Graveyard Trail ride, 05 August 2007
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05 August 2007

Off to Green Bridge now.

Traffic closed on Tower Bridge because of the triathlon. Lovely to ride across.

Cafe at Battersea Park.

Brompton Cemetery.

Mr Nutkins (name used in Beatrix Potter).

A rather angry squirrel.

And now in Kensal Green Cemetery.

Quite an interesting one.

Swimming at Hampstead Heath.

Brief visit to Highgate Cemetery (closes at 5 pm).

Karl Marx.

Herbert Spenser.

Fox seems quite comfortable.

Home on the Regents Canal.

A lovely day. It was a bit of a shock to the system that it didn't rain, was actually warm, and had to think about sunscreen. We head south down to the river and cross a deserted Tower Bridge (closed to motor traffic because of the triathlon) and are tempted to ride back and forth on it a few times to fully enjoy the experience. But we continue on our way slowly along a heaving South Bank to a brief cafe stop at Battersea Park and then cross over back into the north to our first stop in Brompton.

An angry (possibly rabid?) squirrel chattered at us and we concocted nightmare scenarios of mass squirrel attacks horror movie style (what's that movement behind us, every time we look nothing is there, but you can still feel hundreds of eyes.) We locate Mr Nutkins' grave (of Beatrix Potter fame), as well as Emmeline Pankhurst. We also discover that graveyards have plenty of water taps and fill up quickly emptying water bottles.

Next off north to Kensal Green, through Holland Park and Notting Hill. TFL leads us astray a little bit, insisting that Earls Court is two way and we have to navigate around that map error. In Kensal Green, we don't find anybody famous here. The place is huge. It is also hot and the idea of swimming is very popular. So, we should go there now.

The hills of Hampstead are not quite a big as I remember them, but there is still a lot of climbing to do, especially since the way there is a bit of a maze and I might have added a few unnecessary hills by getting slightly lost. But we finally make it there. After a brief debate about eating or swimming (the no swimming two hours after eating rule of thumb looms large), swimming wins and we make our way through the park.

Everybody else seems to have headed there too and the place is packed. It takes a bit of searching to find somewhere to put our bags. After recent swims at Dunwich, the river in Cockermouth, and especially the North Sea, I brace myself for a chilly one, but the water was fantastic, ever so slightly cold but just perfect for the day.

So, we better hurry to Highgate since it closes at 5. We have a quick dash around. Marx's grave is gigantic and he is surrounded by lots of comrades. The blackberries are just barely in season, some were perfect but a lot were a bit sour. A small fox was sunning itself on one of the graves and seems pretty unperturbed by our presence.

The graveyard volunteer suggests an Italian place in town for our long delayed dinner break. The food is nice and the cans of lime soda are really excellent. A long relaxed dinner and it is time to head home, a much quicker route straight down and onto the Regent's canal. Ok, not so quick on that since it is rather crowded on a Sunday night.