Day 97 – East Tilbury to Hoo

Who? What? Where? Well we’re at Allhallows actually, on the Hoo peninsula. But the start and end points for today are not related in the slightest to the walk. For today was all about London.

My principles of engagement allowed me to cross from Tilbury to Gravesend on the ferry, the lowest crossing point. But, as in Bristol and Newcastle, where I chose an iconic bridge upstream, I came inland to cross the Thames on Tower Bridge.

I felt something of an occasion, because London is little more than an hour from home, the closest I have been walking to home since February. I know I’m heading for a few days out to the far east of Kent now, but the Thames definitely marked a divide for me – I’m back in the southeast.

It’s quite amazing how the crowds disappeared the moment I turned east along Southwark embankment. Gone were the Chinese and Japanese on wedding shoots and group selfie parties. Nowhere were the masses seeing the world through cell phones. Out through Bermondsey and Surrey Quays and Greenwich I found instead deserted riverside paths, quiet parks, shiny apartment blocks and old pubs.

The last half mile to Woolwich became industrial again before I jumped on a train to meet Carolyn at Gravesend. But on the whole this was a great walk and such a change.

Last day of biking tomorrow – but a busy day – before getting back on foot for the long push homewards.

… Ken

6th October

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