Saturday, May 30, 2009

More fens - into Norfolk and down to Ely

The second day acoss the middle levels is a fair bit nicer than the first, and this was helped by an improvement in the weather. Eventually we reached the twin villages of Upwell and Outwell on Well Creek, which is a tiny waterway squeezing up the main streets of the villages and under extremely low bridges. Off came the chimney and the ends of the roof box and we just about got through.

At Outwell we found good overnight mooring in the tiny basin (room for two boats) on a hairpin bend in the river and acting on reputation ate from the local fish and chip shop. The couple moored next to us reminded me of characters from a TV detective - all white towelling bathrobes and gold bracelets and necklaces and glasses of wine. Nice enough though.

I was surprised when Kath announced that we were now in Norfolk, the extreme north west part of it, and the landscape certainly matched. Dead flat as far as the eye can see.

I was brought up in the Vale of Evesham and we used to like to think we were the vegetable garden of England, but having seen the Fens I have to give them the trophy. I've never seen such huge fields of produce. Apparently they supply most of the needs of Tesco, Sainsbury's etc countrywide.

Friday morning brought us to Salters Lode to await the tide before crossing the tidal Ouse and through the huge barrier at Denver Sluice. People get quite scared about this bit, and we did don our lifejackets, but when the time came the crossing was easy really.

After a celbratory pint at the Jenyn's Arms we tootled on to the mouth of Brandon Creek where we moored for the night outside the Ship Inn. The Norfolk border stops here.

Now its Saturday evening and we have spent the day in Ely, which was only a couple of hours cruise. The barby is lit and the sky is blue. More about Ely tomorrow.

The network for our internet doingle has been useless across the fens. Understandable I suppose, as the population is so sparse around here. I fear sending you photos will be impossible, but I'll try tomorrow.

1 comment:

VallyP said...

Your trip is beginning t sound like much of the Netherlands, and in particular Zeeland where I am right now. It's all produce to. In their own way, these flat lands can be very lovely can't they? Glad you made it safely across the scary bit of the Ouse. i can imagine a narrow boat on tidal waters might be a bit special! Ely, as I remember it, is lovely, so will now read on.