Thanks to Tony Mangan for helping provide these articles
Walking Man – week 15 and 16 and 17 in the UK
Bidford-on-Avon to London, England, via Oxford. 10-11-2007 to
10-17-2007, 115 miles, 17,111 TOTAL WORLD WALK MILES.
Fall is here in England as I walk towards London. Leaves are
falling all around me as I walk down the small country lanes. Not quite
as good colors in the trees here in England as in New England. I read
that the cloudy and warm fall weather in England does not produce as
many Anthocyanins in the leaves as the cold sunny weather in New
England. The Anthocyanins have something to do with controlling the
leaf color. Nice, quiet, and peaceful on most of these small roads
with either tall hedgerows with some trees or through some really nice
wooded areas where the land owner has planted a 30 to 50 feet wide
strip of forest between his fields and the road. Sometimes I will be
walking down the road listening to a few birds, some insects, the wind
rustling the leaves in the top of the trees and then a leave with hit
me right in the head and surprise me. I stopped at one pub called the
Bull and Butcher in the small town of Turvile to fill up my water
bottles. They had a nice fire going in the fireplace as it was a nice
cool crisp fall day. As I was walking down the road the bartender
Johnny Wyatt ran after me with his guest book to sign. He said it was a
small town and not to many interesting people come through, so he
wanted me to sign the guest book. Lots of Pheasants running around the
fields and they often surprise we as they take wing right in front of
we with a loud rustle of wings.
Stopped at a car boot sale (similar to the flea markets in the
USA) just outside Bidford-on-Avon. Talked to one apple farmer with a
big variety of local apples and cider. He had one variety that looked
like a small brown potato. He called them Russets and they had a nice
crisp sweet flavor. He gave me a handful and a quart of his apple cider
to take with me on my walk. People are always asking me about my walk
and like to give me food and drink to help me on my way.
On one small local road I meet some Gypsy’s camped on the
roadside. They had two old style wooden horse drawn Gypsy wagons. Nice
campfire going on a cold morning and they invited me to join them for
tea and biscuits. Two big Welsh Cobb working horses were staked out to
graze on the roadside grass. I sat by the fire for a while and had a
nice chat with them. They had an old battered and blackened cast iron
tea pot sitting in the coals for heating tea water. Usually all the
Gypsy’s (or Travelers) I see now have modern metal caravans with
cars to pull them. These are the first old wooden horse drawn wagons I have
seen in a long time. I have thought of building a 2 or 4 wheel cart
out of bicycle wheels. I saw one nice design in the book “Tiny Tiny
Houses” by Lester Walker. I also found a website at
(http://www.troop655.org/cd/Camp%20Gadgets/TREKCART.htm ) on how to
build a boy scout two wheel cart for camping. They have a nice old
photo from 1925 of a group of Boy Scouts pulling 5 or 6 carts in a row
going on a camping trip. I think the article said it cost him $7 back
in 1925 to build one. Looks kind of like the Mormon hand carts they
used to walk from Illinois to Utah back in the 1850’s.
Stopped to visit a 1700 year old Roman Villa ruins near North
Leigh. Down a small dirt farm road and next to a cow pasture. Mostly
just the excavated foundations of a small
farm settlement with Roman baths, various outbuildings, wall enclosing the whole settlement, and a nice mosaic tile floor of the main house in a covered shed to protect
it. I camped right outside the gate next to the pasture. As I was
setting up my tent 40 small brown Guernsey cows came over to check me
out. I think they thought my green tent was a big green hay bale as
they kept sniffing at it and licking their lips as they stretched their
heads over the fence.
Just outside of Oxford I stopped and had a nice visit with a
friend from South Africa. Bertram Oozthuizen and his wife Rosalind took
me on a nice hike along the Thames river path down to The
Trout Pub. I had met him 11 years ago when I traveled down to South Africa with a
friend. As I was walking into Oxford one man smoking out by the end of
his driveway hailed me and asked what I was up to. John Walker invited
me in for coffee and biscuits and we had a nice chat.
He was retired from the Royal Dragoon Guards, a tank regiment and had a nice old army
surplus lightweight model Land Rover Defender in his driveway. He said
he also had a collection of old WWII Wiley Jeeps in his barn. I passed
through Oxford down nice pedestrian street with a few musicians busking
for tips. Lots of neat old Churches and college buildings in town.
In to London where I stopped to visit another friend from South
Africa and take a few days off. I will walk around London and see a few
sights before I take off. Will walk east along the Thames River path to
east coast, and then loop around south and west back to Gatwick Airport
in time for my flight home on October 30th.
Email me with questions or comments by clicking on reply, or from
my website at http://www.walkingman.org .
Keep on Walking, Biking, and Exercising, Life is Amazing if you
get outside and experience it.
London to Orpington, England via Thames path. 10-18-2007 to 10-24-2007,
56 miles, 17,167 TOTAL WORLD WALK MILES.
Nice relaxing stay in London for 3 days with my old friend Helene
from South Africa. Took lots of hot showers, washed up my clothes and
ate lots of toast with lots of butter and jam. Took a couple nice walks
around the city to see the sights. Something like 10 million people
living in the city from all over the world. Lots of people from UK
commonwealth countries that used to be part of the British Empire. Plus
all kinds of Eastern Europeans have come here since they joined the EU.
It can get pretty hectic at night with all kinds of people going out to
the pubs, theaters, restaurants and shopping. Kind of strange riding
around on the double decker buses. The streets are so narrow and cars
and people are always darting out it from every where. It feels like
the bus is going to crash into something all the time when I ride up on
top in the front window seats. I think they need to get those Harry
Potter magic buses that collapse real narrow to squeeze through
traffic. Walked on the Thames path through the city on the south bank
where they have the London Eye, a big Ferris wheel with gondolas to see
the city on. They have lots of artists performing for tips on the big
walkway. A few musicians, escape artists, and a lot of statue people.
The statue people paint themselves different colors and have elaborate
costumes and stand perfectly still until you drop a coin in their pot.
Then they do a little short act or let you take their photo with them.
Stopped at the British Science Museum for another look around as it is
always my favorite.
Only have a week left till I fly back to USA, so I just did a
short walk east of the city along the Thames River Path until it was
time to head down to Gatwick for my flight. Took me a day and a half to
get out of London. I think it is about 20 miles wide, so it takes a
while before you get out of the city and reach the country and farm
fields where I like to camp. Luckily they have lots of parks and
commons where I can always find a hidden place to camp. Most people
live in multistory buildings as opposed to detached houses so they need
lots of parks to walk their dogs in. Getting dark around 6pm, so I have
been stopping by 4 or 5 to find a nice place to camp with some deadwood
around for a campfire. The Commons usually have a plaque describing the
history going back hundreds or even thousands of years of use by local
people for grazing, thatch, wood and walking. Usually they were granted
to somebody by the King, the Church or some Lord. The dogs usually find
me when I set up camp and get my fire going. Sometimes they come over
and stare at me or sniff around my campsite. Some people come over to
talk to me and see what I am up to. I guess the commons are for
everybody to use as long as you do not leave a mess and respect the
land. Nobody has told me I can not camp there. I have been getting a
pretty good sized fire going in the evening and morning as it has been
getting pretty cold at night. No real hurry now to do a lot of miles so
I usually sit in my tent and listen to BBC on my radio and watch the
fire for an hour or two. Lots of big old trees in the commons. Always
nice to camp under a huge old oak tree and wonder who else has camped
under this tree in the last 500 years of English history.
Headed a little east of London, then back to London to visit my
friend again and down to Gatwick airport for my flight back to the USA
on October 30Th. Will be back in the Newfane, New York area for a week
and then head cross country to visit friends before I have to start
work down in Key Largo, Florida. Feel free to email me if you want me
to give a free talk about my world walk or just visit.
Email me with questions or comments by clicking on reply or from
my website at http://www.walkingman.org .
Keep on Walking, Biking, and Exercising, Life is Amazing if you
get out there and Experience it.
Gary “Walkingman” Hause. __________________________________________________
Walkingman’s 17th and Final Week Across UK and Ireland.
Posted By: Tony Mangan.
Orpington to Gatwick, England via London. 10-25-2007 to 10-31-2007, 53 miles, 17,220 TOTAL WORLD WALK MILES.
Cold, cloudy, and raining off and on the last week in England. So I headed back to London to visit my friend Helene in Brixton again for a couple days before I walk down to the Gatwick Airport. Days are getting really short and cooler, so I have been stopping early to find a good camping spot with lots of dead wood for a campfire.
One man stopped to chat and gave me a hot Cornish pastry from the local bakery. He said I looked cold and wet and needed something hot in me. Walked down to Gatwick the day before my flight and camped in some woods near the airport. Wheeled my baby jogger into the airport and dismantled it and packed it up in a plastic feed bag near the check in counter. Lots of airport employees came over to chat and find out what I was up to. I always consider it a successful trip if I am still alive and healthy when I fly home. 2126 miles in 17 weeks walking across the UK and Ireland. Met lots of great people and saw lots of great places. Always amazes me how few problems I encounter and how many nice people stop to chat, give me advice, money, food, and sometimes invite me into their home for a home cooked meal, hot shower and a warm bed. Lots of nice people out there and very few bad ones as long as you have a good attitude, smile, say hello, and try to learn a little about their culture and language. I hope I have inspired some people to go out and travel and have an adventure.
Still have a month off till I have to start work at the Ocean Reef Club (www.oceanreef.com) down in Key Largo, Florida. So I will drive out west to check on my cabin at Brian Head, Utah. Also visit some friends in Pennsylvania, Virgina, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Missouri. Looking forward to working the winter in the Keys and plan my next walk. After camping out in a tent and taking sponge baths for 4 months it is always nice to have a place to stay with a warm bed and lots of hot showers every day.
Have not made a final decision yet, but maybe either across Australia or London, England to Shanghai, China. Looks like about 10,000 miles across Europe and Asia so I would have to break that up into 4 or 5 sections over the next 4 or 5 summers. So I might do Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, and Ukraine, next summer depending on how far I get in 5 or 6 months, and then continue on the next summer from wherever I stop. Will have to do some research on the route, weather, visa’s and other factors.
Will get my 3 rolls of film developed for this trip and put them on my website as soon as I can. Looking to try and put a book together this winter. Someone told me about a web based “print on demand” (POD) publisher at www.booklocker.com . You put together a book in PDF format and put it on their website for a setup fee of $500. They advertise it and when someone orders a copy they print up one copy and mail it out and give you a cut of the profit. I would like to get a laptop and go back over all my weekly articles and rewrite them, add my best photos, and my comic strip guy said he would draw up a bunch more strips to put in my book. Easier than trying to get an agent and publishing contract with a major publisher. But if you have a good book and get some publicity sometimes you can get a real publishing deal. So I will let everybody know if and when I finish it and have a book already to buy.
Thanks to everybody out there that helped me on my walk and all the nice emails that people have been sending me.
Email me with questions or comments by clicking on reply or from my website at www.walkingman.org .
Keep on Walking, Biking, and Exercising. Life is Amazing if you get out there and Experience it.
Gary “Walkingman” Hause.