Thursday, 4 February 2010

Colne Walking: Upstream

It was a beautifully sunny day. I walked to town along the Colne. It's sign posted as 2 miles from the Hythe. From here, it's about two miles to Wivenhoe. The scenery in each direction is quite different, though. And it's been a while since I've walked down to Wivenhoe and beyond when the sun was out.

The first part of the walk isn't all that great. It looks like an old industrial area, trash on the sides of the road, the pavement cuts off and you have to walk in the road for part of it, neglected buildings and boats. My favorite part of the first bit are the holes in the wall. One has wood carving framing it and the other is simply a hole in the wall and it looks like someone lives on the other side. I find it odd that there's a wall there. People who live in the adjacent buildings look out their windows and see the road and then the wall. Depressing. After the wall, comes a few abandoned buildings and a little round about. Then you walk through what feels like people's backyards, some areas look like they're used as personal dumping grounds.

Especially in winter, it seems excessively gray and dead. Most of the plants are without leaves and colors that signal life. I didn't particularly want to be walking there. There were duck-like birds on the bank. I couldn't tell from my distance if they were teal or widgeon. Wood pigeons sat at the tops of bare trees.

Along the way were bizarre metallic signs, like lamp posts, artistically designed with different items and words like Migrate, Diesel, Nesting and Boats.
I didn't know what to make of them. I saw only 4 but I'm not sure how many of them there are.

The graffiti on the railroad bridge was a welcome flash of color.

Just after the bridge the reeds glowed in the sunlight. I stopped to admire it. Two evergreen trees stood just beyond. Both the reeds and the trees were reflected in the brown water. I think the sunlight makes that reflection possible. It makes the river a much nicer place.

After winding through the worn down parts of the river, there's a road, and then what I guess is the old Marriage mill and suddenly it's beautiful, manicured parklands. Funny to see where the money cuts in and out. Walking from East Hill up to Castle Park is a completely different experience. Green lawns, fancy townhouses, the non-tidal portion of the river.

My favorite part was the iced-over lake and the seagulls and ducks that stood on it. Watching them land on the ice was good for a chuckle. They're less graceful looking with a slide.

I watched an air bubble move beneath the ice for a while before continuing on to town.

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