Saturday, 29 May 2004


Bawdsey Quay → Orford

[The Butley Ferry]

Distance: 13.2 miles
Ascent: 199 metres
Duration: 4 hours 31 minutes

The ferry boat man
« Woodbridge | Aldeburgh »

Suffolk again. In fact, the stretch of coast closest to my house. No long drive to the start. No overnighting in a B&B. Just a short bus ride, then back tonight to my own bed.

Many of my favourite memories of walking the coast share the same pattern as today. It goes something like this.

I've been walking for ten miles. I've not seen a single soul. A river is the final obstacle that stands in the way of my destination. And on the riverbank, a man and a rowing boat. He's waiting. As if he's been there for days, waiting for me. I sit in the stern (there's only room for one passenger) and am ferried across to the opposite bank. I hand over a few pennies and get on my way.

I'm not describing this well.

The memory is about finding someone who can help just when I need it most. About five minutes' pleasantries after a day of solitude. And there's something about the slow pace of life. About an England many would have you believe is lost forever.

I was delighted to find the Butley Ferry running today. It was a fitting close to a beautiful day's walk. A surprising new experience along coast I know oh so well.

Posted by pab at 15:15 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!