Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Framlingham to Orford

Martello tower

Martello Tower

The sky was bright and clear when I woke at 06:30, and soon the early sun was apparent, too.

After a so-so breakfast, I was on the road by 08:30, and already cloud was brewing up, leaving by turns, hazy sunshine and cloud, though much milder than yesterday, with the strong wind now from the south-west.

As the forecast was for rain in the afternoon, I set my itinerary to arrive at Orford about lunchtime -- through Wickham Market and crossing the A12 on a bridge, towards Ufford (having to dodge sprinklers that have irrigated the road as much as the fields) and passing Sutton Hoo before 10. The sun is winning at the moment, so I take off my jacket, before heading down through Shottisham, through country lanes heavy with the scent of the onion harvest, through Alderton to hit the coast at Bawdsey East Lane by 11.

Hereat the coast it was cold enough to want a jacket; but the weather was still not looking ominous, and plenty of time to hit the 2pm first check in, 3pm end of lunchtime hours at the King's Head, so I decided to try at least part of the walk I'd wimped out of a couple of years ago, and pushed along the coast up to Shingle Street, passing more Martello Towers in various states of renovation or dereliction.

The path emerged from an obscure piece of hedge I'm sure I would not have spotted from the north, to reveal that not only is work going on on the tower here, but the phone box, labelled as scheduled for removal shortly after my last visit, is still there and has a phone in.

A bit back from the coast, and it is sheltered enough to take the jacket off; and push on ahead of weather that is starting to look threatening

Capel St Andrew

Village Sign at Capel St. Andrew

Get to the King's Head just before 13:00, order a beer and contemplate lunch. A rush appears immediately I have sat down, so I take most of the pint waiting for it to subside, then get another pint and their paté. It's still not 2pm when I'm done, so another beer, as the sky goes dark outside.

After than pint, it is a sensible time to check in; and go up to a room over the bar, which shows the age of the building (13th C) by having a serious sag in the middle of the floor. And also a king sized double with duvet, not the singles with sheet and blanket in the previous places.

After a bath -- being amused at the sign apologising that "The showers don't work -- not a new song from the Verve, but a lack of water pressure" -- crash.

Wake about six with late sun streaming through the window. Freshen up, get dressed, and amble over to to the Crown and Castle for dinner. Ginger Beer as aperitif; pork and pistachio terrine, followed by devilled kidneys, with a glass of rosé, then berry and apple crumble with real custard, and coffee.

Feeling full. No open WiFi here, so just jot these notes for later. Now for more bed.

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