Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Taking on the challenge of the 180 mile Thames Path - the Thames Barrier to Deptford

For about ten years I have wanted to walk the Thames path but somehow it never happened.  I did make a attempt a few years back however I was not feeling well at the time,  I had train delays and when I finally got there the path was blocked.  "Sod it" I yelled (well it was something a bit stronger actually) and gave up.  It still niggled at me though and while I have walked along the Thames path in central London many a time I knew I wanted to do it properly and that was walking from end to end.  Of course I know I won't be able to walk the whole 180 miles on this trip; it's just not possible. The Thames Path begins or ends... take your pick - at the source near Cricklade in Gloucestershire and ends/begins at the Thames Barrier in east London.  There is actually now an extension further east but for now it's not part of the official route.  The Thames Barrier has been operational since 1982 and its purpose is to prevent London from flooding.  The Thames is a tidal river and there have been many floods in London in the past.  The barriers shut when the water reaches a certain level.  Unfortunately the visitors Centre was closed today or I would have visited it.  The area I walked in today was previously all docklands and has been redeveloped for residential and commercial use.  When I first started coming to London forty years ago walking here would not have been possible.

I took a selfie of myself on my phone before I set off.  I can count the number of selfies I've done on one hand so let's just say I am not an expert.  Luckily a couple of ladies came along and one happily took a photo on my camera for me.  They were setting up a walk for their Women's Institute group and had walked from Woolwich and were hoping to get to Greenwich.  Okay now is the embarrassing part - I ate their dust... they had at least ten years on me and one was even wearing normal flat dress shoes and whoosh they were gone.  I wanted to take my time, take photos and observe everything... well that's my excuse!

This area brings in materials for mining and processing aggregates. 

Someone wanted to create a Caribbean beach!

Emirates cable cars across the Thames
Canary Wharf

Another view- love the sculpture.

It wasn't always a smooth path - glad I was wearing hiking boots.

Sometimes things got in the way!!

Royal Naval College in Greenwich

More construction

In a private garden

The 02 arena where I was supposed to see the Who....Paul, how about it? 

Cutty Sark, Greenwich

Love the name

A boat was going through so we had to wait for the bridge to be rotated back so we could cross

Peter the Great of Russia - strange statue erected 300 years after he came to the London docklands to study ship building

This is where I will start the walk again next time.

Back on the train
 I hope you enjoyed coming along with me on my 5 mile walk.

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