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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Holiday Tales / Southern Broads in September!
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Southern Broads in September!

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AdnamsGirl
Sep-16-2005 @ 5:49 PM                           Permalink
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Got back yesterday from our first trip on the Broads for 20 years. The route for our Southern Broads trip was planned by some of the recommendations we were given by other forum members,(thanks to all of you!), with a few spur of the moment decisions thrown in along the way. I'll put in a few of the many pictures I took as I go along.

Are you sitting comfortably.....?

DAY 1

We arrived at Riverine in Loddon early to pick up our boat but were swapped on to Argosy as our chosen boat's previous hirers (all male party) had returned her in a somewhat dirty state. Argosy was just about ready for us so we loaded our stuff on board and were taken off for our trial run to re-familiarise ourselves with boat handling (it was a long time ago!). All was well, so we moored up at Pye's Mill to drop our instructor off but the boat stalled and would not start again due, they discovered, to the fuel pump which had packed up. We were towed back to Loddon where everyone was most appologetic and did all they could to get us going again as quickly as possible. I'm sure that these things are bound to happen occasionally and we'd far rather it happened then than a day in to the holiday. It all added to the adventure really. Odyssey, our original choice, was frantically cleaned and made ready for us instead (we told them not to worry as we could finish off the cleaning ourselves once under way). Got gouing again at 11.30, so not a massive delay, with a complimentary bottle of ready chilled wine in the fridge to make up for any inconvenience.

Kev cruised slowly down the Chet which, for those that don't know it, is a winding, narrow but very pretty little river, although probably not the easiest to navigate when you've not handled a boat for 20 years. At Hardley Cross we took a left turn and headed up the Yare, passing the sugar beet factory at Cantley , whilst not the prettiest collection of buildings it is quite an impressive feature in the landscape as you approach. Detoured off through Rockland Broad hoping to see some of the famous wherry wrecks as it was around low tide. Sadly there were none to be seen so I took the wheel and we headed up towards Brundall. It wasn't too long before I experienced the first bit of extremely annoying behaviour by fellow hirers in a Herbert Woods boat. I was happily sticking to the 6 mile an hour speed limit, enjoying the scenery, when this chap roars past me at a huge rate of knotts then immediately slowed down to 4 miles an hour, spent the next mile on the left hand side of the river bafore finally cutting me up in a very nast manner in his efforts to get across to moor up at the chandlery in Brundall. Managed to avoid hitting him and we carried on up the Yare.

Arrived at Bramerton Common at around 4.30, ready to attempt our first solo mooring for 20 years! Kev took the wheel whlst I stood nervously on the bow, rope in hand, ready to jump as soon as I could. Two very kind chaps stood on the bank waiting to catch the ropes for me (thankyou!), and Kev took us in smoothly. Phew!! Popped in to the Woods End to check out the menu (looked OK, very reasonably priced and with 2 vegetarian options for me), had an OK pint of Wherry which was the only real ale available at that time. We walked back to the boat fully intending to go in for a meal later but, as the sun began to set, we became engrossed in watching all the little wild rabbits coming out to eat the grass down near the boats, and also the mist rolling in across the water. Decided to eat on the boat and drink our free bottle of wine (very nice, thank you Bill!), we then stood out on the back of the boat and watched the bats catching insects before retiring to bed.


Carol


First photo is Cantley.....


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AdnamsGirl
Sep-16-2005 @ 5:50 PM                           Permalink
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Second Photo is the view from Bramerton Common moorings on the second morning.


Carol


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PizzaLover
Sep-16-2005 @ 6:02 PM                           Permalink
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Second start... on orignal boat... with free bottle of wine... all by 11:30? Now THAT'S good going.

AdnamsGirl
Sep-16-2005 @ 6:12 PM                           Permalink
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DAY 2

Awake at 7.30 in time to catch the last of the early morning mist. Braekfasted on fried egg baps and then set of at 9.45 to continue our journey up the Yare to Thorpe where our arrival was greeted by the largest amount of swans I have ever seen gathered in one place. Enjoyed a very nice cup of coffee in The Cafe On The River abs then stocked up on a few supplies at the PO/Stores. In our planning prior to the holiday we had decided not to bother cruising to Norwich as we know it so well, but we had time to spare so decided to go up there anyway as I'd never actually seen Pull's Ferry, one of Norwich's most famous landmarks, in the flesh. Well, I'm so glad we did because it is such a different and interesting way to see Norwich. We regularly use the Riverside areas parking, shopping and entertainment facilities, and usually drive over Carrow Road bridge to get there, but it was fascinating to see it from the perspective of the river itself. I love the old Victorian warehouses dotted along the way though it's hard to tell if they are being developed or demolished at the moment. reached Pull's Ferry, which is a fabulous building, turned around and headed back down the Yare to Surlingham Broad. It was here that I got to see wherry wrecks, quite a few of them, to the side of one of the entrance dykes. We mudweighted the boat and then enjoyed a picnic lunch sitting on the roof of the boat in the sunshine. Bliss! Such a beautiful and peaceful spot. We were just thinking of setting off when there was THE most enormous racket as a couple of dozen Canada Geese came in to land on the water. I couldn't believe the amount of noise thet they were creating until I looked up to see the sky filled with more opf them approaching, all honking away. A flock of well over hundred geese circled round and then came in to land on the broad. I hope that Kev's photos come out because it was truly spectacular. Caught our breath and then hauled in the mudweight (I,d forgotten how heavy those things are!) and then headed out along the narrow dyke which was completely lined on both sides by Himalayan Balsam in full flower.

Arrived at Rockland Staithe, our chosen stop for the night, at around 4.30. Fed a mother swan and her four adorable cygnets who were peep-peeping away at the side of the boat and would not take no for an answer! We had wanted to eat at the New Inn after reading so many recommendations on the forum. We had a very nice pint of Broadside but disappointingly, the only vegetarian main meal option available was stuffed aubergine (I don't eat fish), which unfortunately is about the only vegetable that I really don't like. The only other alternatives they could offer were minestrone soup or a greek salad, but the Broadland air had given us a big appetite so we headed back to the boat where Iknocked up a delicious curry instead. It's a shame as the food that was going past looked really good, although on the pricey side. Maybe next time!

Shared a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon before going to bed.


Carol

Third photo is of Thorpe as we came in to moor.....


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AdnamsGirl
Sep-16-2005 @ 6:15 PM                           Permalink
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Photo 4 is the view coming in to Norwich.


Carol




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AdnamsGirl
Sep-16-2005 @ 6:40 PM                           Permalink
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DAY 3

Awake again at 7.30, egg baps, and then off at 9.30. Headed down the Yare where I was a little apprehensive about the ferry crossing, but I remembered that I should pass behind it and had no problems. Went along the Haddiscoe New Cut (not very pretty), and then moored up at St. Olaves so that we could have lunch at The Bell. Had a superb pint of Adnams and, thankfully, they had about 4 or 5 veggie choices. They'd run out of my first choice (!), so I opted for the mushroom stroganoff which was very nice until I chewed on something that didn't feel much like a mushroom and discovered in fact to be a penny sized piece of blue cardboard which put me off the rest! They appologised and offered me a replacement stroganoff but I declined. I just worried that if they could miss a fairly large piece of bright blue cardboard going in to their food what else could they miss! I really wasn't having much luck with food.

Left St.Olaves at 1.45 and with our second spur of the moment decision, we decided to do the loop up to Burgh Castle, across to the Berney Arms Mill and then back down the Yare to Reedham. Unless I was travelling to or from Yarmouth I don't think that it's a trip I would do again as it is a little dull. I did spot a curlew wading through the reeds, some cormerants sitting on the remains of a mill and also a totally white wading bird that we are unable to identify ( any ideas anyone as we can't find it in any of our bird books - it definately wasn't a spoonbill), so for seeing some different wildlife it was quite good.

Passed behind the ferry at Reedham again and headed back to start making our way up the Chet agin. Followed a party in an Alpha Craft boat who, I think, were under the impression that they had hired a sail boat as they were ricocheting from one bank to the other. We decided to pull a good way back after they nearly caused a very nasty accident on one bend. Got down to Loddon basin at about 4.30 only to find it completely full and the Alpha Craft boat causing mayhem in its attempts to turn around. Luckily we managed to turn Odyssey a little further back than them and so headed back to Pye's Mill to moor up for our last night. For the next couple of hours boats were turning up and (despite warnings that it was full) trying to find mooring space in the basin only to troop back past 10 minutes later, including one very irate hirer who roared back past creating an enormous wake which rocked us all about quite violently. Nice!

Headed in to Loddon to the Kings Head, who's advert in Broadcaster mentioned vegetarian choices on their menu. Yes! Ordered a pint of Shepherd Neame's Spitfire (very ordinary) and were told that they were not doing any food that evening! With the way things had been going on the food front why wasn't I surprised? Had a wander around the town and decided on takeaway pizza back on the boat. We sat and reviewed our highlights of the last three days.

I was tired, so we opted for an early night. I only wish that we'd mentioned it to the cows in the nearby field who, I'm sure, would have postponed their all night mooing competition until another day!


Carol

AdnamsGirl
Sep-16-2005 @ 6:51 PM                           Permalink
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DAY 4

Lie in until 8.00am, packed and then took the boat back to the yard at 9.30. Unloaded, said our goodbyes and then headed home having had a thoroughly enjoyable three days.

We are left wondering why on earth we waited 20 years before doing it again, wishing that we could have had longer (very elderly cat at home who we can't leave for too long!), and definately planning to return as soon as we possibly can.

Our initial boat problems were dealt with professionally and with genuine concern to get us underway as quickly as possible, so we've no gripes there. Our thanks to Riverine!

My only slight disappointment was the food side of things,, but I think that I must just have been unusually unlucky, and it in no way spoiled the holiday.

Real highlights were the sight of so many geese coming in to land at Surlingham and the fascinating view of Norwich by boat.

The main difference noticed in 20 years absence was taht I'm sure boats were nevber THAT wide or THAT tall in the 80's. I thought things were supposed to seem smaller than you remember them being as you get older!

Essential item that I wished I'd brought alond......a nail brush! Especially after hauling the mudweight out of Surlingham broad (mud being the operative word at Surlingham!).

Now, back to planning the next trip......!


Carol


Last photo is of Odyssey moored at Rockland Staithe.


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Doenitz
Sep-16-2005 @ 7:05 PM                           Permalink
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Beautifully written Carol. Glad you had a good time of it, but shame about the food!

Despite the various JCBs and the like, the Chet is a lovely river and i can't think of a nicer village than Loddon.  

The South certainly sounds like it attracts more than its share of birds!

ranksdriver
Sep-16-2005 @ 7:16 PM                           Permalink
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good to here about your holiday. Cheers

This message was edited by ranksdriver on Sep-16-05 @ 6:17 PM

bricktop
Sep-16-2005 @ 7:24 PM                           Permalink
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Lovely account Carol, glad you enjoyed yourselfs.
Cheers

Prepare to be boarded
                     John

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