Log No 333. Mon 2nd Jun 2014 - Brightlingsea to Thorpe-le-Soken, 23 miles (5139 miles walked)Mick didn't have the same maps as me and his rough estimate of the distance to the campsite was 17 miles, my route to the campsite was 26 miles so I needed an early start.
I didn't wake up until 05.15, much later than normal, so I obviously needed the day off. I managed to start walking at 07.00.
It was all grey skies and rain didn't look far away but there was hardly any wind and it was just right for t-shirt & shorts.
There were creeks to get round before I could get back to the coast so I took footpaths out of Brightlingsea to get to the B1027 for the road walk to St Osyth.
The footpath from Brightlingsea
I thought I had made a bad decision when I saw the condition of one of the paths, it had been walked but it must have been by the seven dwarfs, I know I'm not very tall but it was almost hands & knees to get under some of the fallen trees.
Before I reached the road I met two ladies, Mary & Wendy, out with their dogs and with binoculars round their necks. They were checking up on the Barn Owl nesting boxes in the area.
When I got to the village of St Osyth I had thought about heading west a bit to get to Lee-over-Sands but decided to save 3 miles and go straight on to St Osyth Beach.
The seafront at Jaywick
From here it was seafront walking all the way, going through Jaywick to Clacton-on-Sea and beyond.
I passed three more Martello Towers before I reached Clacton-on-Sea, I had never realised there were this many built, I had only ever seen the two in Orkney before.
Coming into Clacton-on-Sea
It was a strange kind of day, very quiet and peaceful, there were some people about but very little traffic noise and just the gentle rippling of the sea on the pebbles.
I stopped to chat with quite a few people today, including Roy, a keen 69 year old cyclist, who was taking a break on a bench.
The seafront from Clacton Pier
The threatened rain started in Clacton but it was very light and I didn't bother putting waterproofs on, although I did put the cover over the rucsac.
The seafront path continued through Holland-on-Sea and on to Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze.
It was not quite so peaceful here with the amusement arcades at the end of Walton Pier piping out music.
Beyond Walton was the headland, The Naze, but I never went on it although Roy had told me the information boards there were full of interesting facts, instead I turned back up the High Street to get some supplies before taking the road to the campsite.
Looking to The Naze from Walton
I had 5 miles of road walking now, on the B1034 through Kirby-le-Soken then on to the B1033 to Thorpe-le-Soken and the campsite was at Grange Farm.
The rain was coming down just heavy enough in the last couple of miles that I had to put my waterproofs on but luckily it eased off again when I got to the site and started to put up the tent at 16.00.
The rest day must have done me some good as the 23 miles don't seem to have taken much out of me and my right leg, which had been bothering me a bit over the last week with occasional pain as from a trapped nerve, not too bad at all.