January 31, 2017

Basingstoke Canal Walk (Part 2)

Back in December, a planned Saturday morning geocaching walk ended up turning into an eight mile canal walk. Last week, we decided to just go all in from the outset, and decided to walk from Farnborough to Woking along the Basingstoke Canal. We figured that if we left as soon as we’d packed the boy off for school, we’d be in Woking by lunchtime. We also had the clever plan of using the trains for transportation, so we wouldn’t be forced to do a circular walk or retrace our steps.

It also gave me an opportunity to take out my new camera lens, a 70-300mm that Karen got me for Christmas. So far I’d been unable to really give it a good outing, as there had never been enough light, but I figured that this day might give me the opportunity.

It started off a bit on the foggy side.

Basingstoke Canal, 24th January 2017 (taken with Nikon D40, f/5, 1/250s, ISO-400, 70mm)

However, the mist soon parted, and as the sun shone down upon us, the wildlife emerged. With my long lens I could get reasonably “close” to the animals on the opposite bank.

Basingstoke Canal, 24th January 2017 (taken with Nikon D40, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO-400, 300mm)

The canal was frozen solid, and we had great fun lifting large slabs of ice from frozen puddles and throwing them back into the canal. As they shattered on the surface and the resultant shards skittered across to the opposite side, they made the mostly delightful glassy rattling sound.

Basingstoke Canal, 24th January 2017 (taken with Nikon D40, f/6.3, 1/250s, ISO-400, 70mm)

As we got closer to Woking, we gradually started to see more houses. I also realised that my boots are not going to be adequate for doing the Thames Path, as I could feel blisters forming on my heels from about four miles in. There’ll be some shopping soon, I forecast.

Basingstoke Canal, 24th January 2017 (taken with Nikon D40, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO-400, 70mm)

Karen was worried that this swan might be frozen to the ice.

Basingstoke Canal, 24th January 2017 (taken with Nikon D40, f/10, 1/250s, ISO-400, 116mm)

Some of the houses backing onto the canal had really spectacular gardens. I should really have made a note of some of their GPS coordinates, so I can see if any of them are on the market. Putting photos of them up here seems like it would be indiscreet, so here’s some buttresses instead.

Basingstoke Canal, 24th January 2017 (taken with Nikon D40, f/4, 1/250s, ISO-400, 70mm)

We eventually had to turn away from the canal and head into the town centre. I was unable to adequately enjoy this stage of the walk, as my feet were really giving me hell, which is a great disappointment to me.

The total distance from Farnborough to Woking came to 9.9 miles, and we rewarded ourselves with a beer and a burrito at Araceli’s which I can heartily endorse, next time you’re in Woking.

Pete

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