Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cycling holiday -- day 4

Today I planned to lunch at Orford, and the King's Head. It didn't work out like that.

Secret sauce

Footbridge

Starting off, heading to the harbour and along to the footbridge wasn't too bad, though the packed shingle of the harbour road wasn't too nice, especially when I had to under-take vans driving very slowly on the wrong side of the road. So I crossed -- and saw that the cyclable path beyond was closed, with some major work being done to it, so had to take the footpath along the levée to where I could get onto the road again.


View Larger Map

The by-way across the nature reserve had been less than fun, but passable when I came this way four years ago; and I recognised the shallow sandy basins that had been huge puddles that day. And I avoided coming a cropper on slopes that were loose sand. But then a surprise.

Between two barbed-wire fences, deep puddle, very muddy. Not for riding -- it would have to be portage. So barefoot, go across trying to wheel the bike on the rim -- and slip, spinning the front fork 180° and snapping the front brake assembly against a cable bracket for the rear gears. A design fault in that Claude Butler range.

Still, the weather is pleasant, and it's nice terrain to continue going barefoot; at the carpark, I sit, phone for help, and read, munching the occasional digestive biscuit.

That was 10:43. At just before 13:00 the van sails past, but notices as I wave, and backs up. Transfer and carry on to Dunwich. In the Ship Inn, it's not fish-faced web-fingered types I have to worry about -- I just seem to be much the youngest of the patrons. A pint of Reedcutter (from the Humpty Dumpty Brewery), and I'm on my way, as before down and across the heath, skirting Mimsmere, into Leiston and then down to Thorpeness as the clouds gather and the wind picks up -- enough that I push the rest of the way into Aldeburgh. The Scallop, as I pass, is providing a convenient windbreak to a young couple changing their infant's nappy...

The hotel has free wi-fi, but the encryption doesn't seem to be WEP (64 or 128 bit), and the staff are clueless to confirm anything beyond the passcode. Dine at the local Prezzo on mozarella in breadcrumbs and chicken and chorizo pizza. No web = early night.

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