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11th February 2020 The first point of call on my project was The Orwell Bridge in Suffolk. Although not in Essex it seemed a solid place to start this photographic journey which will see me travel along the Essex coastline with my camera. Geographically, the first major place of interest on the Essex coast is Harwich, but to get to it from the Orwell Bridge would take me along the banks of the River Stour and to an interesting little spot which is known as The Walls What with one thing or another I had various appointments etc and the only available day I had to visit The Walls was on Tuesday 11th Feb. For once I was up relatively early 07.15, didn't feel too bad and by 11.30 I was ready to go. I weaved my way across Colchester avoiding all of the well know traffic black spots and tuned in to Classic fm, for some easy to listen to music. What with Brexit and the Coronavirus I wasn't in the mood for anything heavy duty.  I arrived at Manningtree just after 12.00 and took a drive along the road that shadows the banks of the Stour and was horrified to see the level of the water. The tide was in and the surrounding area was totally flooded. Storm Ciara had certainly left her mark. With absolutely no chance of getting any worthy pictures from that location, I managed to turn round in a nearby housing estate and head towards The Walls. Normally, there is a huge variety of wading birds, Gulls and resident Swans to see, but with the tide extremely high most of the had taken refuge in the undergrowth. The wind was almost gale force and bitterly cold. I wrapped up and went for a walk along the pathway which runs alongside the river and the conditions were difficult to say the least and  atmosphere totally uninspiring. There was a tea van parked at the far end of the road, so I decided on a cuppa and a Bacon Roll. There was another guy there doing the same and he was chatting to the owner about football. It transpired that we supported Forest, Wolves and Derby and quite remarkably the Derby supporter lived in the same village as me. An interesting conversation was had. Tea and Bacon Roll consumed, I bid them farewell and went back to the car and got the 5D and the 24 -105 lens out and headed off in search of some photo's. The tripod and ND filters remained in the bag. I didn't intend on staying long. My trip to The Walls was short and sweet, but not a complete waste of time. The river was totally out of character and I caught it a day after Storm Ciara had paid a visit and left it in a bit of a mess. It was nice to share a cup of tea with a couple of interesting characters and although it was a bitterly cold day, I enjoyed the fresh air and ticked another destination off of my list. Next stop, Harwich, Parkeston and Dovercourt. ​To view the full size images click and scroll through the gallery.

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