Sunday, 28 March 2010
kent to cape wrath
On Mick and Gayle's journey north I'd seen that they were picking up the Thames Path and heading through town before turning north east along the Grand Union Canal at Brentford. As they were going to be in my neck of the woods I offered them a room for the night and join them on their trek.
Putney was thronging with the precursor to next weekend's Oxford and Cambridge boat race. We cleared the crowds as we headed towards Barnes, and took a planned detour at the Wetlands Centre to cut out the Hammersmith leg. Crossing the Thames at Barnes Bridge we were stopped by two guys, Adam and Ben, who were interested in the walk and put their hands in their pockets for a donate to the charity. Nice one guys! Stupid me though; I had a camera handy but failed to take a shot...
Just before Strand on the Green we met up with Juan and Vic, and their tiny three week old baby, Matilda. These are friends of Mick and Gayle who also live locally, and will be providing a place to stay after the next leg of their route.
Mr Sloman will be pleased to read that this tiny stretch of the Thames has three riverside pubs, at the first Gayle stopped to bag a geocache that I'd pointed out. As we were nearing the end of the days walking and being in W4 clearly we couldn't pass the Bell and Crown without stopping for a pint of Fullers Chiswick Bitter. Unfortunately the weather which had behaved itself most of the day decided to chuck some wet at us. As we'd been sitting outside because we had Harry with us, we quickly said our goodbyes and bundled off to the bus stop for a quick journey back to mine.
At home Mick pitched Wendy Warmlite in the garden for an airing, and demonstrated the impressive (Penny and I both went, Ahh!) tension banding that made the front hoop rock solid. And I discovered that I can, just, sit up in the front of one of these. Not that I need another tent - honest!
For reasons know only to Mick and Gayle they had skipped lunch, evidently very hungry by now Mick asked when supper would be ready. I said just give me a minute to put the kettle on and offered them a choice of Reiters meals. With the joke over I got cracking on a chick pea and fennel casserole.
With the clocks going forward Mick and Gayle stole an early start the following morning and headed off to Kew for the next leg.