Arriving in London

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Arrived in London two days ago.

Everything went fairly smoothly – passed through customs, claimed our bags, picked-up a bottle of duty-free scotch for Con since we made him wait at the airport for 4 hours unnecessarily the day before.

Caught the Tube from the airport to Hammersmith where Con met us so we could jump on a bus to Putney where we would be staying with friends. After the bus had been twisting its way through the London streets for a while, Con realised that the bus didn’t appear to be going where he thought it should be… so he checked with the driver and as it turns-out we had been on the wrong bus the whole time.

We jumped-out, Con got his bearings and he decided the best route would be to navigate our way to the nearest Over Ground train station, catch the train to the next stop (which is roughly where we should have ended-up in the first place if we had of been on the correct bus) and then walk the rest of the way to Chris and Gerard’s place.

In theory this sounded fine, until we had been walking for about 15 – 20 minutes (with our 15kg backpacks and little-to-no sleep for 48 hours) just to get to the train station and then once we arrived at Putney station, we had to continue walking for a while before we reached our destination.

We can all look back and laugh at this now (and to be honest, if you rely on Con for navigation, you usually will never take a direct route… even if you start-out with one). And then later that night when we were chatting with Chris and Gerard, they rubbed further salt in the wound by saying that where we had jumped off the bus originally, was only a couple of blocks away on the other side of the park (or ‘Common’ as I believe they are called over here) across the road from their house.

So effectively we were within 5 minutes of their house, but instead we walked in the opposite direction to a totally different suburb to catch a train to the other end of the suburb we were already in before, only to get to a location that was less than (approx) 250m of where we started from in the first place.

At least we got to see what a majority of the Putney area of London looks like.

We then had a shower, a coffee, a couple of alcoholic beverages and we were ready to explore again.

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  1. I really tried not to comment but in the end I just had to !! 🙂

    In my defence I must say that I have never caught the 220 bus (going to a friends house, not mine) therefore didn’t realise until too late that I was taking them on a scenic tour – secondly on seeing the common Pete mentioned, I thought to myself “hmm I think that is the park they live opposite” – not quite “a couple of blocks away” as Pete recalled (remember he was heavily jet-lagged) but a good 2+kms, unless he was planning on swimming the Thames as the crow flies” – So decided that if I was wrong about the park, I would effectively take them on second scenic detour and be lynched by the travel wary pair, so decided to go with the conservative long but known trip to the house.

    All ended well though as knowing both Pete and Kristy it only took a shower, croissant and some alcohol to get them back in good spirits (literally in the spirits) 🙂

    Im being really reserved here and not even going into the 4 hour airport wait I endured the day before 🙂 🙂

    Well, that being said I feel that the record has been set straight (or straighter than it was) – but must say that even with my justifications in place it still holds true that my navigation sense is a little shot – to quote a phrase “Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time” – Stephen Wright 🙂

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