We spent most of a day packing our gear, departing Norwich and travelling to Oxford, but we had a couple of hours to wander around the town with our hosts Ros and Peter before heading home to their house. All of this university town is fascinating, but I thought the most interesting stop was the Weston Library, which is part of the Bodleian Library. Continue reading Blenheim Palace Oxford
Up in the north-west corner of Norfolk is the town of King’s Lynn, which in the 14th century was Britain’s most important port. Until about 1100 it was known just as Lynn, which some locals still call it today. For the next few hundred years it was called Bishop’s Lynn, then after Henry VIII the official name became King’s Lynn.
Continue reading King’s Lynn
Just under a hundred kilometers to the west of Norwich is the city of Ely, which we have already passed through on the train a few times on our way elsewhere. As it had been recommended to us as one of the best preserved medieval towns in the area we made a visit today.
Continue reading Ely
When I first learned we were coming to Norwich, the thing I wanted to do most was to kayak on the Norfolk Broads. A bit of research taught us that the best place for small boats is on the rivers, higher up than drunken tourists can drive their huge rented launches.
Continue reading River Bure
Out on the coast just south of Great Yarmouth is the town of Lowestoft, which is where trains travelling over the swing bridge at Reedham end up. I managed to pry Felicity loose from her keyboard late morning and we hurried to the station just in time to catch the midday train.
Continue reading Lowestoft
Although we have already visited Yarmouth on two occasions, we hadn’t explored the town or seen the beach, so we caught the train out to the coast this morning to see this famous “resort”. Sadly, we discovered that it’s heyday was about a century ago, and that the town seems to have gone steadily downhill since then.
Continue reading Great Yarmouth
Felicity went to visit a professor at Cambridge University today, so we went for a long walk through the interesting city afterwards. Unlike Norwich, the central part of town is swarming with tourists, and there are students from all over the world making it a much more cosmopolitan place.
Continue reading Murray Edwards College Cambridge
Today we completed the final section of the Wherryman’s Way, so we have now walked the whole distance from Norwich to Great Yarmouth. We started by catching the midday bus to Chedgrave, and disembarked outside the White Horse Pub where we had ended our walk on our previous visit.
Continue reading Wherryman’s Way – Chedgrave to Reedham
When I looked for places to visit near Great Yarmouth, the first place that caught my attention was Burgh Castle. It isn’t actually a castle, but instead a Roman coastal fort that they called Gariannonum.
Continue reading Burgh Castle
Travelling by bus to Surlingham from Norwich took us about 10 minutes, which was a lot easier than the almost two hour trip on foot in the other direction last week. For the first part of our walk we were sharing the path with about a dozen other people in a group which was a bit frustrating because every time we stopped to look at anything they would pass us then block the track when we got going again. Eventually they turned off and we could walk at our normal pace.
Continue reading Wherryman’s Way – Surlingham to Chedgrave
We decided to spend a day in the countryside for a change today, and took a train to Reedham on the Wherryman’s Way. We would have gone back to Surlingham to continue where we stopped last week, but it is a bank holiday here in England and the normal bus service is not running.
After my big mission yesterday I was hoping for an easy day exploring the city, but Felicity was keen to start walking one of the long-distant trails leading out towards the coast, so we spent another exhausting day of touristing. Wherries were barges with large black sails, used to transport goods up rivers to inland towns, and played an important part in the history of Norwich.
Continue reading Wherryman’s Way – Norwich to Surlingham
Intimidated by the dire warnings about Cyclone Cook, we changed our plan to go away this Easter and were at home on Friday and Saturday. When it became obvious that the storm had almost completely by-passed Auckland, we loaded the kayaks on the motorhome and headed north on Sunday.
Continue reading Maungaturoto and Mangawhai
Felicity wanted to talk to the doctor at Te Kaha’s medical centre about student placements, so we stopped for half an hour to enjoy a cup of tea with her. She told us that our planned campsite at Omaio would be very busy because it is right next to the cemetery and a big tangi is happening. She suggested we could stay at her mother’s property a few kilometers further on.
Continue reading Whitianga Bay
Because we were already inside the Eastwoodhills Abouretum when we woke up, we decided to have another walk after breakfast, and explore some of the areas that we hadn’t visited the day before.
This time we found an almond tree, which I have never seen before. The nuts (or more correctly seeds) were surrounded by a soft flesh similar to a peach or apricot, which are in the same family. Our nut collection is growing!
Continue reading Anaura Bay and East Cape
It rained overnight at Morere Springs, but the sun was shining again by morning. We decided to hike the Mangakawa Track which climbs high above the hot pools before following the Mangakawa Stream back to the springs.
Continue reading Gisborne and Rere
When we first woke this morning, the sky was quite clear with an pink-orange glow. I was still drinking my bed tea when out to sea the sun popped over the horizon and shone straight in our bedroom window. It was obvious to both of us that it was going to be a kayaking day.
Continue reading Kopuawhara Stream and Mangaone Caves
Much of the boundary between Auckland and Northland is marked by the Topuni River, which flows into the Kaipara Harbour. A bridge carrying by State Highway 1 crosses it about half way between Te Hana and Kaiwaka. For ages I have looked at this river as we’ve headed north, and thought it would be fun to explore by kayak.
Continue reading Port Albert and Topuni River
Our cunning plan for Auckland Anniversary weekend was to leave early on Friday afternoon and try and beat the traffic out of town. Fortunately I took a quick look at the online news before we left, and discovered that due to a car on fire near Papakura there were thousands of other keen holiday-goers already parked on the motorway.
Continue reading Arapuni Landing
Despite our advice to nephew Ben that Northland would be hellish between Christmas and New Year, we had a couple of visitors from West Island with us who were keen to spend the week in a tropical climate, so we went anyway. Felicity and I were in the motorhome, while Robyn and Gary drove my X-trail with our double kayak on the roof.
Continue reading Far North for New Year