Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Nearly in London

Tuesday 8 July

Well as we had no tent to pack away this morning we decided to have an extra 30 minutes in our sleeping bags on the floor of the ‘LG Hotel’. Tim, the Group Scout Leader, arrived at 8.30am for a natter and a wee souvenir (A 1st LG Scout name tape - thank you Tim). We wish we could reciprocate but unfortunately space and weight are two luxuries we don’t have.

The journey started with a visit to the local store to purchase fuel for my days walk ahead. Like a finely tuned athlete (stop laughing) I now consume regular snacks en-route to keep my now honed body in peak performance. 

Once supplies were purchased we set off, me to where I left off the previous day in Golden Valley near Ashridge College and Rachel to head to the next village which would be our first meeting point. Shortly into the walk my phone rang……”Tony have you seen my bike lock, either I have left it somewhere or it’s been stolen last night?” Well Rachel returned to the Scout hut to see if the lock was there, but no joy so assumed that it had been left on Monday at the campsite in the field. After leaving a message on the answer machine at the campsite a very nice man ( Rachels' words) rang her to say yes it was there and they would bring it to her to avoid the 2 hr detour in total to fetch it and return to Little Gadessden. When Rachel rang to inform me what was happening, she got weepy again (a now common occurrence), declared her love for the farmer and promised that she would give him a kiss……..a bit too much exuberance there I think, but a very nice gesture by the farmer never the less.

Eventually we met up slightly later than expected at our first meeting point but as we could not get into our accommodation until 10pm, time was of no importance.

The day progressed without any more hitches, “Gott sei Dank” and Rachel arrived at St Albans and headed to the Bakehouse cafe for tea, cake and free Wi-fi to catch up with all the happenings in the world, and Facebook.
My day continued as pleasantly as it had started with a mixture of relatively easy fields to walk through, sunny and a bit humid, almost traffic free lanes and the River Ver to walk along into St Albans. As my walk passed the Vervlamium Roman Town I took a peak to see the Roman Theatre and an old Roman house that has been discovered. I was surprised to see that it was free to get in…..very strange! As I walked to the main road I realised that if I had entered the other way I would have had to pay an entry fee. Now being an honest chappie I would have happily obliged but as I passed the ticket office the young lady sat at the desk was very enthusiastically munching on a sandwich whilst reading a current gossip magazine and totally oblivious to anything around. Well it would have been very discourteous of me to interrupt her meditative state so I happily walked on by.

Eventually I arrived at St Albans Cathedral and then had to find Rachel who was as she had informed me, at the Bakehouse…..where is that? My Scout skills kicked in and like a bloodhound I managed to track her down at the first attempt.

Esconced in the Bakehouse I promptly refuelled on an iced coffee and a strawberry and Lime slice…….heaven!

At just before 5pm as declared on the latest weather forecast the skies erupted with a deluge of rain…….o how we tittered as the locals in skimpy skirts, short and pumps grimaced at the idea of having to step outside. Like smug tourist we just sat there donned our waterproof trousers and jackets and happily stepped outside to stay as dry as a bone.

We wandered round to and into the Cathedral which used to be a much larger Benedictine Abbey in the 12c. If ever you are there we thoroughly recommend that you spend some time there.

Now we are catching up with our blog and walk journals at Wetherspoons, and true to there appetite for interesting buildings, this one is two separate barns ( 16c and 17c ) that have been relocated, put together to form one large building, and restored by company

We are residing in the library of the local Quaker meeting house tonight, but as it is a popular venue for activities we cannot get in until 10pm, so it will be a late night. When Rachel received an e-mail earlier in the week from the William the Clerk at the meeting house to offer us the venue, she got all warm and fuzzy again. There really are some very kind hearted people out there…..Thank you William.
Roman theatre

Modern figures in St Albans Abbey Church

St Alban's Shrine

Distance - 16 miles
Distance since Helmsley - 358.75 miles


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