Tuesday 7 April 2015
Barking to Purfleet
6 miles walked
taxi to Provident Lodge, N of Tilbury
Thanks to my friend Val for hosting me last night and cooking me a lovely meal; I fear the bar has been set too high to follow. I had a tube ride back to Barking to contemplate my blistered and aching feet before I set off on a glorious sunny day. I’ve never been to Barking and Dagenham before and they definitely disappointed. Maybe I only saw the worst bits but there was a lot of litter and I counted 6 dumped mattresses on the side of the road; a definite record. Bored of dirty side streets, achy feet and no sign of the river I hopped on a bus to Rainham (it’s not cheating as this isn’t a challenge!). Rainham Marshes were interesting and full of birds, and rubbish. In fact there is a huge landfill site there as well as a dump for stuff that’s dredged out of the Thames. Lovely. When I finally hit the riverbank there were great views of the Queen Elizabeth II bridge and the Darent Valley flood barrier (should get a closer look at that next year).
By the time I reached Purfleet RSPB reserve my feet were killing me so I decided to call it a day and get a taxi to my B&B. I did enjoy tea on the veranda first, admiring the view. Listening to the local twitchers getting excited about the sighting of a red kite and a spitfire was amusing as I have left home where there are hundreds of red kites and I’ve seen the RAF Spitfire numerous times as well. Should have stayed at home!