Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cycling holiday -- day 1

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A lunchtime start, this time, for a tour of Constable Country and the southern parts of Suffolk where it fades into Essex.

Eating sandwiches while pushing up steep bits, I got to the George at Hintlesham soon after 1pm for a welcome pint; then, because there was a suggested side-track from the main path down to Dedham, I took it, circling to the south of Ipswich to head down the side of Alton Water, seeing many people picking blackberries, and, knowing that I would pass Holbrook Church, I thought I had a waymark in this impressive spire.

Holbrook Royal Hospital School

Holbrook Royal Hospital School

Imagine my surprise when I seemed to be veering away from the waymark, and then passed a small, undistinguished village church, before carrying on to Pin Mill.

Pin Mill

The Butt & Oyster, Pin Mill, where the high tide laps at the pub wall

A second pint there, in the sunshine, now that the heavy cloud had burned off, then off, crossing my path at Amroth House, and then past the Holbrook Royal Hospital School, where the mystery of the spire was explained.

At East Bergholt, it was coming up to 5pm, so rather than braving the paywall, sped past the turn to Flatford, and up to begin the dance around the A12. By now, cloud had rolled over again, sealing a dull and oppressive early evening over what had been a fine afternoon; and despite the forecast, it felt like there could be rain soon.

I sped through the last miles, barely glimpsing Dedham in the gathering gloom, before rolling up at Milsom's for the night. Great food -- scallops with shredded carrot and pesto, king-prawn and Angus beef burger with mango chutney, ginger steeped pineapple lightly fried with black pepper ice-cream. The room had a bath -- much needed on arrival, but the air was oppressive from the day's heat, and the A12 rumbles past all night.

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