Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Day 1 of Around Britain's Coast Roads Trip

Actual Miles Driven Today - 293

Day 1 of my Grande Tour is here and reality and the emotion of the day kicked in as I said goodby to Ann , Robin and New Dog Digby for the first time in over 4 years. Here is a brief overview of how the day went.
Farewell from Son Robin & Digby the CockaPoo
I promised myself an early night and here it is 11.39pm and I am just starting this Blog Page. and 6.30 am finishing it off after a very good nights sleep, once I made the old grey matter stop thinking of 'roads ahead'.

Beaconsfield Old Town
The run from home to Bacton in Norfolk was an excellent start with fabulous weather as the pics will attest. Amazingly I got out of Beaconsfield with no hold ups but that was short lived as at the M40/M25 junction was traffic was stationary for about a mile back due to a blocked anti clockwise jam. lucky I did not choose to go that way around to Kent

Southend Football ground
Approaching Southend on Sea I spotted the Home Turf here. These quick snapshots from the camera hanging around my neck seem to work ok.

Southend Pier End in the distance.
I just had to take a pic of Southend Pier, It is so long that the end looks miles away.

Leaving home at 9.10am I did not arrive at Bacton until 7.40pm. despite hold ups on the A40 / M25 Junction and the weekly bin emptying near Southend.

Then things started to go wrong. I realised two things.
1. Roads on the map look simple to see. Trying to find them in towns in traffic is another matter.
2. The Sat Nav always wants to take you onto the main roads using the choice, Fastest Route, Non Motorway, or Shortest route. So I got lost for a short while missing Burnham on Crouch. I suppose putting Burnham of Sea (Somerset) in did not help!!!!
I also realised that it is impossible to drive and consult the map or my route list at the same time, so I have to think of a better way of managing progress. Not easy with a poor short memory span. we'll try and do better tomorrow.

Helicopter going over as I type, off out to the offshore gas rigs hear at Bacton.

Coming Into Maldon

Thames Barges offering Trips on board at Maldon Quay
The route took me to Southend on Sea and the around to Frinton on Sea via the beautiful Essex town of Maldon where a stroke of luck took me to the harbourside and a wonderful gaggle of Thames Barges with their distinctive brown sails.

Even the Mog got some attention
Arrived at Frinton on Sea via Clacton on Sea. Residentially, the north east end of Clacton seems to be nice with lots of free on road parking there with an easy short rum into Frinton on Sea.
I met with Philip & John for a fabulous lunch in John's sea view apartment where I took more pics.
Clacton on Sea and its Traditional Pier

Mog raring to go again

Running towards the seaside at Frinton on Sea
Ready to leave Frinton for the run up to Lowestoft with Philip leading the way. As he knows the area, I chose to follow for an easy ride.

Frinton from the balcony

Philip and his Mog ready to roll to Lowestoft.

Oh no! Frank is taking more photos !!!

Lowestoft Via Regal but very quiet Aldeburgh & then on along the sea front (no view) to beautiful Thorpness, created initially as a holiday village community.

Aldeburgh where you cant see the sea from the road

Thorpness, where i was unable to get a shot of the beautiful homes and fascinating Water Tower House.

Running through the villiage with Philip leading.

Lowestoft is very much a Port town where again it was difficult to take pics. The Red Light ahead allowed this one.

Into Lowestoft but not much to see

Great Yarmouth on the mouth of the Norfolk Broads is a mixture of Elegance and Traditional British Seaside Resort. I would go back for a better look around.

The Elegant Historic Harbourside Buildings

Driving along the Pleasure Beach area.

Tucked up for the Night at the Keswick Hotel

I arrived at the Keswick Hotel in Walcott, Bacton a 7.40pm, latter than planned and very tired, but equally elated.
Looking forward to day 2.

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