70 miles walked
(Total 161 miles)
What a stunning week of weather. It was enough to have me out camping 5 nights on the trot, which wasn’t as bad as it might have been although it does mean later starts in order to let my tent dry.
I’ve made it around Essex, the county with the longest coastline and not somewhere on my list of places to visit. So here are a few of my impressions:
1. If you like walking and wildlife, particularly birds, then Essex is a great place to visit; it has miles and miles of sea wall to walk along with great views from an elevated position and 87 nature reserves (some with cafes).
2. Of the places I visited, Burnham and Maldon were great for sailors, Mersea is lovely if you go outside of holiday season when it’s taken over by caravaners, and the main resorts of Southend and Clacton are good if you like traditional seaside resorts with long promenades, loud funfairs, chips and cheap lager.
3. Mostly the people are really friendly. I have been stopped loads and engaged in conversation, and the people I’ve stayed with (Lindsey, Jo, Jackie and Dave) have been very kind and great fun. I have only met less friendly people in the bigger towns where I clearly stick out like a sore thumb.
After 6 nights camping next this week, and with the benefit of 2 weeks of experience behind me, I have realised that I will be much slower on this trip than I had anticipated. All the other stuff around the walking, such as putting up and down my tent, sorting out places to stay, mapping my route, getting food…and the list goes on, take quite a while. The admin, combined with a heavy pack and sore feet, mean a revised target of 15 miles per day (dependent upon where I can stop for the night of course). I think I need to change my tag line to 5000 miles!