Thursday, 10 September 2015

Box Hill, Surrey - update

Tuesday 8th September

The adventure has begun. In London I am staying with my friend Freda who I met back in 1978, when working in a hunting and shooting lodge in Scotland. To stretch my legs after the 27 hour flight, we decided on a country walk of 12 kms at Box Hill, a good hour in morning traffic from Ealing, where Freda lives. I wasn't behind the wheel and could relax, spotting places of very familiar names. (Twickenham, Hampton Court, Sandown Racecourse, Epsom) We were passing through villages of the 'Stockbroker belt' so homes and gardens were constantly getting oohs and aahs from me. Once into the countryside, my cup of happiness was full.
Once coffee and the local flap jack cakehad been disposed of, we quickly found the starting point of the circuit and set off through the woods. 

 I'm feeling quite frustrated. I have come away with my husband's I-Pad and not my laptop. I've just tried to load photos and it appears I can only load from piccasa, mobile or URL, not direct from
I-Photo! UGH!
Sorry folks the journey ends here for now.

1st November

And hello again. After a dreadful week trying to recover from jet lag and the return to normality, after 7 simply amazing weeks of travel, I've found some time and internet, to try and record my thrilling experiences.

The above hike was an excellent introduction for the terrain I was to travel in the following days of the Coast to Coast route - steep hills, narrow paths, steps, stiles, gates, panoramas.




                       Cool leafy forests


Village churches. This one dating back to the 1100's.

 Quaint shops and historic pubs

Flowers growing wild that I've wasted too much money on trying to establish in a cottage garden in the tropics. These cyclamen never survive in Brisbane, although they are regularly on sale as potted colour.

The joy of picking juicy blackberries as you listen to birds chirping amongst the branches.

Two days later Freda and I met up Jocelyn, [who had arrived in London] to walk the 18km length of  the Regent's Canal -  Little Venice to the Thames.

A perfect temperature and sky for walking / ambling along this picturesque, fascinating and peaceful waterway.

                With its:-    reflections
                      Stately homes

                  Autumn colours

                  Tranquil travel

               Sometimes hard work

Ability to pick up a book to read

    Have a sidewalk coffee

      Visit Camden markets

Snatch views of the old and new

and admire the chimneys of days of old.

Now, down to The Narrows, Limehouse, to celebrate with a pint, watching the busy traffic on the Thames. Our hike, set in the middle of London, was such a contrast to the hustle and bustle of this buzzing city.

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed the strenuous exercise of Box Hill, followed by the tranquility of Regent's canal. I would love to read your comment.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Magical Mt Mee - Walking in a Sea of Gold

To better view the photos, please click on them to increase their size.

Wednesday 26 August

With dawn breaking in molten colour, one knew the day could only be perfect.

Jocelyn and I set off early for the 120km drive to Mt Mee. The city traffic slowed us down considerably but as we neared our destination, a milking herd came and greeted us.

On the opposite side of the road, we managed to set off a cattle stampede.

Shortly after, we left the farmland with its views back to the city and entered rainforest. Coffee and cake were enjoyed with the kookaburras and magpies, entertaining us from the rafters of The Gantry - a bizarre looking structure, which housed a massive crane to hoist timber from the forest floor. The sawmill was in use until 1981.

Initially, although the trail was lovely, I kept mentioning to Jocelyn that on my previous visits, the wildflowers had been out, making the surroundings more spectacular.

There was some rock climbing for Jocelyn and some log walking for me.

At about 5 kilometres, we entered more open bushland and found the spectacular flowering, Wallum Gold Pea Bush. It's golden colour lit up the bush floor, for as far as the eye could see. We were constantly oohing and aching at its beauty and the camera shutters were clicking non-stop. Such a brilliant display for the most of the remaining 12 kilometres.

The midway point brought spectacular views to Wivenhoe Dam to the south and Somerset Dam in the north-west. A perfect area to enjoy lunch and soak up the views.

The Wallum Gold Pea Bush was breathtaking, but the mauve ground orchid, among other plants, were doing their best to impress as well.

Ladybird thoroughly enjoyed her day out.

I had mentioned to Jocelyn a lovely waterhole towards the completion of the trail, but I had forgotten its full beauty and tranquillity.

Hiking 'down under' is truly exhilarating, but let our overseas adventure begin!  Gail, Margot and Jocelyn are already OS and I fly out this Sunday night, the 6th September. We will all meet in St Bees on the evening of the 11th and on the 12th, our 300-kilometre journey across northern England will commence and will take 16 days. [Wainwright's Coast to Coast]

I do hope you have enjoyed the golden beauty of Mt Mee's Somerset Trail. I would love to read your comment.