Walsall fan Graeme Brookes is into single digits in miles on his walk from Walsall to Wembley, here he gives us his thoughts on day eight.
It is Saturday. I have now finished my last full day, I am now in single digit miles until I hit Wembley!
Today felt a little epic and very Indiana Jones esque – so I can call it ‘Graeme and the quest for the Wembley Arch`. I left Berkhamsted after a wee lie in (I started at 10.30am) and it was lovely round there, very posh – then I hit Hemel Hempstead. I was super excited for the first part of the journey because I knew that I was hitting London any second. Then I hit the M25! COME ON! I was on top of the world. In my head, once I pass the M25 then I am in London. At this point, I kept looking for the Wembley Arch, bit like a Meerkat!
Had a sad good bye to the Grand Union Canal. I have walked on it from mile 9 to around mile 129, (beside around 15 miles on that beautiful tarmac). Gone is the towpath that has punished my feet and in its place is the beautiful road, gone is the beauty of the canal`s and in its place is Watford. No offence to any Watfordonians but man, it is a bit grim. I got lost a little walking around the town and I was scared that I wasn`t coming out alive. As I got through Watford I thought I would see the Arch of Wembley and . . . nothing. Not to worry, I thought – instead I will blast walk through the awesomely named ‘Bushey` however it was quite a steep hill so that wasn`t pleasant. Its ok though, I thought that as I walk up Bushey, up the steep hill I would reach the top of a hill and look down romantically at the home of Walsall on 22nd March: Wembley Stadium as the angelic noise rings in my head. Did I see it? No! I saw a Harvesters.
At this Harvesters, I was due to meet my Mom. She wanted to walk the last mile with me – she has helped so much, I said ‘course you can`. At this point I have walked the last 4 miles essentially up a hill, without seeing Wembley and I am flirting with a bit of grump and what happens? My Mom has walked about a mile the wrong direction! Brilliant. Just brilliant. I then spend the next 12 minutes walking between two lampposts (I can`t stop because everything seizes and it becomes very painful when I start again) waiting for her to come back to the Harvesters. The moral of the story is . . . No matter how lovely your Mom is, don`t let her join you on a charity walk! However during her impromptu little walk, she bumped into a random fella (My mom still has game!) who donated £5 and then proceeded to explain that Stanmore is in a ‘dip` and I probably wouldn`t see it.
Brilliant, just brilliant. I have now walked just over 135 miles (now officially over 5 marathons in 7 days) to come to Wembley and I can`t see the Arch. Just madness! I kept questioning whether I had actually walked to the right place. Could you imagine?!
Well tomorrow I will be on BBC Breakfast between 7.30-7.40am, if anyone is up and interested and waiting to get on their coaches, give it a listen.
Sorry to be so brief – I am in my hotel in Harrow and I am getting mad pressure to go for a drink so I am out of here. I will be leaving tomorrow at 10.45ish and walking to the GREEN MAN PUB for 12.30-12.35 and then finally walking down Wembley Way and getting to the top of the stairs at 1pm. Please do feel free to come and say hello! I will be in a hugging mood, so they will be for free and in excess and ‘man hugs`!
Please please do donate! The donation button is just above you. Whatever you can afford, its perfectly safe and will mean a lot to Walsall Society for the Blind. Thank you.
Distance: 16.3 miles. Time: 5 hours, 32 minutes. MPH: 2.94
7 miles to go. 135.8 miles walked
1 day to Wembley (AAAARRRRGGGHHHH)