We cross back over onto the other side of the river, where I take advantage of another great view across the marshes to take another panorama:
(click panorama for full quality image)
There is not much to say much about this part of the route, apart from the fact that it is very clean and well maintained and definitely a very nice place. We also saw a council van making repairs which is always good to see as well.
We continue past an out of place looking pub:
…and into the actual Lee Valley Park with more shrubbery and trees:
Crossing back to the other side of the River again, we again run into the shouty mother on her phone. Here, we see swans and a busy barge maintenance facility on one side of the river:
And an oil spill on the other…
Finally, before my phone dies (which seems to happen on every single trip), I manage to take a picture of Springfield Park, where several younger children are being rather rude and swearing.
Next we head towards Clapton Common, which I learn has a very strong Jewish community, before saying goodbye to my friend after finding him a bus to Manor House Tube Station which will take him to a film screening in Central London.
I decide to head towards South Tottenham Overground Station to catch several trains around the North of London back to Ealing. Heading towards the High Street and turning towards the station, I get slightly worried by the fact I could not seem to find it. Thankfully a bit of clever bus stop map and route matching I manage to see that I am definitely heading in the right direction.
Going into the station, where a ‘station manager’ stands outside chatting to some seemingly regular users of the station. I head up to the platform. Having heard overcrowding horror stories about this line (although not nearly as bad as the situation once was) and seeming the train heading in the other direction (towards Barking), I was slightly worried whether I would actually fit on. While waiting, a member of Network Rail staff randomly walks up onto the end of the platform and walks out of the station, seemingly coming from nowhere.
After boarding a far less busy than expected train, I head towards Barking, where we stop for seemingly ages at every station and never seem to accelerate above 30 mph. The joys of a diesel train on a metro line, again showing the case for electrification of this line.
After getting into Gospel Oak, I attempt to get through the hundreds of people off the two connecting trains, wondering why they are so reluctant to let me through seeing that their train is not going to leave for over 10 minutes. I touch my Oyster Card on one the pink Oyster route validators which supposedly (although probably didn’t) save me some money. Trying to get up to the Westbound platform, I watch a Richmond train leave (small outburst of ‘damn it’ results), and sit down for a 7.5 minute wait. Confusingly, a First Capital Connect train passes going somewhere off its usual route, before my train arrives, going to Clapham Junction. We head off at a reasonable (but by no means quick) pace through North London to Shepherd’s Bush.
There, hundreds of people await the train I am on (please let passengers off the train first. No? – fine I’ll push you out of the way then…) and head across the road to the Central Line station. My mind is a blur by this point with tiredness, although I obviously got home fine since I am here now.
Wow, that was a long post. Anyway, that’s it, another post or something will be coming soon.