By the time work came around yesterday I was absolutely knackered and wondering how I’d get through the night, let alone go out walking with my brother the next day. But then there was a minor miracle and I got out of work 5.5 hours early. Things had been going well until that point – when my Fitbit reset at midnight I’d hit over 18,000 steps and burned over 4000 kcals (by a smidge) plus I’d helped out a nice manager with my superior knowledge of the system. The two-and-a-half hours I managed to stay in work were productive then! That being the case I went home without an ounce of guilt and got some sleep ready for today’s walk.
Some people might think that an estuary is not the best place to go when it’s a little, shall we say, on the cold side? But I am obviously a hardcore walker because even though it was snowing when I got in the car at 9am it didn’t put me off. 40 minutes later I arrived at my destination which was a little car park at Heybridge Basin. Well I didn’t see any kitchen or bathroom sinks, only a canal that leads into an estuary. I was looking forward to seeing the lock and hoped a boat would be going through at some point but unfortunately Heybridge is currently undergoing a facelift and all the boats are trapped where they are for the time being.
It was (or would have been) a short walk to the lock from the car park but me being me I accidentally went in the complete opposite direction. This wasn’t such a bad thing because we got to see more of the canal, got more exercise, and we also saw some ducks and moorhens. I took a few pictures on my travels and was surprised at how well they came out. I took my old camera and lens that I bought when I first got into digital photography as I was afraid all of my better gear would get snowed on. I needn’t have worried because it stayed dry for the rest of the day but there you go.
After the canal ran out of boats and became a lot less interesting we turned back and headed for one of the two pubs at the lock. As usual when I’m out walking I find I need the ladies room as soon as we set off, which I’m sure is psychological. I don’t know about anyone else but I find it impossible to go in a place just to use the loo so felt obliged to buy a coffee even though I had a flask back in the car. Happily it was a very nice cup of coffee and it was good to have a little sit down before we set off again. I would also like to point out that the sugar didn’t get touched!
As we headed out along the edge the estuary it was a lot colder but we walked along the sea wall for a good while, all the time my brother telling me interesting ‘facts’. My brother is really good at retaining information and it’s interesting to hear what he’s learned recently, but he has a terrible habit of mixing in some stuff he’s made up himself. A small part of me finds it infuriating that he can so convincingly make up elaborate lies but the rest of me is mostly impressed and finds it fun. Just don’t tell him I said that…
I’m pleased I had him with me because there wasn’t really a huge amount to see, though a passing local (this awesome old dude who left us in the dust) assured us that it’s much nicer in the summer. We carried on walking until we reached what looked like an industrial estate and decided to turn back. In some ways it’s nice that we’re never far from civilisation but in other ways it really, really isn’t! All in all we walked for about 8 miles, did 14,000 steps, met some friendly dogs, and spotted a cormorant (I couldn’t get a good picture sadly). It was also nice to see the last remains of autumn which added a little colour to an otherwise gray day.
We were out for about 2-and-a-half hours in the end which I think isn’t bad for 8 miles-worth of exercise, plus I got to christen my new boots. I was right- I don’t have a single blister and my dodgy right knee didn’t ache at all despite us trudging through quite a lot of mud. That usually does me in! All in all I’m feeling virtuous for getting off of my back side and braving the cold.
When I got home I decided I wasn’t quite done with exercise yet, so after hanging out with my parrot for a while (she was very displeased indeed that I’d gone and left her for the morning) I felt that I needed to get walking again. I mentioned in my previous post that I wanted to hit 30,000 steps in a single day before weigh-in, and since I was over halfway there already I thought I might as well smash it out before the end of the day.