Heavy rain forced a two-hour delay this morning. Although it had eased by 09.30 it returned with a vengeance an hour later, effectively ruling out any idea of diverting to West Mersea. The pretty estuary of the Blackwater needs to be seen on a sunny day, not in dreary overcast conditions. So I ploughed on, kitted up in wet weather gear for the first time in ages, to Rowhedge and Colchester. It was a pity to be ending the ride like this, but at least it was the penultimate day, not the final one. The forecast for tomorrow, Friday 5th, is much better.
It was good to pick up NCR 51 at Colchester's East Hill. That's the same cycle route as passes my house. Here it follows the River Colne on a well-laid off-road path, past the modern student accommodation for the University of Essex, and on to Wivenhoe. On the opposite side of the river is the redundant Coldock, closed by Associated British Ports in the late 1990s and now lying derelict.
Fortunately today's ride was short, so I was able to spend some time sheltering from the rain, first in a well-equipped bus shelter at Langenhoe, and later at the Quayside Cafe at Colchester's Hythe (better than it sounds). But eventually I gave up waiting for the rain to stop and pressed on to Brightlingsea, where I crossed to Point Clear on the foot ferry. It was then a short hop to a (noisy) pre-booked campsite at Thorpe-le-Soken.
This evening, Geograph-er Arthur Rope met me and treated me to an excellent meal at the local Rose and Crown pub. Arthur lives nearby in Colchester.
My final 'thought' is this: 'There's only one life, so live it'. I've mentioned this before, and it's bound to offend people with certain religious beliefs. But I'm convinced there's no after-life. My policy therefore is to get on with life and to enjoy it as much as possible. There's no heaven or hell either to look forward to or to fear.