Camping in long dead bracken near a road was a good excuse for a late start. So torch light did not distract drivers, and less chance to leave items behind. Great bird flock flight display and 4 flying swans. Sheppy bridge is another feature that looks close but takes ages to get there. Getting too hot, for the first time I took off the water proofs. Felt a lot better and able to walk faster.
I had to follow Milton Creek to the road bridge. I missed the sign and climbed a fence to the road. To rejoin the Saxon Shore Way ment walk to the round about right turn,next round about right turn. However, big notice Foot path closed, no right of way. Behind the sign, a tethered Alsatian. Back to the bridge. 2 K wasted. I decided to follow the byway to the shore. This took a direction away from my compass bearing, through a deep mud building site used by fly tippers. ,2 ladies in a car said that was the right way. I was not convinced, further along, they were right. The muddy track had large lakes of water. Ok if I can hold on to the barbed wire fence, not if Hawthorne trees are on the fence line. They scratch and I lost my footing. A family saw this, they too found the route difficult, blaming their out of date map. They had seen me on the bridge. I took their advice and walked around the back of the Hawthorne on the last puddle, but had to carefully walk over dumped rubbish. I was very glad to be back next to the shore.
Got to the visitors center at 3.30. There was a big fountain of spring water. People were filling up lots of 5 litre bottles. I put on my water proofs and filled my water bag. The floor was a quagmire , people slipping a lot. Happy I took my monk walk to find a camp place. On the corner spoke to a dog walker about the seals in the water and a lot on sheppy. Decided to put the tent up near the path. It was cold, just starting to rain. In my rush a pole broke. The collar worked very well. However I had a sick tent. GR 016643 17 miles walk total 83.5.