Thursday, May 03, 2007

Waking up outdoors

Last weekend R and I completed our Sandlings Walk camping trip. Starting from Ipswich on Saturday morning, we made it all the way up to Southwold at 7pm on Monday.

We made a strange site walking across Rushmere golf course just before 9am on Saturday. Two people with large backpacks on mustn't be all that common on the fairways! Not too long later and we had left behind the built up areas and made it on to Martlesham Heath. The path then follows up the River Deben into Woodbridge. By this point it was a little after 11 and we were ready for a break. The smell of bacon from the riverside cafe was too tempting so we stopped for some mugs of tea and a bacon sandwich. Refreshed from that we continued on passing through the village of Bromeswell then down on to Sutton Common. Eventually we got into Tangham forest and set up camp at the forestry site. First days mileage - 17.5 so we were ready for the showers, food and bed.

Sunday morning was then a great feeling. It's so nice to wake up, open the tent door and just be outdoors. We boiled up the kettle and had tea, followed by bowls of porridge. We packed up and were on our way again just after 9. Starting right from the middle of the forest meant that it was really quiet. We saw plenty of birds and also a few deer. We also passed by the campsite that wouldn't allow us to book. He had just 2 caravans on the site so we couldn't understand why they wouldn't accept us for Saturday night. Still it would have meant walking an extra 4 miles the day before so we didn't mind.

It was a different story towards the end of the day of course - we then had the extra 4 miles to do! So Sunday turned into a 22 mile day. Highlights for the day included Wantisden church in the middle of nowhere, lunch at Snape Maltings and a weel earned pint of Adnams at our campsite near Sizewell at the end of the day. The biggest disappointment was planning on stopping off for a mid walk drink at the pub in Friston, but finding it closed when we got there.

The final day was 19 miles to Southwold, passing through Minsmere and Dunwich. From the very start point on the beach at Sizewell we could see Southwold lighthouse along the coast, but our route would be more winding inland. Dunwich forest was lovely. We've always walked along the coast before, this was the first time we had been on the inland route. I highly recommend a visit there. At long last Southwold came into sight again. We crossed the old railway bridge from Walberswick side and walked along past the fishing huts down to Southwold harbour. We finished just below Gun Hill, finding the final sculpture of the 11 that were placed along the trail.

Pictures to follow once I get them off the camera

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