Sunday, 25 October 2009

Dorking to Boxhill – (Surrey) – 25/10/09 – 8 Miles – IVC.

This wasn’t a great day for travelling, as my section of the Piccadilly line was on a replacement bus service, and the South West Trains alternative only runs once an hour on a Sunday. Thus I ended up being stuck between a rock and a hard place of either: killing an hour at Clapham Junction in both directions for the journey out and the return home, or travel to and fro between Clapham Junction and Waterloo four times in order to have somewhere to sit down.

Anyway enough of that as this was a warm and sunny autumnal day, that managed to bring together a group of 23 of us (hope my walk next month does as well). So with all these people around there was a fair amount of chin wagging going on, which probably explains why I can’t remember much of the first half of the walk up to lunch (well save for the extremely fast road we crossed near a garden centre, which seemed to be as busy and fast as your average motorway).

Anyway lunch was at The Dolphin at Betchworth, where the pretty young bar staff (that includes the girls), seemed to take twice as long to take your order, as did the kitchen staff to cook it. Anyway I ordered a chicken, ham and leek pie, with mashed potatoes, which when it turned up looked and tasted distinctly average, in a Seventies school dinner sort of way (so well worth the nine quid I paid for it !). To add to my chagrin one of the young waitresses then bounced by in the garden with someones elses rather appetising looking burger and chips, which wasn’t on any menu I saw.

Anyway following lunch we ended up playing chicken all over again with another dangerous road, which involved one driver screaming abuse at one of our party at 70mph. Past that hurdle however and we could see Boxhill in the distance. After a walk through a long and wooded path we came across a former Lime Kiln in Brockham. From there we began some serious climbing up towards Boxhill, which spread the group out somewhat. However having got near the summit, our leader explained that we would then have to do a very long descent as the route had long been blocked by houses, before starting the steep climb all over again (isn’t this the sort of thing the Para’s do ?). That said these little bits of running I have been doing in the last few weeks must be doing me some good, as three of us shot off up the hill leaving everyone else for dead.

So at this point we had reached the top of Boxhill, which I hope you can see from the photo, seems to be a popular vantage point for flying kites. From there we joined the very long queue at the Boxhill National Trust outdoor café/kiosk for afternoon tea. Well bugger tea actually, as I had a hot chocolate plus a slice of sponge cake, less my 20% discount for being a National Trust volunteer. Following which we had a beautiful backlit descent down from Boxhill towards the finish at Boxhill and Westhumble station, passing Rykas (bikers) café which we had visited earlier in the year. So overall a pleasant day, that is apart from the crap train connections which meant a two hour trip home from Dorking for me(aarrgh).

Walks since last blog entry:

(Run) Walks
1 x 4 miler – Osterley Park .
2 x 6 milers – Grand Union Canal / Osterley Park .
1 x 7.5 miler – Grand Union Canal / Osterley Park .

(Rucksack 9kg) Walks1 x 7.5 miler – Grand Union Canal / Osterley Park .