which is some 153 miles long.
We passed a wartime pillbox or two
and some spectacular views
before turning off it and heading up to a major forestry trail
alongside which was evidence of some pretty major forestry having taken place. After a while, we emerged at a house called, for some bizarre reason, Red Gables.
before heading back into woodland. The path was not always clear.
but we found ways round and debouched on to Effingham Golf Course (I wonder if if it’s called that because of all the Effingham Blinding that goes on when a golfer hits a bad shot?).
We passed a “Neo-Tudor” pile called Robinswood
which seemed an obvious place to stage another gin bottle shot.
As we crossed fields on the edge of Ranmore Common, we could sort of make out London in the distance.
A short dive into woodland revealed the merciless nature of ivy’s grip once it gets established.
And as we emerged, blinking, into open countryside once again, it started raining, albeit not too heavily.
We passed a viewpoint over Polesden Lacey House
which seemed a good place for our final gin bottle shot of the not-holiday.
The final stretch took us into forest, which offered some protection from the rain: first beech;
then oak. It really was quite dark in the looming weather.
A final dash along Ranmore Common Road got us to the car before we became too bedraggled so that we could take ourselves off to Denbies Wine Estate for a Nice Lunch in the Gallery Restaurant. After today’s 7.93 miles we had something, after all, to celebrate.
13 walks in 13 days; 121.12 miles covered (6 miles more than would have been needed in Menorca); 3,623 metres of elevation gained (943 more than the Menorca total); and no injuries – we both feel that we could just carry on.
One reason not to carry on is actually the amount of time it takes up – not just the walking, but also the writing of the blog posts. I’ve hugely enjoyed all aspects of the last 13 days – yes, even the uphill bits – and writing about them has been wonderful, as I haven’t had an excuse to update this blog for ages. But we’ve acquired a bit of a backlog of Real Life Things that needs to be dealt with, so a few days of not walking will ease the pressure. But there’s a nice 18-mile walk that looks tempting for early next week; 9 miles along the canal to Weybridge, a Nice Lunch and then 9 miles back again, trying not to fall in.
I will add a couple of posts to the blog over the next days: a general wrap-up of our impressions of the fortnight; and a specific exposition of my thoughts on having used nothing but a mobile phone camera for the photography (OK, a drone, twice, but you get my thrust, here). So I hope to see you back here in some days. In the meantime, thanks for joining us on these walks and see you soon!