Mischa laughed when I told her.
“So this is your way of relaxing and changing your life so its not so busy?”
Somehow I just so needed to walk, and alone with dogs. A 10 mile flat walk on a stunning September day, what could be more perfect? Two things – a delicious picnic (polytunnel cucumber, and tiffiins filled with apple crumble and cream, and raspberries) after which I fell asleep in the sun shade. And a tentative swim, well a cool dip in the Waveney.
The way from Oulton Borad station not signed, and maps useless, so we took the road, which was long busy and boring. Turned into Marsh lane and rocked up at the pop up wildlife centre, where a young girl fondled bobji and an older man gave me perfect directions. Through channels of water systems, fields of grazing cows, and huge skies. The landscape could be of any age, 2,000 years and earlier. Not a pylon or road or structure in site. Just marsh, rustling reed.
Through the 4 hours I encountered a few people along the way. The first was a man walking with a minimal water bottle, who commented on how wonderful it was to meet no one on this path – he;d walked to Beccles this morning and was walking back to Oulton. He was right, we found no one until we neared Beccles when a few walkers asked how long the walk was.
I don;t know I’ve come from Oulton Broad.
Oulton Broad, they said incredulous, and I don;t mind admitting I did feel a certain satisfaction in their admiration. One boat man said to me:
‘You’re hard core, you are’.
The path along the bank followed the meander of the river. Well maintained, the bank (cut recently) and the river. There was netting along the river bank as it went down into the water, just as there is at Graham Elliots swiming place on the way to Geldeston. Oh to have the confidence and wildness to swim out into the centre of the river and follow the course down stream. Sent a text to Rupert.
I was tired when I arrived under the underpass at Beccles. Just in time for the 5.20 train. Feeling cold after the swim, and shivery.
Had a 10 minute nap on the sofa in the van (Christian watching bat something on TV), before Julia rocked up to share lemon pasta with us. She needed a break from her mother. How all the people in Ipswich are huge and over weight, and how the food is terrible in England. Makes me want to defend. Christian sleeping in the camper, Misha on the pop up bed. Bobji with me.