Monday, February 17, 2014

Bonjour Blokes! [London, Pt 4]

I reside in Camden currently. It's a lively area with lots of characters and interesting people. It's a bit of a tourist attraction, but the real heart of the area is the winding backstreets, the late night street music and the gypsy canals. 

Camden Market is the facade, Camden Town is home. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Holla Blokes! [London, Pt 3]

Our adventure started as everything does in the UK, with rain. Lots and lots of rain. So much rain, that we bought another rain jacket in town before setting off. We took the bus to Seaford which is on the southern coast of England. We hiked through town with the general direction of the sea as our compass. 

The pictures don't really capture it that well, but the southern cliffs are quite tall. And although they're called Seven Sisters, there are definitely more sisters to climb. Some were nice and mild, others quite steep. It was definitely the rainiest, windiest day I've ever experienced and sometimes the wind would burst so hard, you were literally pushed up the hill. Literally. If the wind had been coming off-shore, we would've been pushed right off those cliffs to sea-salty death. 

However, just as we neared the end of our hike, the sun peaked it's head around the clouds and cut us some slack. I don't know that I've seen a more spectacular sight. Double rainbows, white chalky cliffs and the raging sea. 

We actually had to take quite a rather long detour because I didn't think about the implication of a river going across the way we needed to get. For some stupid reason, I assumed a bridge would be in place. But there wasn't. And so we had to go 3 miles our of our way, at turtle speeds through mud and puddles. So, by the time the sun came out, it was on its way into the horizon for the evening and we still had miles left to go. It didn't seem very smart to walk along the cliffs in the darkness so we hightailed it across fields, hopping fences and braving the barbed wire. We crossed by pastures of sheep and cows... the animals would look at us curiously as we passed by, but for the most part ignored us. 

Part 2 of my poor planning, we finally made it to the road leading into Eastbourne where our return train was taking out from, but unlike the small town we expected (like Seaford), it was a rather massive and expansive city. We were soaked to the bone, hungry and exhausted at this point. It was pitch black and there was nothing but lights ahead for miles. We had no idea where the train station was and so we hitched hiked. I was rather nervous about doing so, but I stuck out my thumb as good as any. As expected most people passed us by, but just when all hope was to be lost, a well-traveled engineer took pity on us and gave us a spot in the back of his car. He took us directly to the train stations while regaling us with tales of his own hitch-hiking experiences and favorite travel destinations. In return, we probably left a great deal of mud and animal crap in the back of his car. So sorry for that! 

We made it home alive. Tired and muddy but alive. It was one of the most spectacular hikes I've ever done and I highly recommend it if you find yourself in the south of England.