Words and pics contributed by Jim Grundy.
After the last fortnight’s heatwave and my grave warning to bring our own body weight in water, we met at the agreed time outside Shotley Village Hall to be presented with a cool breezy and somewhat cloudy morning.
Fourteen of us in all and a warm welcome to another two new members, Boyd and Lorraine.
We set off on time at 10 am and completed the first five-mile stretch (Shotley to St Mary’s Church, Harkstead) in very good time, probably walking briskly as it was such a cool start.There was a brief break en route at Erwarton Ness where we sat on a bit of shingly beach.
Our first lunch stop was at St Mary’s Harkstead where we met up with Miriam and a Spanish lady called Christina who is on a volunteering visit at Old Hall. The sun then decided to come out and the humidity rose quickly.
Just after leaving St Mary’s we walked through a paddock with horses which comes to a style and a short section of field before crossing into Lovers Lane. A big boo hiss! to the person who has attempted to block the entrance to the field with a fallen tree. It looks deliberately placed there to prevent access so it is not a coincidence or an accident, but we were able with a little difficulty to climb over it (see photo). Totally out of order!
A brief two-mile walk on the road to Chelmondiston, where we were rewarded with a drink stop at the Butt and Oyster pub at Pinn Mill. It was an interesting spectacle at the pub as I have never seen such a high tide covering the benches and public loos and literally lapping up to the beer garden wall.
Then an approx. five-mile stretch along the banks of the Orwell to take in a magnificent view of the estuary overlooking Felixstowe and Harwich; a pity that by then the weather had closed in again and was fairly cloudy and dark because I have seen the view on a bright and sunny day and it is spectacular.
We said goodbye to Glenn and his friend Simon as they were taking the ferry back to Harwich then walked inland past Shotley Church, where the commonwealth war graves were a point of interest. Finally we strolled back along the Old Hall road to Shotley village hall, arriving just after 4pm. A good day out.