Travel at a Natural Pace; Enjoy the Journey

Orford castle, Suffolk

I'm not the most confident of cyclists, but before we went away I spent a couple of Saturday mornings having some lessons - along with a ten year old! I could tell from the Ordnance Survey map that there weren't too many hills on the road to Orford. The gears on the bike are still a mystery: is the principle of the numbering the same as in my car, or the opposite?

The morning after our lengthy walk to Snape Maltings the sky was grey, but gradually started to clear, and it was breezy. We made the decision to go, got ready, then the wind decided to get stronger. No matter, rain looked unlikely and wasn't forecast, no problem.

Orford Church, Suffolk

According to the signpost just outside the campsite, it's 4.5 miles to Orford, although like the walk, it did seem further.  Within a few hundred yards we'd climbed slightly and met the head wind full on - and it stayed with us until we dropped down to the coast. Sometimes we were sheltered by the hedges, and when going past buildings, but then were almost blown over in the gaps. Despite this I enjoyed the ride, going at my pace, seeing Martin off in the distance, and as there was very little traffic,  very few people to see my wobbles!

Orford itself is a small, but very pleasant fishing village. After locking up our bikes in the car park, (and noting that it is motorhome friendly: to us, that particularly means no height barrier), we headed to the quay for a cup of tea. The café in a wooden hut had been recommended by the couple in the caravan next to us at the site, and was worth the recommendation. Suitably refreshed we stretched our legs further with a walk along the dunes, and then turned across to the village, out of the wind.

Pump Street Bakery, Orford, SuffolkBy now we were feeling hungry, and came across a café with a name, and especially a tag line, that appealed to us: Pump Street Bakery: Real Bread and Slow Food. It promised to be our sort of place, especially as inside there was just one big table, where you sat if there was room. We enjoyed some excellent homemade soup, bread as good as we hoped and an interesting sandwich. We bought some of the their bread and Eccles Cakes, baked on the premises of course, for our tea. The Eccles Cakes  were excellent, rich and packed with fruit;  almost substantial enough to be a meal in themselves.

Back on our bikes heading home the wind had turned and strengthened. It was in our faces again! As we neared the campsite we met a wide agricultural vehicle which took up the whole road. At that point the wind was particularly strong, and there was a very long uphill gradient. When the machinery came out of the field Martin was ahead, but I'd given up the struggle, and was walking, pushing the bike. Every time I tried to set off, I couldn't get going. I can still picture the impatient look on the face of the driver as he waited for me to get past him…

The rest of the journey back to the 'van was uneventful. With the sun shining, it was almost enjoyable but then, it was downhill.


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