Body tiring, the weight of 7 days of travel hanging from my bones, it was time to get up and at the road for the last day of the journey.
I had breakfast with my sister, Lisa, at the pub near the hotel, stocking up on the cooked breakfast I was now accustomed to.
The first third of the walk followed the canal by two massive reservoirs and under the North Circular. It still felt as though we were far from the city centre, as the various birds bobbed about on the water, and canal boats lazily meandered past us.
At Tottenham Marshes we got off the canal route and headed to the louder side of London.
We stopped off at White Hart Lane for a quick photo and to think of Jamie, the other half of my charities that I have been walking for. I have worked for and with Maria for many years, a driven, ambitious woman that above all else loves her son. Unfortunately her son Jamie died, and the energy that Maria put into her love for him is still as strong as ever and lives through the James Ahern foundation, that aims to pass on the compassionate nature that Jamie always showed, helping other young people in their dreams and passions, as well as helping the most vulnerable in the local community. At the core it has an ideal which I just love, which is to help make others smile. Jamie was a huge Tottenham Hotspur fan, and so it was nice to have this stop on the way in to London.
The journey from Tottenham to the city centre was not of great interest. My local tour guide (my sister, Lisa) pointed out all the trendy suburbs as we passed through, such as Stoke Newington and Shoreditch, and I saw a lot of the London I like, the streets lined with independent cafes, shops and restaurants, full of noise and activity as you would expect on a Saturday.
The first stop in the centre of London was the City Museum of London, which holds a fragment of the cross that used to stand in Cheapside (or Westcheap, as it used to be called). It was incredible to see it in person in the museum, and we made the short walk down to Cheapside itself to try and figure out where it once stood.
From The Strand, we popped down to the Thames. My feet at this point were at their very limit, but seeing the river and the in the distance, familiar sites of London, it helped to keep me going and to make the end.
At Charring Cross station we got to the last cross, the replica that stands directly outside of the front of the station. That was it, the last of all the crosses. It was difficult at the time to know how I felt as my feet were just crying out in pain, and I just decided to take it all in, then go down to where the Charles I statue sits, on the roundabout at Charring Cross, where the original stood.
With the journey complete, I could really feel a sense of accomplishment, and it was nice to think back on this last day, of all the others that had preceded it. I’d like to take a moment to thank everybody that has left a message of encouragement, and to the people who have donated to the two charities I decided to walk for. I hope that you have enjoyed keeping up with the blog, and hopefully this is just the start of more adventures to come.
We rested finally in The Westminister Arms, right at the heart of London (a rather brilliant pub, although I may be biased in this regard) and a glass of champagne (thank you Gerry!), before going back to my sister’s house to relax, drink and more importantly, sleep.