Early morning rain (no more than a surface wetting) soon cleared to leave a warm sunny day. It was good weather for a walk.
Nineteen arrived for the start of the seven mile walk by the ambulance station on Catteshall Lane. The leader handed out the red notebook (A6 size) for all to sign on the page labelled with the date, venue and name of leader. Half signed appropriately; the rest wrote their names on the page filled in for a walk two weeks earlier. The book was returned to the leader who checked the number on the walk and wondered why there were so few signatures. Observation was not a strong point today.
We set off NE along Catteshall Lane and took the bridleway past Springfield Farm and Catteshall Manor to Barret’s Rough and Munstead Heath Road. We crossed over the road and continued on a footpath that led to a minor road. Here we turned left and took a footpath on the right to Thorncombe Street. From here we took another footpath that went up and over a hill to a junction with the Greensand Way. Here lack of observation returned.
The back eleven became separated from those in front and took a different footpath. No one realised for several minutes, though the unofficial back marker had her doubts about the route that those in front of her had taken. Her suspicions proved correct. It took about twenty minutes for the group to be reunited. The problem arose because at the junction of paths the view along all of them was limited by tall hedges. A big enough gap had developed after the front eight for those behind to be unable to see them.
The route went left (not straight ahead as the rear majority had thought) at the junction with the GSW on a bridleway that led to Eastwater House. Here we stopped by the lake. While I looked over the edge at some ducks, a horsefly made use of my unguarded moment and bit the back of my left leg just above my sock. The itching and swelling from my horsefly bite two days ago had started to subside. Now it will be replaced by another reaction.
After the lake we turned left on the road and just before Nurscombe Farm took a bridleway to Munstead Heath Road. Here we turned left, walked past a collection of vintage Bentleys (few noticed) and turned right on a bridleway that went past Unstead Park and led to Catteshall Lane.
Map: OS X 145