We are told walking is one of the most beneficial activities, and walking with others who enjoy the countryside, who can chat freely with each other and exchange friendly banter has all the ingredients for a good day out – add fine weather and wonderful scenery and what could be better? We were so lucky on this walk to have all these things and also the addition of three new walkers to the group.
We had previously met at Maylandsea in August when we walked west via the so-called ‘petrified oaks’ at Mundon; today we followed a loop to the east. The tide was low and a multitude of wading birds fed on the exposed mud flats. We followed the seawall for approximately one mile and spent plenty of time stopping to admire the views, the birds and the way the light shone on the mud; it was idyllic except that there had recently been days of rain so underfoot the surface ranged through all states of mud from muddy, very muddy to extremely muddy.
Turning south we walked beside the saltings and noticed many white rubbishy things looking like jetsam but which later proved to be egrets. From a field in front of us, with their loud distinctive murmuring chorus, there rose a flock of at least one hundred brent geese, which flew the short distance to Mayland Creek and landed in the now fast rising water. In fact for the first half of the walk we were accompanied by their ‘rronk, rronking’ sounds and also by the distinctive calls of curlews and oystercatchers.
Having passed the fishing lakes on the landward side we left the mud behind us and joined St Peter’s Way. We wandered through a small section of woodland, down a track and on to pasture. Crossing a field three large and boisterous horses caused some consternation with their firm nudges and huge heads looking for delicacies they thought we might have hidden in our packs. They frolicked and rolled but we emerged unscathed. Most were preoccupied with the horses and missed the sighting of a brown hare running to cover – others slightly more observant spotted a mouse.
The tide had risen by the time we regained the seawall and made our way back to the Marina Bistro for lunch. Under new management and undergoing extensive refurbishment we were warmly welcomed and seated at a table set amongst the dangling electric wires and paint pots. Although not fully functional the chef/owner produced food at our request; sandwiches for some, chips (with omelette or ham) for others, pizza – a real mixture; he wants to please and deserves to do well (6.5kms/4 miles)
Next walk (4th Tuesday monthly)
December 23rd Meet at Burnham railway station in time to catch the 10.20 train to Althorne and walk back to group leader’s house for light refreshments (7kms/4.4miles).
December 30th EXTRA WALK (between 4-5 miles) – contact me for details if you are interested.