Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path - Day 1st - September 6, 2007

From Knettishall Heath to Watton (29 km)

Thetford, 9 a.m.

I'm waiting for the taxi. I've slept quite badly: an upstairs guest - probably with prostate troubles - has been getting up and down the stairs in order to go to the toilet, which is just next my room; I was waken up each time because the noise, particularly strong because the wooden stairs and the thin panelings.
The breakfast, although copious, was low quality. Consistent with the b&b.

Earlier, the weather was totally clear but now it is becoming cloudy; I've worn the shorts anyway; let's try.

9,15 a.m.

Start walking the trail (Knettissham Heath).

11,30 a.m.

First break: Roudham Heath wood (National Grid Reference: TL 931 880).
Pain to the right hip.
The pedometer marks 5.4 miles. I think it is increasing a bit, even if I reduced the pace form 75 to 74 cm. I started the trail at 9,15 so I've walked 2 hours considering the short stops (footwear adjustment, urinations, detour to take a look at Brettenham Heath information board, etc.).
Thus far the environment has been mainly woodland (red pines, birches and beeches) with some openings on meadows, cultivated fields and heathland.
Often a squirrel crosses the path quite close or a pheasant (partridge?) flies away scared. Fens and mushrooms everywhere.
At a certain point the trail skirts an open field pig-breeding. I was amazed to see them free, with plenty of space. Each one has its individual shelter (vaulted corrugated iron) with water pump.
The shorts are perfect for walking in this wather but I need to get polyamide ones for next trip (because the sweat). I'm wearing T-shirt and a shirt; the latter is even superfluous.
At 11 a.m. I put on the shoes and start again.

1,20 p.m.

Snack stop near Woodcock Hill (National Grid Reference: TL 925 923).
I was getting quite tired and, particularly, tormented by hip pain.
The place is a beech and birch wood. While I'm eating, now and then, a squirrel crosses the trail.
All the region is full of flintstones; often cleft pebbles like that used for house building.
Thus far no long distance walker met; only an angler on the river Thet, a local walker with his dog and a biker.
Roughly I should be half way (of daily stretch).

3,50 p.m.

New stop. I can't go any further! Anyway I think that probably there are only 3 km to the goal: I'm just before Home Farm (National Grid Reference: TL 900 994).
Walking with the backpack is totally different than without it!
I've finished the water: it's about time I arrived.
I'm sitting with the back to an immense oak. Ahead a meadow with thickets on the background. The sky is so beautiful with its tiny clouds.

Watton, 6,30 p.m.

Arrived, at last! (5,30 approximately).
Luckily, the hotel (Hare & Barrel) serves dinner (up to 9). For the moment I'm not hungry. Now I'll have a little rest and then I'm going to walk to the town center to buy water and a phone card. I see whether I get hungry before 9.

Watton, 9,00 p.m.

I'm in the hotel bar, waiting for the food (jacked potatoes with cheese). I've just come back from the town center (4 km more) where I bought the water and called my mother. Chantal sent me an SMS which I answered to. I saw more than one person driving very fast; is the police doing something about?

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