A more rural route to-day, mostly on the Grand Union canal mainline and Slough arm.
22km [14m] mostly heading due west with just two short stretches due north, the first up the Grand Union Canal and the second from Slough to Stoke Poges.
Walked down to the high street and joined the canal at lock 100. This is the lock that John and I had so much trouble with on our way down as we didn't see the gantry steps in the dark. It had to be operated from the central console and although this was easy to get onto with the lock full, it meant a mad leap for Cribbit's roof for me once the lock was empty.
Lock 100 with invisible gantry
Walking on the tow path was much easier than on the hard streets of London Town of the day before. Being on the canal means that there are mileposts and of course I became fixated by them, noting my time between each one. Very disconcerting too as all my planning had been in kilometers. Anyway, I was pretty consistent at 20 minutes a mile, 3 mph.
First landmark of the day, The Glaxo Smith Kline building
Then the long rise up the Hanwell flight, keeping a good lookout for the Southall gasometer. just visible in this pic.
A photostop for the boatyard at Southall, my home for 8 weeks when I first moved down here. Now taken over by BW without any moorings or handy boat mending facilities. Though they do still have the boat lift where I hung suspended for several days. The elusive [to me] gasometer just visible over the roof of the dock!
Boat yard at Southall
Southall is also home to the Southall Sikh Gurdwara which Honda took Thomas and I to a few years ago, which was an amazing experience.
Bull's bridge and the turn off for the Paddington Arm
Nestle's instant coffee factory, the next landmark, usually smelled before seen
The outliers to Stockley Park, always called Shockley Park by me
The entrance to the Slough arm of the Grand Union canal at the Cowley-Peachey junction
On my way down to London from Solihull I passed this junction and wondered at the time if I would ever go down there. Actually, I've been there quite often.
The M25 crosses the Slough arm.
A seminal moment on the journey home. The moment when I felt I had left London and was heading for pastures different if not exactly new. For the first mile I was convinced that I had moved down a gear and was going slower. Milepost times showed otherwise.
Another place I have commuted to work from, this time while Cribbit's bottom was shot blasted and blacked.
The 'unlovely' end of the navigation
Progressed through the nether regions of Slough to arrive at Stoke Poges and the 'Green Man' bed and breakfast.
In commuting from Highline, sometimes I would have to come back via Slough station and there discovered this remarkable dog. Probably rather more than you really want to know about this dog and other dogs.
The Green Man 'guest house'
Spent an 'interesting' evening and night here.
Mine host was well OTT and a very opinionated and energetic sort of bloke. 'I'm not saying I know it all,cos I don't', 'At the end of the day.... it gets dark'.
I don't think I have ever heard the full version of this saying before.
He had two afghan hounds, which he advised me not to go near, advice I was pleased to keep. His employee had not been so astute and said to me: 'No, don't go near they afghans, that ginger one bit me in the face last week and perforated my eyelid. Luckily I heal real quick'
Went out for a curry just up the road, which was excellent and then home to bed. The building was quite old, half timbered in places. I could tell this as the plaster had been knocked off the walls and the bare bricks exposed. Still everything was clean and most of the wall surface was covered with interesting pictures and modern prints. What was not so succesful was the bathroom light switch which was hanging loose on its pattress box, plaster and screws having been swept away from behind it.
The sink was a bit peculiar also as when I went to turn on the cold water tap to brush my teeth the whole thing and all the tiles behind it moved too.
What was disconcerting , and I didn't work this out until the morning, was that there was a full length mirror opposite the bathroom door. So I got quite a shock, in the night when I got up to use the facilities, when I saw this hairy, withered and emaciated arm reaching out to open the bathroom door, only to discover that it was mine.
One has to expect strange things in a place called the Green Man.
Didn't even try to work out the dynamics of the owner/occupants of the place. Terry was the person I booked up with and he was running a second hand car business from the carpark. He was also in need of an anger management course, though I suspect he probably had reason to be mad.
In the morning, to my surprise,I found him asleep on one of the chesterfields, the dogs occupying the other.
I could see that if there was to be a breakfast, and this looked doubtful, then it would put me well behind schedule so decided to get on the open road.
I had expected to put a link in for the place here, but apparently it is no longer operating, or keeping a low profile. This is an old link I think: Green Man.
Continue to Day 3