Friday, 25 October 2013

Post 14. London.‏

Thursday 24th of October. 3.30am, the noise from the motorway has woken me. I doze until 7.30am. It's a lovely still, bright sunny day, slightly frosty,  I lit the stove and heated water, had a good wash, then put my smartest clothes on.This is the day to go through London. A lady, who'd visited the day before came to say goodbye and wish me luck on my journey.
I set off at 9.30am and went down through Loughton, Whipps Cross, stopped to rest Tarateeno at Lower Clapton, gave him some hard food and l managed to pull into a park so he could eat some grass. My friend Ken joined me halfway and walked with me and we had a good laugh, it was nice to have the company. l went through Hackney , down Mare Street, through Bethnal Green, to Whitechapel. Although the traffic has been quite heavy at times it has flowed nicely and hasn't been a problem. I'm really enjoying seeing all the different people from around the world, many of them in their traditional clothing. The smell of food cooking, coming out of the cafe's  is tantalizing, Jamaican, Asian, Turkish... l would like to stop but I've got a long way to go.
Leabridge Road

Blind Beggar, Whitechapel
It's really captured people's imaginations,many people beep their horns in a friendly way, people on buses  are waving, one lady ran over to me with some carrots, hundreds of people are taking photos, several people shout out,  ' I was born in one of them.' An old double decker bus with an open top , hired for a wedding goes by, the bride and her friends cheer and wave, a Muslim lady covered from head to toe  in a veil, her eyes light up with pleasure.
An attractive  young woman runs over and excitedly invites me to stay with her,unfortunately she doesn't have any grass.... it was a nice offer though and l thanked her. I went past the East London mosque, l have heard that Muslims  believe that time spent with horses, is added onto your allotted time on earth. l like the idea.

 Held up in traffic

Heavy traffic on the approaches to Tower bridge.
Ken managed to take a photo as l trotted across the bridge.
Trotting across Tower Bridge London

The next few miles through Deptford the traffic was very heavy but l was able to use the bus lane and for some reason there weren't any buses. It's a long pull up Maze Hill to Blackheath after a long day and Tarateeno was tired. 8 hours to do 22 miles. We walked most of it . I got to Blackheath about 5.30pm, just in time as it's not long until the sun goes down. It's a good time to arrive and any park attendants have gone home. I sold some clothes pegs to people who came to have a look. There are busy roads all round the Heath and all night long you can hear police sirens and traffic, but that's London. I feel quite safe and at home here.
Elated to get to Blackheath

I slept quite well and decided to stop here and rest a day. I walked down to the shops and treated myself to some croissants from the bakery and a  'Latte ', l don't normally drink coffee, but it did smell good, and when in Rome......
Later in the morning three officials came to see me and were anxious about me stopping here, one of the officials was worried about horse droppings but I explained that as the police exercised their horses on the Heath it was difficult to say which droppings belonged to them and which belonged to my cob.  l reassured them, shook their hands and they went away happy. The people of Blackheath seem delighted I'm here and I've had many nice visitors. I mentioned to one lady that l would go tomorrow as there wasn't much firewood here, she came back later with a net of logs for me. A cyclist came by and chatted and asked if there was anything l needed, l told him l needed some butter, he laughed and said he'd just bought two packets and gave me one. I also got given some cans of beer and some tangerines. I gave several of the people clothes pegs as presents and also gave some people walnuts that I'd collected in Essex and dried. They enjoyed eating these. One man gave me some sweet chestnuts that he'd collected in the park, they were really nice roasted on my stove.