The first major attraction is the cemetery, and although flowers are on the rise, there's nothing new at the moment. The light, however, was glorious, and the various forms of stonework conjure up many moods in the winter sun.
|Cemetery chapel. Spot the woodpigeon
|Polish war graves
Moving on round we then come to the Balderton Lake, where the new path has dried up a little after an uncertain start to 2015 when it was turning my trainers grey with a claggy lime. No exotic ducks around today, if you can call pochard or goosander exotic, but gulls where plentiful. I must follow the example of Nick Crouch, and scan the flocks of black headed gulls for any mediterranean gull interlopers.
|Balderton lake gulls, not as numerous as of late
Loop round the lake, rejoin the Sustrans 64 and head north. This leads you to the London Road Pond. No kingfisher working the drains, and sadly, a dead young fox was in the water just south of the London Road bridge. On the lake, the coots were making their "poop-poop" alarm calls, and being uncooperative with photography efforts. The mallards drifted by, and dunnock and wrens flitted about at knee height.
The route than takes you down past the railway station and across the boy racer haunt of yore, the Currys car park. Behind here, you find the path along the river and over the third bridge near the marina. There must have been rich pickings in the river, as gulls were busy squabbling on the water in large numbers.
|Along the river to the castle
The route then passes by the castle and then along to Millgate bridge before heading for home. The day's rest, guilt or not, must have done me good, as I felt easier and less stiff than I have done in a while. Sadly Map My Run stopped for no reason - or rather reasons of silly runner probably stopping it by accident at photo opps - so a hopefully sub 55 minute 10km never materialised.
If a ten km run isn't timed, does it even happen? Philosophical musings to end on!