After my day of nothing, I had some plans for the end of my last weekend here in London and to take advantage of the Bank Holiday . I had a 10 AM appointment with some trees. In order to make that appointment I got going around 0830 and headed to the tube station, unfortunately the easy entrance was closed so I had to walk a bit further but then I got more steps so… I arrived at Battersea Park after crossing the Prince Albert Bridge. The park was gorgeous and I could probably have spent the whole day beneath those trees.
I arrived at Go Ape 40 minutes early, guess I misjudged my travel time, so I worked a bit on my blog and listened to the first Lord of the Rings book. I have enjoyed the story but I don’t think I would read them normally, but I have a lot of peer pressure driving me to read them. Once 1000 rolled around I signed my release of liability agreement and got myself harnessed up. My instructor was a fun lady and she decided to put me in a full body harness, she said it was due to my height but I think she just likes those harnesses better (they’re newer and she claims to like them more…).
Once harnessed up and we all agreed to our high risk activity, we went through the on ground training course. My instructor showed us how the continuous belay system worked, gave the group the rules of crossings and platforms, and then explained the ziplines. We were also told the cardinal rule, which is always let an instructor attach you to the belay line. I then broke the cardinal rule on the training course, but she said, and I quote, “What’s the first rule? It’s okay though, you’re a Boy Scout.” After the training I hooked up to the course, via an instructor, and I did my first loop.
After the first zip line ended the first loop, I eagerly went back for the second, letting the instructor attach me again. It was a very hot and humid day and I could feel it up there on the course but man was it worth it. There were two spots where we could choose our route and I opted for the more difficult ones. It was a lot of fun up there in the trees and I will definitely see if I can find the US version back home. After finishing I turned in my harness (I think I surprised the guy by having it off on my own) and bought an ice cream for the trip back to Chapter, and a shower.
After some relaxing, I went to the London Eye around 1500 and got in the queue for my 30 minute circlular ride over the Thames. I did look through the brochure and took the picture before boarding my capsule. Incidentally, they don’t stop the Eye to let you on, or off. The ride around was enjoyable, despite the overcast day but some people hogged the good window views. I still managed a few good pictures and all of a sudden the ride was ending. The movement of the Eye was imperceptible and I was sad that I only got one revolution.
After the Eye I wandered through the shops and the eateries but nothing struck my fancy. I hopped back onto the tube and made my way over to the theater district. My performance wasn’t until 2000 and so I walked down to Covent Garden to find a place to eat. After some wandering I found The Crusted Pipe, a wine merchant sponsored restaurant. I had a fillet of Hake and some sides, not sure what they were though. While I was in there, a gentleman was serenading the patrons with some opera. He finished during my meal and a quintet (three violins, a cello, and a flute) started playing.
I finished my meal and still had some time to kill so I walked into the Covent Garden Apple Store. It was fun but all of the prices were in Pounds and still more expensive than the US. After exiting I found a Starbucks just across from the theater and ordered an oat cookie filled with Nutella so I could finish blogging the previous day and use one of their tables. After awhile I retrieved my ticket from the box office and waited to enter.
STOMP was a phenomenal performance. I really appreciated the opportunity to see it in person. There were a few new sets that I hadn’t previously seen in the video. I had a great day and returned to Chapter tuckered out and ready for some sleep. The next day was gonna come to fast, but I will be ready for it.
Martin “Mixy” McNichols
Until we meet again