4:00am: We set off early on Saturday morning heading back to Victoria Station to find plugs and wifi.
4:30am: It is ery at night/morning. London just does not sleep: people on every corner, buses in every bus lane, home less in every shelter.
Our adrenaline was low and our energy even lower, but we managed to fit an eye-opening journey to Buckingham Palace. Literally, on one side of the street there was the Queen with all her wealth and on the other there was the homeless, the poor and the deprived. We didn’t quite manage to capture this on camera but we can save that until next time.
We had stopped for several coffees and snacks along the way and our coffee fund was getting low now – if we wanted to keep the trip below the price of an Arsenal ticket, it meant no more chips and coffee and wraps.
Our ‘front camera taken photos’ were becoming less smiley and by the time we took one at Big Ben, I think our mood changed. Well, mine definitely did. My feet were aching and my back was painful – due to the fact i had a 7000 tonne rucksack on. But we would fight through and pace ourselves.
The homeless people represented a major factor in London – contrast. One side of a road, just off Oxford Street, there was a swanky new hotel and the other there was a run down car lot with people sleeping in the doorways. It was like their normality, it was what they expected. I was just so curious? Why were they there? How can I help? Though I knew that one or two single humans helping could not help to defeat the greater scale of homelessness and poverty.
The evening was topped by a trip to Oxford Street. The attraction of loud music and bright lights drew us in. Outside a McDonalds, there was five young lads, no older than ourselves, with a five foot bass-boosted speaker on full blast at 4am. We danced to Drake and Shaggy, amongst others, whilst snapping away. Time of my life.
Another thing about London is the colours. The London Eye lit with red contrasted beautifully with the blue bulbs hung from surrounding trees. And the, somewhat premature, Christmas lights of blue and gold.
Only nine hours until the coach to Lille, now.
I have just realised that I have forgotten my tooth brush. The tooth paste was packed, though. They say if you forget something then it isn’t important – not true. I’m sure I’ll find one.
If there is one thing concluded from the hours in london it is that the roads are too wide to cross; 18 steps across is way to much Boris.
Please excuse the lacklustre journalism, I’ve had 45 minutes sleep since 8am on Friday.