So after last week with only me, this walk looked like it would be the busiest yet with a possible 8 people signed up. But illness, injury, alcohol and laziness meant that the cancellations came thick and fast and as I arrived at Greenford I was only expecting to meet my Mum Anna and her friend Jenny. And then outside the station there was Steve who had recovered from illness and was ready to walk! And so at 10.15 we set off (and were good and not distracted by the giant Hobbycraft at the shopping centre)
The first section was back on the canal and again it soon felt like you were out of the city.
And the hills and views were awesome.
Snacks for the day included Mum's bunch of bananas and my homemade apple flapjack. Steve, who had negelected to bring any snacks on the first leg, made up for it by providing fruit, crisps and chocolate buttons to share. I like how the flapjack matches the autumnal tones.
After mostly parks and hills and some generic suburbia, we hound ourselves in Harrow, home of posh houses, the famous public school and a wall with a hole for the tree root.
Even on a Saturday there were teenage boys in morning suits, presumably on their school break.
London is full of juxtapositions but this was probably the biggest example of wealth and inherited privelege I'd come accross to far on the walk. It was beautiful, but I have to say, didn't really sit well.
A teacher in gown walking down the hill.
The view back to the hill across the playing fields and I don't know how many rugby pitches.
And after a bit more walking we were half way round at South Kenton station
After a quick stop at Preston Road tube to use the loo we carried on past parades of Indian and Polish shops and into more woods. Here's Steve inside a tree.
There was a pond
and a trig point with a view of Wembley Arch. It looked so much closer than it does in the photo and it's amazing to think that on the very first walk we were straining to see it as a smudge on the horizon.
At that point, Mum and Jenny headed down the hill and off the Wembley Park station leaving me and Steve to power on for the final few miles.
I might be wrong but I think the capital ring signs send you miles and miles round and about these fields rather than a quick, straightfoward crossing. But fortunately by this time we were deep in conversation about the markets, the eurozone crisis, the occupy movement, the coming financial doom, how come the world is set up to reward nasty, greedy people and why is the only way we can continue to carry on our way of life as we know it by keeping them happy and making them richer so that "the markets" don't get in a flap. Although we made it across to the other side of the fields we didn't, sadly, come up with an answer. Apparently my tactic of "everyone just be nice to everyone else" isn't a workable way to fix the economy...
Oh and there were berries. But we didn't know what they were so we didn't eat them.
After the fields to majority of the rest of the walk was pretty suburban. Just lots and lots of streets that all pretty much look like this one.
Until we got to Brent resevoir.
This crossing was for us to stop traffic both ways on the narrow bridge and let us walk across it. And it's also the second crossing of note in this blog so far (the other was the pegasus horse crossing at Richmond.) Who knew I'd find such dull things so very exciting?
Bridge across the M1
One of the fascinating things about this walk was the different communities we went through. Obviously London is filled with immigrant communities from all over the world but you really noticed it on this leg. Wembley has a big Asian population and then crossing over into Hendon you noticed suddenly the majory of the people were wearing yamulkes. One of the reason's I love London so much is, despite what people will try to tell you, multiculturalism is working and people are living their lives peacefully, side-by-side and well.
Steve at the offical end of the walk. 3.45p.m. We made it with half an hour to spare before sundown.
The Holocaust memorial garden.
Hendon tube looking beautiful. And the best bit was it's Nothern line so all I had to do was sit (for 23 stops) to get home.
Meet me here on the 26th November?