The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday 21 March 2011

Day 2 - Gt Yarmouth to South Walsham

21 March (0815-1440)
Distance: 15 miles (Tot: 35)
Weather: fair, some sun
Number of consecutive miles without a single foot of ascent: 10

Arriving back in Great Yarmouth by bus this morning we used the knowledge of the place gained during yesterday afternoon's wanderings to get ourselves back to yesterday's finishing point, from where we briefly took to the Weavers Way.

I had noticed last night that we had two obvious options today: to take the route I had plotted along the south bank of the River Bure, or to follow the Weavers Way. The Bure won the toss and having indulged in a tiny bit of trespass to reach it from the Weavers Way, the next ten miles required absolutely no navigation. Those 10 miles were also pathless, which did surprise us a little. But, the going was easy, even if a bit uneven as we simply made our way along the grassy top of the meandering embankment, often with water on both sides of us.

At Acle surprise hit us again, as we learnt that the entire stretch of path that we had just walked from Great Yarmouth was closed due to sea defence construction work. Glad I hadn't known that at the outset! (Of course, had we joined the path at a legal point, rather than trespassing we might have passed a closure notice.)

A handful of paces further on was another sign, telling us that our intended route to Upton was also closed, but rather than being for construction work it was to allow vegetation to regenerate following construction. A construction closure we would have ignored (particularly based on the morning's evidence), but I couldn't quite bring myself to trample tender vegetation. So, we re-routed.

Despite feeling like we'd been covering the ground at a more sensible speed than yesterday, and having indulged in appropriate breaks (not to mention a number of unscheduled faffs), we found ourselves 2 miles short of our night stop before we'd even had lunch. A reasonably leisurely lunch was immediately had, and then a mile and a bit later we found that the pub in South Walsham was open (unlike every other tea room and pub we'd passed during the day - it was starting to look like a bit of a conspiracy) so we slowed ourselves down further by popping in for tea.
The afternoon was then just half a mile long to bring us to our first Camping & Caravan Club Certified Location of the trip. Very nice it is too, and very quiet as we are the only people here (probably because the site doesn't actually open until April).

I would append a photo to the post at this point, except that I now realise that all photos were taken with the camera today. I forgot to get the phone out. Instead you'll just have to picture reeds, a river, a river cruiser and a windmill (with or without sails although we saw more without than with).

(Conrad: based on your stile count last year I have to conclude that the south side of the Bure has more stiles than the north side!
Geoff: I didn't publish a detailed itinerary for this one, just the route outline.
Robin: Confucious obviously didn't have the same storage limitation as we have (i.e. the number that can be fitted under the bed in a horizontal stack).
Others: thank you for the comments - always nice to receive them.)
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  1. Just to let you know that i live very very close to kings lynn... if you need anything or a bed for the night please get in touch.. might even be able to walk a day with you :-) happy walking and I will follow with interest :-)

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  3. I deleted my comment due to my confusion about the direction I was walking along the River Bure (just another senior moment).

    You must have passed The Three Feathers which I was counting on for a night's stop thinking it was on my side of the river. At Acle I continued north, so you have now parted from my route.

    Sounds like you're off to a good start and I'm looking forward to your forthcoming posts and following you on Memory Map.

  4. Hard life isn't it!

  5. "we found that the pub in South Walsham was open ... so we slowed ourselves down further by popping in for tea"

    Good Grief! With so much time on your hands you could have sampled the entire list!


  6. The site at South Walsham - if it's the one in the garden and orchard behind the farmhouse, I know it well. My brother lives in a village to the east, Salhouse. Good pubs are The Bell in Salhouse and the Fur and Feathers in Woodbastwick.

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