Day 325: St Lawrence to Creeksea
Distance: 23.70 miles
Ascent: 863 feet
Weather: Overcast, Misty & Damp
Accommodation: The Quinlan’s House, Creeksea (Kindly Offered)
I had slept well, and everything had kindly been laid out for my breakfast. I had been so grateful for the bed last night and the Terkelsens had even kindly found me a bed for this evening with one of their friends. Gilly was going to be joining for the first 7 or so miles, and as we passed the slipway a lady called Debs was waiting with 2 dogs and having read about the walk through the sailing club asked whether she could join and obviously I was more than happy the more the merrier.
It was a misty, quite damp morning as we set off, and once we were out of St Lawrence it was pretty much embankment walking all the way to Bradwell. Along this section we could just make out the ex pirate ship Radio Caroline which is now moored in the Blackwater and in fact has now got an official radio license. Also along this stretch I heard about how Debs has sailed solo for 6 years around the globe, making my one year seem quite tame.
At Bradwell Debs said goodbye and Gilly and I carried on passing the Bradwell Nuclear Power Station, which I believe means I have now seen every active, decommissioned, or under construction Nuclear facility in Great Britain. The weather was still misty and a bit damp as we hit what now felt like the sea as opposed to river.
We followed the embankment around passing a sort of religious, mindfulness community (not really sure what it was) and then reached Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall. This at first glance is a nice old looking building, it only becomes more remarkable when you realise it is one of the oldest largely intact buildings in the whole country dating back to about 660AD and many of the stones/bricks used in its construction are Roman. I said goodbye to Gilly here and actually went into the chapel (it is still used weekly) to have a little snack break out of the dampness.
The next 12 miles or so to Burnham on Crouch don’t require much description as the weather remained the same, and it was along embankments the whole way. These embankments were beautifully bleak and felt so remote. I did though pass one interesting military structure which was sort of like an oversized, multistory pillbox, and also on trying to walk into another more normal pillbox found a tent and belongings inside which was a shock to me so moved straight on.
I reached Burnham about 4pm, and the Quinlan’s who were very kindly putting me up this evening lived about 30 minutes further on but wouldn’t be back till 7pm. So I decided to stop in a pub (wanted a café but didn’t seem to be any open) and get on with charging some bits and starting to write up diary. In fact Gilly and her daughter had a opticians appointment in Burham finishing at 5 so they popped in to say hi again, and despite all the kindness yesterday evening still gave me even more supplies.
About 6:30 I headed out into the complete darkness (moon was quite obscured by cloud/mist) with my head torch on and following the embankment was quite easy. The only slight issue came as I had to head through all the yachts which were out of the water for winter and I just had to be a bit careful not to walk into anything but also hit the path on the other side. The final 500m was very muddy which was not ideal in the dark but finally I turned up at the house I thought I was staying in and fortunately it was the right one.
It was an absolutely fabulous house, and my room was lovely. The Quinlan’s were so kind, dinner was made for me and then we chilled by the TV before after a lovely evening I headed to bed fairly early.
A nice day due to all the people I met.