The way to Atlantis
It wasn’t long before my trip took a fresh turn.
Beneath the dual carriageway that links the M23 to the heart of Crawley was an underpass.
Vast pillars blocked pretty much anything except pedestrian access to the land beyond the park.
Hauling the bike into an upright position got me through.
First point of interest, some sort of building work.
Then an unofficial long term car park that serves Gatwick.
And then this.
Immediately behind the lake is the London to Brighton mainline.
Beyond that the Manor Royal Industrial Estate.
I took a trip around the lake and came back convinced there’d be a way through.
A white Peugeot Partner seemed to bar my progress, but was there a path behind it?
The doors opened and a “yoof” got out, looking like he was about to roll his own.
“Excuse me, is there a way through, or is this a dead end?” I asked.
“You can go through the lake to that place made of gold” was his response.
I hung about for a moment seeing if there was a more genuine response on offer.
“What that city’s name” he asked, now that he was the one asking the questions.
“Atlantis” I proferred?
“Yeah, that’s it. You can go under the lake, and get to Atlantis.”
Goodness knows what he had in his roll up, but I turned back the way I’d come.
Later investigations revealed that I’d actually come across “Ballast Hole” lake.
Years back the land here was excavated to obtain hardcore for the construction of the railway line.
Later it was flooded, and today it offers local anglers a place to fish for just £60 a year.
So if you like sitting out in the cold, with the occasional Southern train trundling by what’s stopping you?