A flat stroll

On the off chance, yesterday I phoned my long-time walking pal Mel to see if he fancied a stroll, and I caught him just after he arrived home from a Caribbean cruise. Having spent more than a week eating vast quantities, in the company of vast Americans, he was ready to burn a few calories, but, like me, he was anxious to avoid mud. We decided upon a sea wall walk, out-and-back, from Heybridge Basin to Goldhanger.

Mel arrived at my house at about 10am and we started walking shortly after 11am. Mel had a 4pm appointment meeting a man in a car park about a ticket for a Tottenham Hotspur match, so with this seemingly dodgy mission in mind, we knew we had a deadline. We set off at a fair old pace in the cool, murky conditions that seem to have dominated the proceedings for far too long, which came as a shock to the jet-lagged Mel, who has become accustomed to a West Indian spring. We stopped at one of the “Tiptree Jams” tea room for a cuppa, but didn’t consume any solids, and then hurried on towards the Chequers pub, where Mel had the steak pie and I had the balti. We each enjoyed a pint of Woodfordes Wherry, a very tasty ale from darkest Norfolk. Thereafter we headed straight back, completing about 9.5 miles in under 4 hours, stops included.

Wildlife seen: 1 weasel, 1 marsh harrier, quite a lot of brent geese (shouldn’t they be in Siberia?) and a few waders. I didn’t take any photos.

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