On Thursday my friend and podcasting co-host Chris went for a walk. Since knowing about the 90 Waypoint Walk from seeing Marcus Brown present at Silicon Beach in 2016, it’s been singing I’ve been itching to try. Christmas rambles seemed to be the ideal opportunity.
The 90 Waypoint Walk is a route that can be followed anywhere. It’s a series of turn by turn instructions, Turn left, turn right, turn right again. At 11 am we set off, facing south, from the Eleanor Cross, the Victorian Gothic fancy stuck now unceremoniously in the middle of the car park in front of Charing Cross Station. The location was chosen because of its significance as the cartographic centre of the capital.
The walk, over two and a bit hours and ten kilometers, took us through Covent Garden, Holborn, through Bloomsbury and then up and beyond Kings Cross and into Somers Town. Though serendipity and judicious use of the available wildcards we ended up in front of the Tap pub at Euston Station, the terminus from which Chris needed to take his train home.
Walking with purpose, but without a known destination, is an interesting experience. We found ourselves much more aware of our surroundings that usual, even though much of the walk was in areas in which I have worked frequently in last twenty years. Our conversation covered all sorts of topics. Some spurred by our surroundings, some continuing on themes that we have explored over the past year on the podcast.
We marvelled that from the single starting point that there were three more permutations of the walk that would have taken us to completely different final destinations. That something so structured could have so many serendipitous outcomes. It was jolly good fun.
So now I’m thinking where next to do the walk. Speculative discussions of Leeds in the Spring. I’ve a trip to Budapest in April. I’m working frequently in Amsterdam this year and next. Birmingham next Christmas. The other three Charing Cross walks…
You can hear our observations from the walk on Monday night on this week’s WB-40.