08 July, 2006

Around London II

I've notched up the second leg of my circuit, by way of another nine miles clockwise from Finsbury Park round to West Ham station.

I had mixed feelings about setting out on a Saturday, as I'd no idea how busy the route might be and how cluttered the city would feel. As it turned out I saw barely a dozen people the whole time (out walking, that is), and it was only on the journey there and back that I had the misfortune to brush up against thronging crowds of tourists and fellow travellers.

This leg was a real mixed bag, taking me through some right shitholes, to be frank, but also some real gems. Apparently a lot of the area is due for redevelopment ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games, and judging by the state of most of it, the work can't come soon enough. However there were stretches where, once more, I could have been walking out in the countryside anywhere in Great Britain.

I went past the old Big Breakfast house; through the cemetery where the founder of the Salvation Army is buried; by ornate disused 19th century pumping stations and sewage treatment factories; along the edge of both Walthamstow and Hackney Marshes; crossed over the Meridian (which I shall do again south of Greenwich); and saw Canary Wharf appear on the horizon for the first time.

Despite it being a Saturday I made an effort to pick up where I left off before 9am, and like last time I was through by 1pm. One day I'll actually try and walk in the morning and afternoon, but for now my feet and my stomach aren't quite ready for it.

Day 2: Finsbury Park - West Ham
Miles Added: 9
Total Miles Completed: 17
Total Miles Outstanding: 61


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