Walton on the Naze for a classic weekend at the seaside

We spent a lovely weekend in Walton, in spite of the National Express strike (thankfully lifted on the Friday, allowing us to travel down that evening rather than Saturday morning and losing half of a precious weekend).

Saturday started slowly, with a stroll into town for supplies and by luck we met up with Sue at The Round Tables, where we were obliged to indulge in a fry up brunch. The rest of the day comprised a long sunny afternoon sat in my deckchair on the prom at Hipkins Beach reading Revelation, with an adjournment to the beach hut for a late lunch – more of a tea really – of cheese and biscuits, pork pie and scotch eggs for the meat eaters, and bakery cakes for afters: jam doughnut, bakewell tart and apple strudel. Then back to the prom, the sun and our books.

Tasty thai for dinner at Samui after a pint of delicious Abbot ale in The Victory pub.

Sunday started with a champagne and croissant breakfast in honour of Sue’s birthday then, once Phil and Sue’s dad had joined us, a repeat of Saturday’s seaside (in)activity, and chocolate birthday cake for tea.

Distracted by a seal swimming in the surf just off Walton beach, we had to speed walk to catch the (slow) train back to the smoke and a late leftovers supper.

Headline of the weekend: FRINTON: Vicious attack on two men by gang of 30

Annapurna Circuit: here we come!

Hazel and I are booked onto the Annapurna Circuit trek organised by Mountain Kingdoms.

Yay! Amazing mountains and wonderful people, here we come.

Let’s hope our legs last out the 200 miles and the 5414m Thorong La Pass…..

Annapurna map, courtesy of Digital Himalaya. See Where next? (now below) for more details….

Destination: Nepal

Why: to trek the Annapurna circuit with Hazel and to see the Himalaya again

When: October 2009

How: on Mountain Kingdom’s Annapurna Circuit trek


  • Day 01. Depart LONDON
  • Day 02. Arrive KATHMANDU. Transfer to Hotel Shangri-La
  • Day 03. Drive to BESI SAHAR (5-6 hrs drive) then trek to KHUDI (2,591 ft/790m)
  • Day 04. Trek to BAHUNDANDA (4,330ft/1,320m)
  • Day 05. Trek to CHAMJE (4,691ft/1,430m)
  • Day 06. Trek to BAGARCHHAP (7,086ft/2,160m)
  • Day 07. Trek to CHAME (8,628ft/2,630m)
  • Day 08. Trek to PISANG (10,465ft/3,190m)
  • Day 09. Trek to MANANG (11,482ft/3,500m)
  • Day 10. Rest day at MANANG
  • Day 11. Trek to YAK KHARKA (13,418ft/4,090m)
  • Day 12. Trek to THORONG PHEDI (14,730ft/4,490m)
  • Day 13. Cross THORONG LA (17,764ft/5,414m) Trek to MUKTINATH (12,500ft/3,810m)
  • Day 14. Morning in MUKTINATH. Afternoon trek to KAGBENI (9,200ft/2804m)
  • Day 15. Trek to MARPHA (8,760ft/2,670m)
  • Day 16. Trek to KALOPANI (8,300ft/2,530m)
  • Day 17. Trek to TATOPANI (3,904ft /1,190m)
  • Day 18. Trek to SIKHA (6,600ft/1,980m)
  • Day 19. Trek to GHOREPANI (9,105ft/2,775m)
  • Day 20. Ascent/Descent POON HILL (Optional) (10,495ft/3190m) 1-2 hrs. Trek to TIRKHEDUNGHA (5,133ft/1,540m)
  • Day 21. Trek to NYAPHUL (2,713ft/827m). Drive POKHARA 1-2 hrs drive (arr lunchtime; Hotel Barahi; Lonely Planet Hotel review)
  • Day 23. KATHMANDU
  • Day 24. Fly KATHMANDU – LONDON

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Dad and Jean visit the smoke

Dad and Jean have been down for the weekend.

Friday evening saw us dining in (almost) splendid isolation at The Modern Pantry, and imbibing one carafe of Marlborough red wine too many….

On Saturday morning we visited the excellent Henry VIII exhibition at the British Library, and split forces in the afternoon with Jean going to see War Horse – which Phil and I saw a few weeks ago; the animal puppets (they’re lifesize, so puppets doesn’t seem quite the right word) were amazing – and dad and I heading on to the BP Portrait competition exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, and taking a quick look at the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square after a reviving cup of tea in the National Gallery cafe.

Dinner was takeaway from the Barbican Tandoori, the Chawol being temporarily out of action due to a fire! An amazing sunset rounded off a lovely day.

Summer sunset skyline

Sunday was more gentle affair, starting off with the Garden Museum over near Lambeth Palace (a tranquil spot, with lots of history) followed by a late Sunday lunch at the Wood Street bar and restaurant – delicious.