Thursday, July 05, 2007

Capital Ring: Grove Park to Crystal Palace

London's erratic weather this week has frustrated my plans to finish off the Capital Ring walk, so we set off early this morning to attempt the second-last leg before lunchtime. The best laid plans of mike and malamutes...

First we fell victim to a security alert on the Piccadilly Line: a "smell of burning" (actually I thought the announcement said "bourbon") at Green Park station caused a shut down from there to Kings Cross station. Those of us already in transit were shunted across to the already packed and delayed District Line. Bondi took the overcrowding rather well, and I suspect he helped surrounding passengers turn their minds to other things while we all dealt with the situation.

From there it was Westminster station onto Waterloo station for the final leg down to Grove Park. I find that catching any of the suburban trains grafted onto the inner London network incredibly awkward to navigate. Ticketing systems differ between lines, and I thought all of them had now moved over to the Oyster Card electronic system. Not so! I managed to walk all the way down to the platform without passing a check-in barrier, and then had to walk out and convince the guards I'd passed moments before that I was looking for a ticket to depart, rather than an arriving fare-dodger.

Start- End- Overshoot

Then... several minutes at a machine with a lady positioned to press all the buttons, but who really couldn't figure out how to do a ticket with slightly different in and outbound legs. On the platform, another rail person told me to take the next train. Once on, and the doors had closed, I discovered that I was on an express train to Ramsgate, with first stop at Tonbridge. The ticket inspector - used to such situations - let me ride out the journey at no extra cost, before I was able to switch trains a couple more times to get back to Grove Park. All in all it took me at least 2 hours longer than planned just to get to the start of the walk.

After all that, I'm sorry to report the walk was rather uneventful. There was a bit of a problem with giant beetles in Crystal Palace Park, attacking London's main TV tower, but I'd rather not discuss that.

I received an email today from Kirsty in Zambia, who I met while touring through the castle in Prague several weeks ago. She sent on these photos of Bondi and the castle guard, using some in-camera distortion tricks.

1 comment:

  1. pm


    My name is Gordon Clarke. I am the Capital Ring Project Manager for Walk London. I have seen your blog and look forward to hearing that you will have completed the route. Would you please advise the approximate dates when you did the route? Upon completion I can send you a Completion Certificate when you send me your contact details.

    Best regards

    Gordon Clarke