Trying to shake off the indigestible breakfast at the guest house I walk quickly away from the dubious pleasures of Clacton Pier, past the ubiquitous acres of caravans and bouncy castles, to the neglected house fronts of Jaywick. Scuttling past ferocious Pitbulls and Alastians, straining on their leashes, I keep my head down, ignoring the violent domestics going on behind not so closed doors. With relief I move into quieter tracks through lonely stretches of marshland on the way to Point Clear. A majestic boat with red sails accompanies me in the distance and after a few miles of twisting and turning the path turns into the concrete sea wall of Point Clear. Not knowing where to get the ferry across to Brightlingsea I stop and ask a local builder with more than a few stories to tell. Eventually I am directed to a patch of sand and after 10 minutes the charmless outboard lumbers up onto the beach and three minutes later I am dropped off on the other side.
Late afternoon and I now face a long but beautifully serene walk on the east bank of the River Colne. Two hours later and my sore feet are forgotten as I sit watching the sunset, downing a cold Stella in the Rose and Crown in Wivenhoe.
Distance: 14 miles