Continuing The World Photo Tour where we left off.
Sometimes, while on the road, songs to do – more or less – with walking is everything I think of. And at points it may be the cheerful Matt Goldberg’s Travelling Man, other times it’s Rolling Stones Don’t Stop (I am altering the meaning in this one), other times it’s Johnny Cash I Walk the Line. And they all have to do with love as well, probably that in the first place, which makes everything a bit funny. But most of the times, it’s just the gibberish of a mad-man, probably a song I will write by the end of this. :)
As I left Fiona’s parents in Sutton in Ashfield (my stay with them was fantastic, I even got my clothes ironed, probably a first and last there!), I headed towards Nottingham. I really enjoyed Nottinghamshire – nice scenery, and a bit of wildlife, with pheasants flying away around at each step, rabbits running around and some centuries-old woods still being protected today. And sadly enough, the first badger I saw in real life was a dying one. Hit by a car, all I could do was take it off the road. It died minutes later. I like taking care of animals. I even look where I step at most times, so as to avoid squashing the little bugs. And it was ladybug day the other day. It seems that they are thriving this year.
As I reached Nottingham, I was welcomed by all the aromas in the world on this street packed with restaurants with international cuisine – Turkish, Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, you name it! And I was getting a bit hungry and the hilly roads of Nottingham did not help. Once I met my connection there – the priest of the Romanian Church, he took me at Calin, a Romanian student in mathematics. It was the same man that fixed me with a place for a night in Leicester, two days later. At Calin’s I had a filling dinner and a good long shower.
It was at Calin’s as well where I had the live interview at Realitatea TV from. It’s a good thing that The World Photo Tour gets a bit of media coverage and it seems like it’s all fun and joy at the moment. Media attention, friends calling etc. I’m not kidding myself, I know it will get really quiet at one point. I sometimes can’t hardly wait for those days. The silence. The nothingness. Just the walk. Not even internet, nor cell signal. But I know I’ll have my parents and a couple of friends that will be thinking about me.
In the morning I paid a visit to the hospital as I wanted a second opinion on the way I took care of my blisters. Everything is fine, I was told, except they couldn’t believe I didn’t have nor carry with me any painkillers at all. It was about noon when I left Nottingham, heading south. A bit late, but it was still OK, since I had plenty of time left to walk until the sunset.
About four nights ago, while I was bored inside the tent, I counted all the individual items I carry with me. The total is 138. And at each and every moment, I know exactly where anything is inside the backpack. But as I was thinking about writing something like this, I was in Ruddington where, for a short break and a fill-up, as I entered Sainsbury’s and instinctively took my hand to the back pocket and checking the contents, it just struck me that I might be in a bit of a trouble. And I was, for the debit card was gone. Quickly call the bank, have the card blocked, issue a new one, phew!, all sorted. A new card will wait for me down South in Milton Keynes. That was two days ago.
I did not advance too far from Ruddington and for that day, I just pitched the tent before sunset on top of a grassy hill, with the forest on the north side. Good shelter from the winds that night. Time for some pictures, time to eat, time to blog. Couldn’t do that the other night, the internet connection was crap.
The morning found me soaking wet, as I had some problems with the condensation I the tent. While I waited for the sleeping bag to dry, I ate the last fish conserve I had left. With no battery in the phone whatsoever, I walked further south towards Loughborough. I had a little stop in Hoton, where at the Packe Arms pub, Vicky and Jonathan were more than happy to help me out getting some juice in the phone. Couldn’t say the same about the manager, as he was a bit concerned about me trying to hack their systems using phone I was trying to charge. That fear aside, I even got some water (surprising after the first encounter) and then moved on. In Loughborough I just made it to the Lloyds TSB branch for some weekend cash (I actually was late, but explaining the situation to some kind people over there was enough to get me sorted).
On rough places
They warned me – be careful in Nottingham, it’s pretty rough! Ough! You need to keep everything tied in Leicester, otherwise it will get stolen! Never the case. I take pride on what I am about to say: in my entire life, I never took a punch from someone. And I never threw one either. And I intend to keep it that way. Some people think I am brave and courageous. I am not. Just a rabbit with a wolf skin, at most. I usually talk myself out of any kind of problems. So no worries in the safety department so far!
Once in Leicester, I noticed the multiculturalism. I was told in a manner that it should mean something that it resembles Bradford in regards to the population. I did not find that discouraging. The guys I slept at in Leicester – some hardworking Romanians, were waiting for me in the traditional way – beer now, food later. And until food, we even played backgammon for a while.
Rest, laundry, table tennis and walk around with no backpack day today. Tomorrow I depart to Northampton, hoping to get there in about two days.
Have a wonderful week, everybody! Spring is not far away.