stephencanwalk


Land’s End to London (Walking Diary Part 1) 第一程: 海角至倫敦日誌
June 4, 2007, 10:41 pm
Filed under: 小綠步行日誌 The Walk

end-to-end-walk-2.jpgend-to-end-walk-1.jpg                                 Land’s End in the morning 8 May 2007     二零零七年五月八日早上海角起程 

7 May 2007 (Monday)

Driven to Penzance by Katy Tse-Blair on the public holiday Monday.  Stayed at The Bay Hotel Penzance and had a delicious meal. 

2007 年五月七日(星期一)

一口氣由依士靈頓華人協會創辦人謝錦霞從倫敦載送到康禾郡 Penzance。  宿半山酒店。

8 May 2007 (Tuesday) (Day1) Heavy rain in the afternoon

Land’s End to Praa Sands.  A short drive of 10 miles from Penzance to Land’s End.  A group of some 20 cyclists were also preparing their End to End trip escorted by car.  After signing off at the log book placed at Land’s End Hotel, marching off along the coastal route towards Penzance at 11 am.  The view was breathtaking, but it doubled the time to meander along the ups and downs coastal path.  Lunch at Lamorra Pottery tried the local Nelwyn Crabmeat sandwich and a large pot of tea.

After lunch, a farmer on a tractor very kindly took me to near Penzance!  I tried to make up the late start and resorted to partly walking along the A394, then the rain came and made the first day more adventurous.  I walked into the open door of Mzima B&B at Praa Sands as I was the only guest for the evening.  Room charge was £20 and the owner Michael took me to the Coach and Horses Free House and return for £2.  I had a beeftail and 2 pints of Guinness to complete the first day. 

2007 年五月八日(星期二) (第一日) 午後大雨

在海角酒店步行者日誌上留言,拍照出發。同時有一單車隊20多人,打算兩星期內到達天涯;還有指揮汽車随隊。Land’s End 沿海不難行,但高高低低路線就長多了。康禾水藍山青,空氣清鮮。午膳於當地小店,嘗紐崙蟹三文治。午膳後一農夫載我一程。

第一日趕路,顧不得看太多風景;且下午連續大雨。狂奔找到 Praa Sands 一小旅館,館主接載到回頭路酒吧;吃牛排及兩大杯黑啤。

9 May 2007 (Wednesday) (Day 2) Rain

Praa Sand to Truro.  A very good sleep.  Started at 8.25am to Truro via Helston.  (Floral Festival was held yesterday at Helston!)  Tried to avoid the A394, but lost my way on several occasions and the field paths were very muddy.  Had garlic susage, green salad and Cornish ice cream for lunch at a country shop near St. Chians & Sitthians.  The local shop owner kindly showed me the old Truro road all the way to Truro arriving at 7pm.  Stayed at the Bay View B&B for a twin room.  Dinner tried the Cornish Knocker Ale and Sardine at the Globe.  Legs were really tired.  Test tried the Chinese herbal oil given by Yuet Ha, an Islington Chinese Association member.  

2007 年五月九日(星期三) (第二日) 連續大雨

真好睡。七點半吃早餐,八點25分起程。想回到海邊但迷途多次,田野泥濘。中午吃冷餐蒜頭香腸、菜沙律及當地雪糕。店主指點行舊路,一路到Truro,已是晚上七時。找到小旅館後,嘗當地啤酒及沙甸魚。夜雙脚小試會友李月霞贈送葯酒。

10 May 2007 (Thursday) (Day 3) Rain

From Truro to Indian Queens.  Strayed on the way to within 2 miles to Newquay.  Very annoyed with myself.  Then negotiated the way to Newlyn East, have garlic bread and  large pot of tea at the Pheasant Inn.   The Newlyn East Post Office Master very kindly gave me 2 local maps and I walked my way through the rain to the destination.  Stopped at St. Enoder Church and wondered why there was a service in the late afternoon.  A Manchester United supporter said his sister, another MU supporter would be married on Saturday and they were rehearsing.  They were from Indian Queens and he twice urged me to take a lift, I reluctantly accepted, for I did not want to wet and soil the car seats.  Stayed at the Racorny Hotel for £20.  Tried the busy New Garden Chinese Restaurant nearby, you should have known my verdict on the food. 

Tony Blair announced he will stepped down as Leader fo the Labour Party at the end of June.

2007 年五月十日(星期四) (第三日) 連續大雨

天雨,八時四十五分出發。明明是從 Idleness 森林出發,怎知卻偏西幾乎走到了 Newquay;好一段來回十里路!垂頭喪氣捱到了 Newlyn East,喝過大壺茶蒜頭飽後;到當地郵局找局長老頭問路。行行重行行,行到古舊的 St. Enoder 教堂避雨。看看男女老少出出入入;問穿着曼聯球衣青年人在攪甚麼玩意,原來是他姊姊星期六結婚,正在綵排。剛巧他們住在距離二里的印地皇后區 (Indian Queens), 死拖硬拉也把我這名曼聯擁躉送到目的地。

姓黃的新園中餐館開了十多年,地方不少,生意也不俗。點了雜滙飯和青島啤酒,水準也是意料之中。是日首相貝理雅宣佈將於六月底辭去工黨黨魁職位。

11 May 2007 (Friday) (Day 4) Heavy Rain

Fron Indian Queens to St. Breward.  Started at 8.30am arriving the Camel Trail at aournd 2.45pm.  Stopped at the Borough Arms for tea and recess from the heavy rain.   When approaching St. Breward at 7.30pm with very weary legs, there were no B&B vacancies around the foothill area.  I had to climbed the steep hill to look for a room.  First found Bob’s Tarny for a double room with panoramic view for £30 (discount from £35), afte walking another 3/4 miles to the very busy Old Inn (the only Pub in the village) it was fully booked becauce there were a wedding party on Saturday!  The chef at the Old Inn owned the B&B.  Fortunately I could secure a room by phone at Tarny and settled down to enjoy my local Sharp’s Doomber Bitter and the Rump Steak.

2007 年五月十一日(星期五) (第四日) 連續大雨

八時半出發,下午約二時四十五分抵達駱駝驛道,非常靜謐舒爽;雨勢更大;躲進酒館喝茶避雨。晚上七時半左右抵達 St. Breward 山腳,只想找小旅館;偏偏最大一間正在維修。只有硬着頭皮爬高山,又碰到明天有婚宴,吃住兩難。幸好還是找到了一間景緻開闊的雙人間;在村莊唯一酒館吃大餐。那一座康禾郡最高的教堂,也無心觀賞了。

12 May 2007 (Saturday) (Day 5) Heavy Rain

St. Breward to Launceston.  Had fruit breakfast.  Delayed departure at 8.45pm because of heavy rain.  All the way up the Moors, lambs were with their babies, white ones, black ones, what a caring motherly scene.  One also experienced the stares of the cows.  Walked all the way into Camelford Town, went to the Tourist Information Center, got some cash from Natwest Bank automatic machine.  Had cream tea at the Four Seasons owned by a Mr. Chan from Hong Kong.  Chan first came and stayed with relatives in Newcastle then started his business at the quiet town of Camelford couple of years ago.  After lunch negotiating the uphill path back to Rough Tor.  When I was enjoying the vastness and openness of the Moors at the National Cycle Rout No. 3; Cliff, an old miner from Derbyshire now lives at Tregoodwell for more than 20 years,  was driving his wife June to shop at Launceston in thier blue 5 doors T798JCV.  He insisted to give me a lift to Launceston.  But I thanked him and requested to be dropped halfway.  Finally it was compromised that he would drop me at Pipers Pool.  It took me another 2 hours to walk to Launceston.

Found an attic room 6 at the Eagle Huse Hotel next to the Castle for £37.  Have a delicous fish & chips (Haddock, the peas mash was especially tasty) at the Launceston Fryers with John Smith.  Jane Noble, the young female fish fryer of the yer 2005, came out to say hello.

There was another wedding at the Banqueting Hall and the music did not stop until really late.  I applied nearly all the Chinese herbal oil on both legs and hopefully the lingering smell would not be too strong.  

2007 年五月十二日(星期六) (第五日) 連續大雨

大雨,八時四十五分出門。從高山走向荒野,空無一人。小小羊兒依憑母親,舐犢情深。現在才明白牛咁眼望着你;步行多里下山到駱駝城 (Camelford)。找旅遊諮詢中心、提款;在四季餐室吃下午茶。靜坐河畔;主人姓陳,香港來先住紐卡素,茶室開了數年。

午茶後再爬山走回 Bodmin Moor, 正在欣賞 Rough Tor天蒼野茫景色;一名住在附近的前打吡郡礦工 Cliff 和他的太太 June 駕着藍色五門轎車正要到 Launceston 購物,硬要邀請我一同前往;幾經妥協,才將我放到一處叫 Pipers Pool 的地方;再步行二小時,下午五時左右到了 Launceston.

這是康禾郡古時首都,酒店在廢堡旁邊,住在閣樓六號房,也要£37一晚。是晚外出吃出名的炸魚薯條,那個青荳蓉最好吃 (這個我通常是不大吃的)。酒店有婚宴,勁浪響徹半夜;我替雙腳搽月霞所贈葯油,一睡到天明。

13 May 2007 (Sunday) (Day 6) Heavy Rain

Launceston to Okehampton.  Heavy rain delayed departure till 9.30am.  There is no bus service in and out of Launceston, therfore no matter which day you started, walking is the only means of transport for backpackers.  Walked past part of the 2 Castle Trail and the Granite Way, then reached the very pretty scenic spot at Sourton and the Meldon Viaduct.  Rain stopped at 4pm but raining again at 6.30pm.  The 13th century thatched Bearslake Inn is stunning, but closed for the day at 4pm so I missed my tea.  Stayed at an attic room at the Meadowlea Guest House for £27.50.  Had salmon fillet at the local Flune Feathers Pub.  Walked from Cornwall into Devonshire at last!  Recorded interview by the Manchester Chinese Radio.

2007 年五月十三日(星期日) (第六日) 連續大雨

大雨,整個城市沒有巴士服務,任何日子出發都只有靠行路。四小時雨中,終於到了漂亮的 Sourton, 黄花遍野,紫杜鵑盛放;Meldon 交滙點斧鑿神功,也從康禾郡踏入了德雲郡。午後曼城中文電台訪問。晚宿 Okehampton 小旅館閣樓,和洗手間、浴室相連;鄰房一法國青年人公幹租住九個星期,每次沖廁的聲響都清晰如奔流。

14 May 2007 (Monday) (Day 7) Overcast

Okephamton to Crediton then Tiverton.  Got lost at the Abbeyford Forest.  Then detoured to visit the beautiful village Sampford Courtenay, a thatched village related to the Bible Rebellion.  Had tomato soup and ham salad at the quiet New Inn.  It just happened there is an infrequent bus service to Crediton, it was huge relief by having a comfortable and timely bus ride, seeing many more small villages and the wide fields without moving your legs.  Since the route form Crediton to Tiverton is not regarded as scenic, I simply waited for the old, medium size and infrequent bus meandering into Tiverton in the evening.  Stayed at Bridge Guest House, after searching for cheaper options for more than an hour with no avail, at a discounted rate of £22.  The steak at the White Ball downed with Guinness was a wonderful treat.  

2007 年五月十四日(星期一) (第七日) 天陰

在森林裏迷途,一氣之下跑了五里路,去看地圖上註明美麗的千年村落 Sampford Courtenay,茅頂房舍,曾遭皇帝殺戮摧毀的千年教堂;也改變了只靠行路的心態,有機會溜着看看風土人情,閒談十數分鐘,更是樂趣。美麗古村竟然有不頻密的巴士服務到目的地。坐巴士的感覺真舒服,東看西看就到了 Crediton。我不太歡喜從那裏到 Tiverton 的步程;發現有巴士貫穿兩地,雖然巴士又殘又小又不頻密,又有何相干。

在 Tiverton 天使山找到橋頭酒店,雙人房收費£40。  不服氣下找了個多小時也找不到其他客棧;唯有死死地氣回到 Bridge Guest House,女主人 Susan 和顏悅色地說剛好有一小小單人房,而且從£25減為£22一夜。今夜的牛扒和黑啤特別美味。幾乎用完了月霞送的舒筋活絡油。

15 May 2007 (Tuesday) (Day 8) Rain

Tiverton to Taunton.  Walked in soaking rain for 2 hours from 9am.  Passed through Langford Budville, another villiage mentioned in the Doomsday Book.  The Devon Walk along the Grand Western Canal was pretty, swans with their chicks, serenity at Sampford Peverell to Halberton.  Walked from Devonshire into Somerset.  Spent the night at Joseph Mo Szekeung’s Willow House at Taunton.  Mrs. Mo prepared a sumptuous Chinese dinner and red wine, their daughter Susan was also summoned back for the soup of the night. 

2007 年五月十五日(星期二) (第八日) 又是雨

九時出發,一直淋了兩小時。沿着西域大運河向東北行,看到占據不同河域的天鵝家庭,Sampford Peverell 至 Halberton 一帶美靜,經過千年古村 Langford Budville, 愈接近森麻實山脈,景緻愈開闊。Taunton 詩人巫仕强及女兒蘇珊來接,巫夫人烹調美食,柳蘆一宿無話,又聞鳥語花香。 

16 May 2007 (Wednesday) (Day 9) Rain

Taunton to Street.  Mo kindly showed me the path to the Bridgewater & Taunton Canal.  The foorpaths were very muddy and some of the fileds and footpaths were declared as new calf danger zone and closed.  Thus with my limited knowledge in maps I was destined to be lost.  Wandered into the small hillside village of Knapp, a respectable older lady gave me a pound for my Charity Walk.  Walked into the wrong and opposite direction to Ham, then turned back again and again towards North Curry.  Had lunch at the posh A Bird in Hand Pub.  Then 2 and quarter miles to Stoke St. Gregory leading to Burrowbridge, then Middlezoy.  This is a muddy and complicated path covered by 3 different explorer maps as illustrated in Andrew McCloy’s book.  I could not cut through the A361 to turn right at the Greylake Bridge to follow King Sedgemoor’s Drain until Cradle Bridge.  I was extremely wary about the speeding traffic of the A361. 

I did not know how, after a long walk I ended up at a caravan site at Othery.  I asked an older man Daivid Williams and his wife how to avoid the busy traffic.  David was from Wales and now lives in Somerset, they were unloading their stuff and then collecting  friends from Dover for a trip to Wales.  He could not think of an alternative way for safe walking, therefore he drove me in his R57YYA car to the junction of the A361, approximately 3-4 miles away.  From there I walked by the back road to Street, passing the Holy Trinity Church at 6.10pm in Walton.  Street was another mile away.  A really long and narrow Street.  Hotels were very expensive. The Wessex Hotel which was under renovation still charged £65, though I managed to negotiate the tariff to £37.50 including breakfast.  Dinner at the next door Mullions Hotel was quiet with good local food, it did not come cheap though.     

2007 年五月十六日(星期三) (第九日) 都是雨

行路難,行泥路更難。仕強兄指路,很快便走進田野,因為小牛剛出生,農莊主人把去路封閉以免危險。很快便失去了 River Tone 的踪影。走進了山上小村 Knapp,一名端装不太老太太贊助我一塊錢作慈善步行。卻不知怎樣不懂得轉彎,一直往下走到了 Ham, 唯有再回頭往山上走到 North Curry。  這裏的人一定不窮,地方名稱都和食物有關。那間叫一鳥在手的酒吧,顧客全是衣冠楚楚的老紳士淑女,酒保幾乎不願意接待我。

午後再步行至不近的 Burrowbridge 和 Middlezoy;跟着幾經艱苦才找到A361;但這條主幹公路實在太彎太窄,多巨型車車速又快。查實正在 Othery 一處流動汽車營地;一對年紀不少的夫婦正在搬運車尾箱物事。來自威爾斯的 David Williams 現住在森麻實;他也想不出安全的步行路徑,好人的他就親自用他的R57YYA私家車送我一程。他稍後還要到都佛港接載友人,然後到威爾斯去。

Street 顧名思義是一條東西很長的街;第一印象就是警車經常出沒,感覺上問題青少年的反社會行為頗為嚴重。酒店都很貴,已沒有精力去找 B&B 了。住那間正在維修,要由後街門出入的 Wessex Hotel, 也要£65一夜不包早餐。講價之下才減到£37.50包早餐,那麼早餐的質素如何猜想可知。到隔鄰更貴的 Mullians 酒店晚餐。

瞓街 (Street) 時發覺右腳二趾及尾趾,左腳尾趾趾甲皆有血漬。步行至第九日,肩膊開始感到壓力;本來不重的背囊,卻像忽然重了一倍有多。 

17 May 2007 (Thursday) (Day 10) Overcast

Street to Bath.  Visited the Clarkes Shoe Musuem opposite to the Hotel at 10am.   Went to the Tourist Information Office and bought an OD map of Skepton Malet & Mendip Hills East.  However, after reaching Glastonbury, I picked up the National Cycle Route No. 3 and decided to walk all the way to Wells.  A cyclist gave me a choice of highlighters for good luck of the End to End Walk, I of course chose a green one.  Walked up to the Mendips by the infamous Long Drove Rhyne to Launcherly, really a long long drove for more than 2 hours walk of unchaged landscape looking southward the Glastonbury Tor.  Cream tea at the Bekynton Brasserie in front of the Wells Cathedral.  Then took bus No. 173 to Bath at 1643 hour arriving at 1800 hour.

There is a Bath Backpackers Hotel, the young lady very kndly explained to me for a 10 people dormitory the charge is £13, 8 people dormitory is £15, and for 4 people it will be £16.  I then realized I had well passed the age of living in a large dorm!  The Bath YMCA charged £25 for a basic room only including simple continenal breakfast.  Dinner at the Sam Wellers for a Stilton Steak at £8.95 was good value.  I left the green highlighter and the OD map of the Mendip Hills to the YMCA for better use. 

2007 年五月十七日(星期四) (第十日) 天陰

這裏是其士鞋的發源地和總部,上午參觀了它的鞋子博物館;少不了也有中國的三寸金蓮紮腳小鞋。到旅遊中心買地圖,跟着向井 (Wells) 和浴室 (Bath) 進發。經過世界聞名的 Glastonbury Tor,到 Wells 途中,一名單車友任我選擇一支螢光筆作為長征護身符;我當然選了綠色。Wells 的大教堂名不虛傳,但在它大門前的茶室的水準只是差強人意。行單車公路也乏味,在 Wells 搭巴士到 Bath。

旅遊名城巴芙當然不俗。大街上找到背囊團旅館。年輕的女孩告訴我十人房只收£13, 八人房£15, 四人房£16。這時才深切感到我也早過了公社式的大鍋飯年代;和陌生人同房再不是容易事。地點適中、設備原始的青年旅舍收費£25,有簡單早餐,算了不願再找了。反而晚膳選擇不少,豐儉由人。

18 May 2007 (Friday) (Day 11) Rain

Bath to Melksham.  Left the YMCA at 9.15am.  The first person jumped into the Tourist Information Centre, a lady gave me the leftlet of the Kennet & Avon Canal showing the detailed path from Bristo to Reading, a total of 108 miles.  87 miles from Bath to Reading.  Joined the free local tour from 10.30am-12.45pm.  Had a Wiltshire ham salad before ventured along the Canal going East.  Stayed at another Doomsday village at the Conigre Farm Hotel in Melksham at a reduced rate of £50 for B&B.  A 400 years old farm house of 8 bedrooms run by a young couple.  My spacious room was called David Copperfield’s Lounge.  Had fillet steak at the next door West End Inn also called the Hungry Horse.

2007 年五月十八日(星期五) (第十一日) 天陰、大雨

第一個進入旅遊諮詢中心,拿到了由巴芙到雷丁的運河路線圖,87哩路約四天總可以走完。早上參加了巴芙免費導遊團,講解動聽。午後吃過 Whitshire 火煺沙律,隨運河向東走,走到了千年古村 Melksham;好不容易才找到了一間有400年歷史,由農舍改造酒店,我的房間竟然是狄更斯筆下的大衛高柏菲爾套間,窮小子住闊屋,減了價還要£50一夜。吃了牛扒餐,早早睡一舒服好覺。

19 May 2007 (Saturday) (Day 12) Rain & Sunny

Melksham to Pewsey – a wonderful day.  After breakfast, started walking 45 minutes back to the Kennet & Avon Canal!  Caught a pair of swans with their 8 chicks enjoying sunshine on the bank.  The amazing 27 locks at Devizes, 16 middle locks at Caen Hill will take more than 4 hours to get through.  Had Soup of the Day and a larrge pot of tea at Caen Hill Cafe.  Hurried up to the Barge Inn at Honeystreet to catch the FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United.  The prolonged boring game ended 1-0 at extra time for a Chelsea win.  Then after a couple of miles walk, at 7pm I was ready to call it a day and saw a B&B notice board leading to the Golden Swan Pub.  I thought it must be Pewsey.

I asked a gentleman who was reversing his car from the front court garden near the road entrance to the village for the pub, he pointed to me the direction and sped away.  Within no time, the middle aged gentleman came around and pointed the location to me again, he began counting a stack of money and gave me £20.  He said he had a lot of respect for charity walkers.  When I walked into the pub, the pub master kindly said that there are only caravan and camp site B&B for travellers.  However, in beween serving his locals, he tried to make several phone calls from his phone with no avail.  He wrote down a couple of telephone numbers for me, but highly recommended the Wilcot Lodge to me since I am in the Wilcot village.  Of course, I coud not find the church, and an older lady at the end of the Church Road very kindly pointed me to the end of the Road.  I still could not locat the Wilcot Lodge, but then a young couple were going to walk their dogs when I spotted them at the end of the Road.  The gentleman was very warm and said that he would look up the Lodge for me, for it is their neighbour and it was virtually 5 yards from where we were standing.  Dogs were barking inside the house, a really nice garden and the private B&B only took reservations through the internet.  However, there was no response from the household and noone answered the phone, and the young couple had not got their neighbour’s mobile phone numbers.  Orlando Harris and his wife Laura kindly invited me back to their typical thatched Wiltshire house to make further phone calls, Orland invited me for a drink and I had water.  At last Laura thought of a friend Caroline Dalrymple at number 29 High Street opposite to the Lloyds Bank at Pewsey.  Orlando drove me for  2 miles to the B&B in his Benz Y356Nam (what a coincidence the car plate is my Chinese name, and my brother-in-law is also a Harris!)    

Caroline is 70 years old, very alert and runs her memorabilia shop on the ground floor.  A big house and the room was very cosy although it costed £35.  She believed in education, obviously not a Labour supporter, and sent her 3 children to private eduaction and make themselves useful.  She keeps 3 playful dogs and one of them jumped into my bed the next morning and my screaming was the alarm bells.

On that Saturday evening, all pubs did not do food, and the famous French Horn is a mile away.  I settled for fish and chips from the local Chinese Dragon Take Away.  I could not finished the chips. 

2007 年五月十九日(星期六) (第十二日) 晴天有雨

走回運河也要45分鐘。中午抵達運河最高點 Caen Hill。在 Devizes 一帶有27道水閘,最頻密的中段有16道;通過它要四個半小時;真是人行快過艇。喝過湯喝過茶,趕到蜜糖街 (Honeystreet) 的酒吧看足總盃决賽車路士對曼聯。一場悶戰加時由車路士勝一比零。

再趕路後看到金天鵝旅館招牌,經已七點鐘,匆匆按圖索驥。在村路口問一駕車中年男子,他指點後又轉駄回來,給我£20贊助善步行。找到了酒吧旅館,原來是只為蓬車和露營人士服務; 但店主仍千方百計替我找住宿地點,最後還是推薦給我本村的 Wilcot Lodge 最好。我依樣找不到教堂的尖頂,街尾的一位老婆婆顫顫巍巍地給我指路。到了街尾還是找不着教堂和 Wilcot Lodge。一對青年夫婦正準備放狗,他們熱心地替我敲門;狗在吠卻人跡沓然;原來屋主是他們的鄰居,花園又大又美,房舍莊園十分寬敞,只在互聯網上做廣告。阿蘭度和羅娜請我回到他們温暖的茅屋,請我喝酒喝茶,東翻西找到打電話找旅舍。最後找到了羅娜的朋友嘉露蓮的B&B;阿蘭度更親自送我到兩里路遠的 Pewsey。他的車牌正好是我的名字 Y356NAM, 而他的姓夏路士 (Harris) 和我的妹夫又是一樣。

70歲的嘉露蓮獨守大屋,樓下還開了雜架攤;養了三頭活潑小狗,帶頭的大請早一躍跳入懷中,驚破我的好夢,其實還有五分鐘才到早餐時間。

20 May 2007 (Sunday) (Day 13) Warm & Sunny

Pewsey to Newbury.  After breakfast and reading the newspaper.  Bid Caroline farewell at 9.20am.  Arrived Hungerford Bridge and found the John O’Gaunt Inn, had a large roast lamb and large pot of tea.  Started walking again at 3.30pm and arriving the Dundas Arms by the Canal at Kintbury at 4.30pm.  King Kong from the Chinese Channel did an interview with me to be broadcasted the next day.  At 6ish Joseph Wu from Spectrum Radio did another live interview with me.  Had simple pub food with the TV crew at the local pub.  Staying the night at the Guywood B&B at Newbury, Berkshire for £35 for a triple room.  There was a notice on the front door saying ‘No Vancancies’, the owner said she jsut forgot to turn over the plaque.

2007 年五月二十日(星期日) (第十三日)  天朗氣清

看過早報,吃過悠閑早餐;九時二十分出門。下午二時半到了 Hungerford,找到一間叫 潦倒約翰 John O’Gaunt 的酒吧,和最終目的地 John O’Groats 發音相近,吃了一頓烤羊肩。三時半上路,四時半到了約定地點,接受無線衛星電視台記者鄭煥治訪問;稍后 A
M558 城市好時光主持人胡沛成、黃韻詩繼續追踪訪問。與煥治等吃過簡餐,找了一間三人房小旅館,在 Newbury, Berkshire 一夜無夢。

21 May 2007 (Monday) (Day 14)  Sunny & Rain

Newbury to Reading.  The owner family all left the house before me leaving the B&B at 9am.  At about 1pm, I stopped to take picture of a narrow boat named Mandarin but also with the Chinese characters ‘Happy Hours’.  It was raining, an Enlgish lady from another boat invited me for a cup of tea.  I thanked her for I still had a long way to go.  Stopped at the Canning Man Inn at Burghfield Bridge for tomato soup and tea.  Arriving Reading at 5ish, and went straight to the Caversham area for small hotels.   The Abbey House was owned by a Thai lady and managed by a Portugese middle woman.  The tariff was £40 without breakfast and I said it was too much, then she reduced it to £35, but eventually she agreed at £30, because her boss gave her allowance to any late bookings after 7.30pm.  it was only then 6.45pm.  Her husband is a bus driver and apart from Reading, she has not been to any other parts of the UK in the past 2 years.  Had Mediterranean food for dinner. 

2007 年五月二十一日(星期一) (第十四日)  天晴有雨

吃過早餐,小旅館主人一家已外出。九時上路,下午一時在運河邊看到一艘叫歡樂時光(簡體字)的窄艇;當時雨頗綿密,另一用希臘文 Algae 命名窄艇的女主人,誠意拳拳地請我喝茶,我說還要趕路婉謝了。到下午二時在 Burghfield Bridge 一酒吧吃茶喝湯。五時多到了大城市雷丁;在中下價客棧聚集的 Caversham 區找到小旅館。店主是泰國小姐,交由一葡萄牙女士打理;房間很多,不大卻五臟俱全。不包早餐也要£40一晚,扮可憐之下才減到£30。她和丈夫孩子有免費住宿,丈夫是巴士司機;來了雷丁兩年,其他地方都沒有去過。她連我的房門鎖也不知丟失了在甚麼地方。

22 May 2007 (Tuesday) (Day 15)  Sunny

Reading to Maidenhead.  The temperature was 20 celsius.  At last could forget the full English breakfast; bought a pack of 18 petite croissants from the corner shop for £1.29.  Looking for the Reading Tourist Information Center and was appalled that it had been permanently closed.  Negotiated to the end of the Kennet & Avon Canal and ventured onto Thames Path.  Lost the way again after Sonning.  Had lunch at the Waggon & Horses Inn at Twyford, then a photographer who lives in Sonning volunteered to take me back to the Thames Path and dropped me near Wargrave.  After ups and downs, I still could not get back to the Thames Path, then decided to cut off the Henley and Marlow section and speared to Maidenhead. 

Beautifully located by River Thames, all the hotels and B&B that I visited along the Riverside were fully booked, not even a single room at the Blue Bridge Hotel charging from £85 per night.   They said Monday was quiet but not tonight.  Frustrated for the futile search for 2 hours, standing at the bus stop planning the next move.  Then a town bus stopped and asked me where I wanted to go, I told him I was looking for a small hotel in Reading or getting the train back to London.  He waved me on to the bus and drove me all the way to Maidenhad train station, got the 2103 train back to London arriving at around 10pm for a return ticket for £16.80.  The bus driver was a former Gurkha lived in Hong Kong and we conversed a few words in Cantonese, since 1997 when the regiment was decommisioned he moved to Maidenhead.

Went straight to London Chinatown and had Chinese vegetable and noodle.  Shared a Cobra beer with Sit after he opened the house door for me.

2007 年五月二十二日(星期二) (第十五日)  天晴

享受了不用吃英式早餐。早上九時出門去找雷丁旅遊中心,才發現市政府已將它關門大吉。硬着頭皮從運河走到泰唔士河畔。行行重行行又迷了路,由 Sonning 開始,不知不覺走進小森林。在 Twyford 午膳後,一位住在 Sonning 的攝影師自告奮勇,要載我返回泰唔士河畔。其實他也認不得路,折騰了好一會,把我丟在 Wargrave。從那裏我不停的上山、下山又上山;終於直達泰唔士河畔的 Maidenhead。

一心想在河畔找一張床,從B&B到八十五鎊起一夜的酒店都客滿。真誇張,店主人還說昨天冷冷清清,今日可沒辦法了,吹脹。找了兩小時,又回到圖書館前,一肚氣;剛好站在巴士站作沉思樣,一名巴士司機問我要甚麼?我說找不到酒店,唯有返回倫敦老家。他說酒店還是有的,可是在市郊;二話沒說便載我到火車站,他也說幾句廣東話,是曾駐守香港多年的啹喀兵,九七香港回歸後就到了英國。

火車到了柏寧頓站,立即坐巴士到唐人街食牛腩麵芥蘭油菜,勁辣椒油;回到家裏再和薛分享印度啤酒。

23 May 2007 (Wednesday) (Day 16)  Sunny

Maidenhead to Staines & Egham.  There is nothing like one’s own bed.  A good sleep and left home at 9.30am with comfortable gears.  Arrived Maidenhead by train then headed towards Windsor at 11am.  Enjoyed a big lunch at Windsor, continued to walk up to Staines & Egham.  Once past the M25, it is regarded as reaching Greater London.   Took a bus and train and rushed back for the second half of the Championship Final at Athens, Liverpool was then beaten by Inter Milan by 1 goal, Liverpool lost 2-1. 

2007 年五月二十三日(星期三) (第十六日)  天晴

詩人說對於床還能說些甚麼呢!懶在床真舒服。輕装出發,乘火車到 Maidenhead,十一時開始向温莎堡方向進發;在温莎吃了豐富午餐;再東向倫敦前行。一踏過了二十五號公路,便算踏入了大倫敦範圍,從 Staines & Egham 搭巴士、乘地鐵;趕回家看歐州盃錦標決賽,已經趕不及利物浦上半場將完時輸給國際米蘭的一球。結果利物浦不能像前年般踢出冠軍奇蹟,以2-1飲恨。

John O’Groats to Edinburgh (Walking Diary Part 2) 第二程: 天涯至愛丁堡日誌 

7 June 2007 (Thursday)

8am train from King’s X to Wick, arriving after 10pm.  From John O’Groats to Edinburgh is about 320 miles distance.  Back to London by 28 June 2007 for Sir David Brewer’s Evening at the Armoury House.

 2007 年六月七日 (星期四)

早上八時英皇十字火車站北上,晚十時後抵達 Wick。由 John O’Groats 至愛丁堡約320哩;須於六月二十八日前回到倫敦,出席白樂威爵士講演晚會。 

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12 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Keep going!
加油!

Comment by Sleep

Greeting from Malaysia.

You made it!!!

Hope to be back and see you after the second leg of your journey.

Well done.

Comment by Kim

Are you back home?
I made some wine for you
Cheers!

Comment by Sleep

The long walk is very hard work and you are an amazing person!

Comment by Simon Tan

“Hungerford,找到一間叫 潦倒約翰 John O’Gaunt 的酒吧…”

O! J.O’Gaunt乃苏格兰公爵呢, 老豆是有华人血统的爱德华三世, 他的亲生后代有享利第四,五,六,七呢!
想想他们居然是我们同胞喎!

我去过了, 附近是另一 Bear Hotel的, 都是 Hungerford 酒貓的好去处…想起往年, 听过市长夫人的切齒声, 看过 Jenny Pitman 极少有的一掉有情之泪, 看过 River Hennet 两雄相斗, 故事多矣! 只差五分钟, 同杀人王米高失诸交臂.

Comment by KUANG KUANG SHENG

John O’Groats 也好似是一个人名, 听上去也是苏人!

Comment by KUANG KUANG SHENG

不包早餐也要£40一晚,扮可憐之下才減到£30!!!

哈哈哈! 痛快!

Comment by KUANG KUANG SHENG

“Street” was another mile away. A really long and narrow Street. Hotels were very expensive. The Wessex Hotel which was under renovation still charged £65…….. 16th of May you were there!!

But I read this was 30th of June, one day after I slept in the same Wessex Hotel, mine was paid by the Racial Equality Council! 嘻嘻! it was 65 pounds!

Comment by KUANG KUANG SHENG

29June:
can’t sleep, for those members of SREC were all drunk, at about 2am they talked for another 3 hours B4 went to sleep, and the doors were Bang Bang banging all the time, must be the Somerset Cider…

30thJune:
can’t eat, the bacon was hard boiled, egg was oil boiled, only the tea tasted Indian-ish, and the juice smelled orange-ish…
I was a bit apprehanded to see a middle-east gent sat next to me…( just a week ago our town hall had a bomb scare)Of all the empty seat he didn’t want and he want my next chair?
He even brought his own food, perhaps he could feel safer, of course he could’nt eat beef or pork or fat from them. He opened a plastic pack and finished it in no time, then he politely said good bye to some of us and gone.

I looked at the pack, it was Salami!!1

Comment by KUANG KUANG SHENG

John O’Groats was a Norwegian. Or from the Nordic anyway!

Comment by Stephen Ng

嗨, 我是路过无意看到你的日记, 好棒!
吸引我因为我也刚刚六月去了天涯, Penzance, Land’s End, St Ives, Minack Threate and sailing boat…
很漂亮的地方, 好美。

也来自马来西亚。。。

Comment by Wendy

那真是無巧不成書呢!說實話,蘇格蘭真的好棒;不要錯過唷!

Comment by stephencanwalk




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