Fenplodder strikes again

I can’t always go to the hills to walk, and so have to make the best of what’s on my doorstep.  Unfortunately, for a hill walker, that best is pretty poor.  Not only does my local terrain have very little in the way of ascent, parts of it are actually below sea level, if my GPS and Anquet are both to be believed.  Today’s walk was typical of the terrain, and apart from some faffing about in Thorndon Country Park at the start, most of the walk was technically downhill.  That’s not to say it was easy though.

Taking advantage of the fact that my daughter was geocaching with her scout troop in Weald Park, I got my wife to drop me off on the way, setting me down in Warley.  I knew I was in for a misty day from the journey in the car, but it looked disturbingly thick over where I was due to walk.

Warley Mist

Warley Mist

I passed the Ford headquarters and continued along the road until I entered Thorndon Country Park.  Now me and country parks don’t always get on.  I’ve found that an OS map, even at 1:25000 scale is next to useless in a country park, as there are always loads of extra paths that aren’t marked on the map.  So I had purposely planned that I would follow the main bridleway down through the park and this would put me roughly where I needed to be for the next stage.

Imagine my surprise then, when after ¾ hour I walked along a wide track and came out by a house.  A house that was quite similar to the one at the entrance.  So similar in fact that it was the same one.  Somehow I’d done a circle.  Indeed for the last bit of the circuit I was actually heading north along the path that I eventually took to recover the situation.  None of this bodes well for my orienteering club’s next event. No prizes for guessing where it is.

Permanent orienteering course in Thorndon Country Park

Permanent orienteering course in Thorndon Country Park

Annoyed with myself, and purely happening because I hadn’t wanted to be seen using a compass when everyone else was dog walking, I turned around and headed south along the edge of the park. I should have done this before as it brought me to Warley Common (if I’d read the sign first time I went past, I’d have realised), where I escaped the wood and joined a road for a short distance.  Now on the right path, the long trudge through the fields began.

A day of misty fields

A day of misty fields

Soon I was at the racetrack, sorry A127, which I had to cross.  But first I scraped the mud from my shoes to reduce the chance of me slipping on it on the dual carriageway.  I picked my moment and went for it.

Picking my moment...

Picking my moment…

The path the other side of the A127 disappeared into a ploughed up field.  It was clearly signed straight across, so I went for it.  Mistake.  I arrived at the other side of the field with feet twice the weight they were before, due to the mud I’d accumulated en route, walking like a dodgy cartoon character all the while.

Liked this field so much I took it with me

Liked this field so much I took it with me

Past Nutty’s Farm and an industrial estate alongside the railway.  Clearly this path isn’t used much…

West Horndon Obstacle Course

West Horndon Obstacle Course

Since pretty much all of South Essex’s transport infrastructure goes east-west, the next job was the railway.

Same routine as before, but will hurt more if I mess it up

Same routine as before, but will hurt more if I mess it up

Safely across the railway, a direct line through more muddy fields brought me to Blankets Farm, although due to the time lost in the mess up in Thordon, I had to stop on the way for lunch – in a ditch.  Now I was on familiar ground though and the rest of the walk was a simple matter of following the Mardyke.  Simple, that is apart from the fact that it was another 5 miles walk on top of the 8 I’d already done.

On the home stretch

On the home stretch

Along the Mardyke

Along the Mardyke

Along the Mardyke (still)

Along the Mardyke (still)

One thought on “Fenplodder strikes again

  1. out is out. Doesnt have to be a towering height that you scale up on your walk. As long as you walk your own walk and enjoy it no matter the conditions, then thats all you can ask for.
    Last spring, I started doing “walks from my house” every sunday morning to see what I could achieve. Surprisingly if I went all day then I found I could take in an incredibly varied landscape and walk and all from my own house 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s