Wednesday 15 April 2015
East Mersea to Frinton-On-Sea
15 miles walked
Camping at Grange Farm, Thorpe-Le-Soken
Morning ablutions were cheered up somewhat by reading Chris’s comments to my blog. Today was the hottest and sunniest so far, which also made it the sweatiest. Jo kindly made me porridge and tea while I packed up a dry tent and then I made my way to the end of Mersea Island to await the 1015 ferry across the River Colne.
The ferry man kindly gave me free passage in honour of my trip and the fact that I was going to Point Clear because apparently no one goes there. When I arrived I saw why. It was a bit derelict and rubbishy, and yet more caravans. Its only redeeming feature is the first Martello Tower in the line between Brightlingsea and Aldeburgh, defending us against Napoleon.
Two hours later I reached the biggest set of holiday caravan parks I have seen. Apparently this area is a holiday Mecca for East Londoners from Dagenham and Barking, and it seems like lots of them own static caravans. I carried on through Jaywick to reach Clacton-On-Sea. Jaywick is the most rundown, poverty stricken place I’ve seen. Half the houses were boarded up, there was rubbish everywhere and every adult I passed was drinking a can of extra strong lager. A couple of places had extremely loud music blaring, one was country music and had speakers on the walls and an old bloke sat out the front. Another had younger inhabitants and I drew a few expletives just for walking by.
Clacton-On-Sea was busy with people enjoying the summer sun in April (not sure anyone goes to school) and I took the opportunity to cool my feet with a quick paddle in the sea. Think I might have had a swim if I had been somewhere else. I saw the world’s supply of motorbility scooters going along the promenade and didn’t bother stopping for lunch as I didn’t fancy a bacon burger, chips or any of the other fare on offer. Yet again I drew more comments from passers by, mostly rude, and often commenting on the ‘ski poles’.
Quite a lot of the beachside promenade was closed as £36M is spent on new fish tail groynes to improve the sea defence. I counted 11 cranes and 5 dumper trucks in operation. Impressive to watch.
I busted myself the last 4km in the afternoon heat to try and make the 1603 train from Frinton-On-Sea to the campsite at Thorpe-Le-Soken and missed it by 3 minutes. Gutted as that meant a 57 minute wait for the next one.