17 November 2015 (Tuesday) - Back to Essex
A few weeks ago (in the company of some gallant souls) I set off to walk the first part of the Essex Way. Today, depite the weather forecast, we decided we'd go back and walk some more of it. Bearing in mind the winter days are shorter we knew we'd need an early start.
Fudge's expression had to be seen to be beleived at 4.30am.
We had a quick brekkie of coffee and Belgian buns and set off. Firstly to Singleton to collect Fudge's pal (and her associate!) and then on to Teynham; Matt's car was in the garage. As we drove we had competing sat-navs shouting instructions. "er indoors TM" was sticking with the tried and trusted Google whilst the back seat driver was using an app called Waze. Initially my money was on Waze because it was confidently predicting a shorter journey time. However my confidence was shaken when it transpired that Waze was aimed at where we starting walking (which was ten miles closer than Google's target of where we were actually meeting).
Despite Waze's machinations we made our way through the hamlet of Margaret Roding and along Wiggly Bush Lane to the Church at Good Easter. Once assembled everyone piled into my car and we drove ten miles away to Chipping Ongar.
Seven of us (and two small dogs) then walked back to where we'd left the cars. A simple enough proposition...
It was a really good walk. We started walking at 8.30am and finished just over seven hours later having tracked down over seventy elusive geocaches over a distance of about eleven miles. As we walked I fell over (with a heavy thud) in the mud, and Suzy-pup ran off for half an hour. And we had our picnic lunch in the porch of one of the churches in Willingdale whilst overlooking the other. The village has two chuches which share the same churchyard. How weird is that?
We set off expecting a wet afternoon, and within minutes of finishing lunch so the rain started. It was heavy, and we did get wet. But on the positive side it didn't rain for *that* long really and we were soon at the chosen end-point.
I must admit I was expecting the walk to have taken a lot longer than it did. We were all planning to be finishing the walk in the dark; as it was we could (probably) have gone on to have found another dozen caches in the remaining daylight.
But instead we piled into the two cars we'd left at Good Easter and drove back to find my car in Chipping Ongar. Just as we got there so the really heavy rain started.
As we drove home I realised just how much I prefer not driving. What with the logistics of getting from A to B we needed my seven-seater. There's no denying that I was rather wilting from the driving by the time we'd got home.
Once home we washed the mud from the dog then washed the mud from our boots. And with a rather good pasta bake we had a rather disappointing bottle of porter.
I took a few photos whilst we were out. Mostly when it was dry but a few in the rain I put those on line then thought about an early night. I'm on the early shift tomorrow...