Just for a change there’s no Monday walk this week but it isn’t for the want of trying. After a very frosty early morning yesterday it was gloriously sunny and with just enough fluffy white cloud to make the blue sky interesting so at lunch time I decided to take the short drive to a fairly local reservoir which I haven’t been to for a while. Now this place is basically in the middle of nowhere with a car park close to the dam, accessed from a ‘B’ road by a lane only just about wide enough for two cars to pass and with a steep bend a couple of hundred yards before the dam – and that’s where I began to wish I hadn’t bothered leaving home.
Just before the bend I ended up at the back of a line of stationary cars with another line of cars trying to squeeze past from the opposite direction. It seemed that the car park was full and people were turning round at the bottom of the hill, creating havoc because the lane was so narrow; added to that someone about four cars behind me had decided to pull into what he thought was an offshoot on the right, which wasn’t, and he was blocking the road so for quite a while no-one was going anywhere.
Eventually two very helpful young men got out of their car and started directing all the other cars round each other to clear the blockage and finally, with the cars in front of me having managed to get down the hill and with nothing else coming up, I had a clear run down to the car park. I’d mentally counted the cars coming up the hill, which were more than the number having gone down in front of me, so I was hopeful I would be able to get a space, however it wasn’t to be.
To get into the car park meant making a sharp right turn on an angle but several cars were parked inconsiderately on the lane opposite the entrance and with other cars coming out there was no way I could get my slightly-larger-than-normal mpv in there, so I carried on across the dam in the hope that I could park on the far side. That was impossible too, cars were parked along the lane for a hundred yards or so and with nowhere to turn round I just had to carry on. The lane ended in a dirt track and a ‘Private road – access only’ sign, however I had a good idea of where I would end up so to hell with it, that’s the way I was going.
The track was full of deep water-filled pot holes so it was a very bumpy ride but eventually I arrived at an out-of-the-way gastro-pub and a proper tarmac lane which took me past a nearby country station and across the top end of a second reservoir to the outskirts of a nearby village. My problems weren’t over however as this was another narrow lane and not far from the main road through the village I encountered another car coming in the opposite direction; with no room to get past and several cars behind me there was nothing I could do. Eventually the other driver decided to reverse back to the main road, as did the two drivers who had arrived behind him, and finally I was free to continue.
Driving back towards home the main road took me past the ‘B’ road to the reservoir I’d originally planned on going to so not being one to give up easily Plan B swung into action and I went back along that road. A second attempt at getting down the narrow lane to the car park would be sheer lunacy so I decided to drive past the lane and park on the road – except I couldn’t. Car after car after car and almost bumper to bumper, they were parked along the road for nearly two miles. It was unbelievable – where had all these cars and people come from? I’ve been round that reservoir and woodland several times in the last few years and even on a sunny weekend in the middle of summer it’s never been that bad. By the time I found a reasonable space I was a long way from where I wanted to be so I gave up completely, turned down a nearby main road and headed for home – an hour and twenty minutes in the van and I’d ended up right back where I started from, at my own front gate.
The dogs did finally get their walk but only round the nearby park which isn’t very exciting so there are no photos of that one. Instead I’m including a few shots I took three weeks ago as I was on my way to work early one morning. The colours of a lovely sunrise were just spreading across the sky as I drove down the lane to the works premises so leaving the van in the car park I walked back for a short distance and took a few shots through the trees. The sunrise promised a lovely day ahead but unfortunately it wasn’t to be; once full daylight arrived the sky turned grey and stayed like that, with just a very watery sun showing briefly and intermittently through the clouds.
Apart from being resized and sharpened just a touch these shots haven’t been edited in any other way – the colours of the sunrise are just as I took them. Sometimes I think nature paints some wonderful pictures.