Today was about travelling.
It started in Canary Wharf with a lovely ferry ride with Mirinda where we sat outside and enjoyed the morning Thames along with the other happy commuters. It really is the best way to travel to work. Mirinda left at Embankment and I went the final stop to the Eye.
It seems that trains out to Farnham do not leave every half hour in the mornings. I arrived just in time to catch the 9:25 only to find that it doesn’t exist. It gave me time to get some breakfast though and then I waited for the 9:53.
I dragged my wheelie bag, making as much noise as I possibly could, to an empty (but very tidy) house. I just had time to top up the bird feed, scan and email a very important document to Leigh at Lloyds then head off back into Farnham to catch the bus to Frensham.
I love getting off the bus at Frensham Great Pond. It feels like I’ve been dropped in the middle of nowhere with nowhere to go. The bus drives off and it’s just me…and the rest of the traffic. Still, if you ignore the noise from the main road, the pond looked lovely as I walked around it to the kennel.
I arrived at the kennel at 1:15, forgetting that they have lunch between 1 and 2. They were all shut up so I wandered further along the road to the Frensham Pond Hotel where there’s always a multitude of aquatic birds. I found a spot and sat down, deciding to snap away to my heart’s content.
There were an awful lot of coots, chasing each other, diving under the water, making their strange noises. I managed to take a LOT of photos of them. The best, I blipped though it was a tough choice. I thought this one was quite cute.
The geese were very happy to pose as well. I think a lot of people who stay at the hotel, stand around snapping away at them all so they’re well used to the attention.
Time just flew by and I soon bade farewell to all my fine feathered friends and wandered back to the kennels where two little balls of fluff (not so little in one case) tried as hard as they could to knock me over. After a bit of riotous greetings that the kennel lady thought was hilarious, we set off on the long trek home.
I was a bit concerned how Carmen’s leg would hold up since this will be her first (really) long walk so I kept an eye on her. I’m glad to report that she didn’t favour it at all for the entire trip…though she was limping a bit after we’d been home for a while. Clearly it had gone to sleep with her but not woken up at the same time. That’s par for the course with Carmen.
I always find the toughest part of the walk home (apart from the final bit) is walking up the hill between the ponds. Even after the fire, it’s still steep and really takes it out of me. Fortunately there’s a seat at the top for tired humans to sit on and annoy poodles who want to keep going.
So, across the front of the Little Pond and down the track that leads to the pig farm we went. The pigs must be hand fed because as we approached along the narrow path, they all raced towards the fence between us, a hallelujah chorus of grunts issuing forth, frightening the poodles. This one reminded Carmen of sausages…not that she’d say it in front of her.
I think it’s a Gloucester old spot. If so, it’s my favourite kind of sausage. Whatever kind of pig it is, the poodles really wanted to get away so we hurried on, saying hello to a couple of sheep that we passed in another field.
The high point of the walk (apart from the end bit) is the sight of the Barley Mow at Tilford. The path suddenly opens up at the Tilford cricket green and there it is, splendid, white and welcoming. Today there was even smoke coming from the chimney. My throat almost dragged me to the front door. The poodles didn’t seem particularly bothered.
A quintessential English pub. It sits opposite a cricket green and there’s a river and very old bridge not far from it. It serves fabulous beer and welcomes dogs and thirsty walkers. And, like most country English pubs, it’s closed on a Monday until 6pm. Yes, that’s right. I walked up to the door, turned the handle and nothing happened. It was closed. I shed a tear or two and then we went over to the river for a beerless rest…just looking at the river.
After a forced rest (the poodles hate stopping) we set off for the second half of our trek, now thirsty from the lack of expected libation. It almost ruined the walk! The dogs were fine. They found plenty of places along the way. I almost envied them the clear, cool spring meandering from the mouth of Mother Ludlum’s cave though not the black, muddy puddle they decided they needed to feel on their tummies as well as their tongues.
The rest of the walk was just a case of one foot in front of the other, broken up annoyingly by me grabbing my camera to take photos of cows. I say ‘annoyingly’ because the girls just look at me as if I’m insane. All they’re interested in is getting home. But how could I resist this Highland cow? I just wanted to ruffle it’s hair.
And so, finally, we trudged our way the final few yards to the house, all three of us exhausted, my legs already starting to ache and complain about how they are going to feel tomorrow. A coffee, some toast and a shower later and they are starting to REALLY complain. Carmen collapsed, comatose. Day-z just wanted to run around the back garden. Three hours of walking and she wants to run around? Idiot dog.