Maylandsea Circuit (7.5kms/4.7miles)
It was one of the hottest days of the year and the cooling strong winds of the day before had lessened. However 16 group members turned out; those who had forgotten their hats being lent them by Sue who had a plethora of them with her and those who forgot their walking poles were found some. It was a jolly group and nice to see some old faces returning after long absences.
We set off heading west along the seawall and could see a half moon visible in the clear sky ahead of us. The tide was at its lowest but by the time we returned several hours later it had risen substantially, quite changing the appearance of the scene. About a mile into the walk the ‘point of no return’ (no shortcuts available after here) was reached but everyone opted to continue. From that point it was a circuit heading firstly north across a field of golden crops that must have been on the point of being harvested (but luckily for us not that day as the dust would have been problematical). Everywhere was crispy dry and dusty –someone said a first for us not to be lead through mud!
This walk afforded little shade, with just a small amount from some bushes early on and some shade from a farm barn about halfway round. It was a relief to reach the seawall and enjoy a slight breeze. Although from here Maylandsea looked temptingly close this seawall did what seawalls do and meandered in all directions. It was a pretty section of the walk with the various shades of greens of the saltings, the mud shining in the sunlight, the blue sky and the distant water and boats in the creek. One delight was the sighting of swathes of yellow flowers growing on the seaward side of the wall that later identification found to be Golden Samphire. This flower is rare except in a few locations, the Thames Estuary and Essex being two of them (the other locations are around Portsmouth, south Wales, Anglesey and around Dublin); it only flowers July to August so we were fortunate to be here at the right time.
Some struggled with the heat but we all made it back to the Blackwater Bistro for a well-earned drink and having been pre-ordered, the food came promptly and was enjoyed by all.
Next Walk – As the group leader will be away for the regular September walk it has been changed to Tuesday October 4th. Details will be given to all group members but anyone else wishing to join us should contact the group leader on 783786.