Pic Nic in London
London Travel Blog› entry 111 of 144 › view all entries
April 27th, 2007 – by: maplefanta
We ended up eating at a local pizzeria (tasty yum yum) all 4 together and Peter offered, I really enjoyed their hospitality which was quite a wonderful, I must say I consider them as really good friend.
And also walking around enjoying the fresh warm spring air of London, I felt that this whole part of the city was getting slightly calm and that the summer feeling was arriving.
We relaxed pretty much the whole evening and then later on, we decided to play a board game which I don't remember the name but works about paranoia, traitors and so on. After an hour trying to understand the concept, which I would funnyly say sound inspired from the inside of Hospitality Club management.
At a moment, it was slightly getting warm and we simply decided to open the window.
Quite the oddity of the evening!
Ahhh the lazy wake up, Maria went for her very last working day at a pub nearby Finnsbury Park, Peter's friend left later that same day to meet other people in East London. So Peter and me just woke up slowly (noticing that it was finally quite later than thought) and went for a walk in Hackney borough of London, it was sunny but finally also slightly chilly. But it was alright. We ended up visiting Maria who was pretty bored counting the hours before the end of her bar slavery and in the meantime we sat at the nearby park and discuss about everything, life but also about BeWelcome development of course.
As it was late, it wasn't so useful to go downtown so we simply stayed in the surrounding.
We still had a decent breakfast before getting out and I also talked a bit with their french roomate which was having his family visiting over for the week end. The first time in a long time that I spoke my native language actually... in a proper non-dialect form.
Stupidly, my Oyster card got empty so I needed to buy a ticket in the bus for the way back... which is dumbly a waste of money.
The evening was even more relaxed, we talked, cooked and later on, watched 'The Queen' on the computer. Nice movie but slightly disturbing to imagine all this fuss around a royal family, obviously something british. Hopefully I don't feel the need to become one.
Pic Nic meeting day!!!!
slowly waking up to another sunny day.
But sometimes I'm wondering nearly everywhere I am travelling too the weather is being great, I have never had constant rain and shitty weather at all... as example. My first winter constantly on the road and the temperature stays above zero and warm so that I can still hitch-hike.
Anyhow, we prepared a lunch for the pic-nic and stopped at a local store where we bought some kurdish bread, tatziki and humous to some un-smiling cashier girl before moving to Finnsbury park and await the people to come over.
People showed up slightly late but there was new members (from HC - CS) which was nice, but I didn't introduce myself to many of them.
We chilled in the park the whole afternoon, eating and playing frisbee and doing silly stuff (which is especially after Flohfish and Urg's arrival :).
It was a great relaxing day, everyone just gradually left by the evening and I went to get my thing at Peter's place so that I would stay at Patrick's place for the night (HC:urg). As he lives in South London already, it would be more easy for me to get ready to leave London in my attempt to cross the channel once more heading to Belgium. And see my darling Nadine.
It would be another adventure too, trying to hitch-hike out of London!
We managed to catch the train and reach his place in Peckham, had a fast frozen meal and a search through the net and the map to notice some hitch-hiking departure spot.
I ended up watching a movie though and sleeping later than expected (Pat had sky tv...).
Hitch-hiking out of London, starting spot Peckham!
Destination: Brussels and a Channel Crossing.
It took me hell of a while before I got myself together and left Patrick's place, I did by the end of the morning, which was a bit late to ensure I had the whole day on the road.
I first took the bus to try to get out of the centre as much as possible.
First to Lewisham, then another bus through Hither Green - Eltham area. Then I started a long walk in direction of Sydcup to find a place that would allow me to be picked easily along the A20 out of London in direction of Dover.
I walked long, about an hour, but did find a spot in Sydcup nearby Sydcup by-pass just next to a Shell Gas Station at a crossroad.
I asked the few cars there and finally ended up simply hitching by the road, wonderful as 15 min later a car stopped. And with about half an hour, 40 minutes later I was out of London enjoying the landscape of Kent and reaching Maidstone Services.
Then the next challenge was to get out of this Island.
This wasn't the easiest thing as Maidstone services is for both way, direction North and South. So I especially needed to find a continental immatriculated car.
It took me maybe 3h but I did find a lift with a french couple, who were at odd to take me at first (in a very french way, the non-refusal but stiff upper lip way). It was pretty great though, I was going to cross through the tunnel once again and at least be in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, which would be easier than England for sure.
I tried to reassure them by being friendly, we arrived at the custom and finally nobody even bothered to watch our passport so I was going to leave England and enter France unnoticed.
Once in the train though, I did one bright thing. I walked around the train car and looked for a Belgian car, witty me, I found one and they could take me all the way to Gent!
So I switched car and introduced myself to this young couple from Antwerpen.
The ride went well and I was about to reach Brussels fast, when at the petrol station in Gent I immediately switched to another car as well. Then I put my hand in my pocket... damn my mobile phone wasn't there!
I could imagine it lying on the backseat of the previous car. I got stress, sad, mad but tried to stay fair with the people who just picked me (a young couple of my age from Leuven). They helped me and leaned me their mobile phone, I tried to call my own phone several time but was panicking as I knew my battery was about to die.
If I couldn't find a way I would lose my phone, my belgian simcard, my english simcard and all my contact!
After few attempt it finally rang and few attempt more the lady picked it up. I immediately tried to set a plan, gave some contact they could manage to reach me or arrange to give my phone (Frank or Achim) and gave the Pin code so that anyhow they could access my contact if needed.
My lift decided to finally drive me direct into Brussels, that was great of them and they were of great help. I only have their phone number to thanks them, but they allowed me to use their phone, understood my concern and tried to help and also took well care of me.
That was all great and it finally quite ended up in fairly well situation.
I'm so grateful of those people. And I was happy to be back in Belgium.
I was also happy about my previous lift as they would be helpful too in trying to handle me back my phone!
But I was in Brussels!!!!
I did Hitch-hike all the way from London in about 6 hours (including the stop in Maidstone!)
Pretty good isnt it ;)
And met great helpful people! The world is still all nice, believe it or not!
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