Monday, May 21, 2018

Enfield Lock to Chigwell

I walked two more segments of the LOOP yesterday, a total of about 9 miles. Getting to the start of the trail at Enfield Lock, where I left off last time, was a nightmare -- I wound up using two tube trains, an overground train and I'd planned to take a bus as well, but the next one wasn't scheduled to arrive for half an hour. So I wound up re-walking part of the LOOP along Turkey Brook that I'd completed last time.

The benefit, though, was that I got to see these little ducklings.

Once past Enfield Lock station, I walked past houses, over canals and across the River Lea. Can you see the dog in the doorway in the photo above? He/she cracked me up. That's just what Olga does sometimes -- sit in the sun, right at the back door, and watch the world go by.

The reeds in the River Lea rippled peacefully with the flow of the current. I walked along the river...

...and past a field with some grazing sheep and lambs. This lamb was very wary of me.

From there, the path led through a marshy wildlife area loaded with blooming comfrey and cow parsley, and up a steep hill which gave me a view over North London.

Eventually I wound up at a scouting camp called Gilwell Park. This is a detail from the "Leopard Gates," carved in 1927 by a former Boy Scout named Don Potter.

I got a bit turned around in this area, because there was no waymarker and the guide was vague on where to go. I had to ask someone at the camp, and eventually I came out onto a hilltop with a wide-open view of the city.

It's a bit hazy, but you can barely see the skyline on the distant horizon at lower left. At the right is one of the reservoirs in the Lea Valley that collects London's water supply.

I wandered through some woods and then alongside a golf course in Chingford. My guide said: "All golfers on this course are forced by an ancient law to wear bright red whilst playing golf so that everyone else can see and avoid them. They still must do that!"

Although I saw a couple of people in red, many others were in other colors. Sure enough, apparently since the guide was written, the "ancient" red-clothing rule has been abolished. Sad!

I ate lunch (a vegetarian full English breakfast) at table outside a little cafe in the golf course clubhouse, watching golfers over a fence laden with Union Jack bunting.

From there, the trail led me to Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, a timbered building from 1543. It's free to go inside, and it was interesting to see the timbered ceiling and walk the slightly sloping floors. Apparently it used to be a sort of open-air viewing stand from which royalty could watch the hunt on the nearby Chingford Plain, but windows were later installed and the building is now fully enclosed.

I then got thoroughly confused about where I was supposed to go, because the trail didn't seem to be where the guide said it was -- and I saw another walker who seemed to be wandering aimlessly, too, so it wasn't only me. But I found a parallel trail and eventually wound up in the right place. Near the Linder's Field Local Nature Reserve, I saw this longhorn moth with its dramatic antennae fluttering in the breeze.

From there, the path led me through the Roding Recreation Area and along the Roding River. And there, on the riverbank, I saw an EXORCISM!

I am not kidding you. I heard some yelling and growling from a fair distance away, and I thought it was a man trying to control his dog. But no -- the growling and barking and roaring was coming from that man lying on the ground, as the others stood over him repeating, "Leave him! In the name of Jesus Christ, leave him! He does not belong to you! He belongs to Jesus!"

The man on the ground thrashed around and I was, frankly, a bit terrified. It did not seem like a seizure or anything like that. I took a couple of discreet pictures and beat it out of there. And then, after walking about ten minutes, I realized I'd dropped my glasses case -- so I had to retrace my steps, and of course it was right back where I'd taken the pictures. And the exorcism was still going on!

How long does it take to get a demon to leave someone?

Anyway, it was surely one of the strangest sights I've ever come across on any of my walks.

From there I made my way into the community of Chigwell and caught a tube train back into town. I think I can finish the LOOP with just two more days of walking!


Yorkshire Pudding said...

I found myself giggling about the exorcism you stumbled across. I can imagine the look of horror and bemusement on your face. If I ever met your Dave, I might say to him "Leave him! In the name of Jesus Christ, leave him! He does not belong to you! He belongs to Jesus!"

Colette said...

Well that was a surprise! Really interesting random encounter. I don't think I would have had the nerve to go back for my glasses case!

Vivian said...

Panthers and lambs and demons, oh my. That was quite a walk.

Who? What? Why? Why do an exorcism in public?? They were obviously amateurs -- a real priest could have dispossessed that chap in half the time.

Ms. Moon said...

Oh my god. That's the weirdest thing ever. Is that legal? Publix exorcism? What if the devil had jumped into you? That would be terrible.
Otherwise- good job on the walk!
Had that little lamb been sheared?

Red said...

After the exorcism the rest of what you say disappears. I can't believe you saw this. I've been around but I would not catch on to what was going on. I'll bet you'll remember this for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Yikes. That exorcism is the weirdest encounter. I sure hope they got the devil out of that guy. How many devils are there? Mmm? I never thought about that before. Makes me wonder how many exorcisms happen daily. Another very interesting walk you had there.

Sharon said...

That is just about the most bizarre thing to stumble on to that I've ever heard. I would have been terrified too.

The Bug said...

That's just bizarre! And I would totally have been Facebook Live-ing that event - ha!

Catalyst said...

I think those would-be exorcists have watched too many horror movies.

jenny_o said...

Love the pictures of the ducklings, the rippling weeds, the roof -- and those antennae!

That exorcism is something else entirely!

Linda Sue said...

WOW you and your adventures, sir- get -around! what a fabulous day!! The hunting lodge is so amazing, the demon guy is pretty hilarious. You are a brave wanderer! Hope you did not get any demon on your shoes!

Steve Reed said...

YP: You're terrible!

Colette: I love my glasses case. I wasn't about to surrender it to the devil. :)

Vivian: Yeah, I have no idea why they were doing it there. Dave thinks it's some kind of scam, trying to collect money or a crowd or recruit people for a church. But it looked to me like they were scaring people away!

Ms Moon: That is EXACTLY what I thought -- "If I stand here, the demon might leave that guy and enter ME!" Funny how our darkest, most primitive superstitions can be activated by such situations.

Red: Ha! Yeah, it did kind of overshadow the rest of the day.

Robin: Isn't there just one big devil and then lots of little demons and goblins and whatnot? I honestly have no idea. Not really my theology!

Sharon: Without a doubt, my weirdest walking experience yet.

Bug: I did not even THINK of making a video. I should have, though!

Catalyst: Ha! At least there was no vomit, at least not that I saw.

Jenny-O: Aren't those antennae amazing?! I was so impressed with that little bug.

Linda Sue: I hope not too! I don't need a demon walking by my side. (Or on my feet!)