Joanne and Jack picked me and David up at about 9.30 a.m. in their little, navy blue Fiesta. The poor car was already laden down with a couple of small ruck sacks, 2 garden chairs, badminton rackets, 24 cans of cider, 2 bottles of wine, water, and big bag of groceries, from cereals to sausages (in fact, fine Beckenham sausages from Villagers Fine Sausage Shop). By the time our bags had been squashed into the remaining space, and we were in the car, its springs were feeling the strain. Loaded up as it was, we set of gingerly, down the road.
Feeling the swing on each corner, Jo soon got used to the extra weight, and in no time we were heading out of London towards the Blackwall Tunnel. And that is when we hit a queue that stretched into the distance like a giant, colored bracelet going round the earth. With a sharp turn to the left, we swung onto a side road. "No, it is too early to join queues," Jo stated, and we were on our way to the Rotherhide Tunnel. It seemed like other people had had the same idea because the road was very congested. But the traffic did keep moving, and after about an hour, we were reading the sign over the tunnel, 'Built in 1908' and being gobbled up into the mouth of its Edwardian facade.
I, for one, was thankful to get out of that tunnel. We had to proceed very slowly behind a mini bus that crawled at an unusually slow pace, as though the driver was drunk, or on his mobile phone. He even mounted the safety curb at one point, making us hang back a little. There was a build up of fumes in the tunnel, too, diesel and petrol exhaust, it wasn't pleasant. Ah well, we survived! Next we made for the motorway, headed for Cambridge, and then on towards Norwich. Our destination was a little village called Ackle, in Norfolk.
Safely arriving at Ackle, we located Richardson's boatyard and found the boat that we had hired for four days, moored, and waiting to be loaded with our bags and baggage. Very soon, Bill the boatman was explaining the ins and outs of how to handle the boat, and explaining river regulations.
We set off, David at the helm, for a practice run, and once it was clear that we had mastered the art of knots for mooring the boat, and proved we could handle her on the river, Bill the boatman hopped off, and we were on our way. I think the pictures tell the rest of the story.
BeWILDerwood for the day...
I hope you have enjoyed sharing the joy of our little adventure in Norfolk. Don't forget to click on the highlighted words, for more information, especially for info about the fantastic sausage shop in Beckenham. Please join me for my next adventure, which I'm sure will happen very soon.
Bye for now,
Love Jane x