Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

Round Britain Rally: Norfolk and Suffolk

This weekend was the X9 Forum's Annual Bash, and I decided to use my journey home on Sunday to pick up the two Norfolk and single Suffolk rally landmarks.

The first of these wasn't far from our hotel in King's Lynn. I may have managed to pass through the one-street village twice before I was certain I'd found the right thing, but I'd still crossed it off the list less than half an hour after setting off, which I thought was a pretty good start.

Not having sat-nav or anywhere to put a map, I was relying on my memory of town names and road numbers. This isn't really a satisfactory method of navigation, so I made several stops and changes of direction as I worked my way towards the second Norfolk landmark. It was a showery day, and true to the rules of pathetic fallacy the weather brightened whenever things were going well for me and pelted me with rain when they weren't.

I reached the village where my landmark lay, and spent half an hour circling the area in search of my target. The rules forbid me to reveal what it was, but it's the largest one of them in the country. And we're talking a building, here. You wouldn't think I could lose one, but I did.

At last I headed up a road which looked as though it led to nothing more promising than a housing estate, and there it was, looming up above the trees! I took my photo, enjoyed a celebratory Triple bar, then sheltered under my umbrella for a while as the hardest rain yet lashed me without mercy.

I should have been warned.

The B1077 was gleaming in the sunlight, yet somehow I wasn't enjoying its easy, open corners as I ought. Gradually I realised that it wasn't down to my horror of skidding on wet surfaces - the handling really was off. I stopped in the next town - Diss - and when I couldn't get the bike up on the centre stand, I knew I had a rear puncture.

I lay in wait for someone who looked as though they might be able to give me a hand - not easy, as Diss seems to be populated largely by little old ladies - and managed to stop a likely-looking chap. Once my new best friend had helped me get the rear wheel off the ground he became thoroughly intrigued by my repair kit and hung around to watch, even popping home to bring me a foot pump. Tyre inflated, my bike and I were good to go. (Note that this is my third puncture on the GP800 - that should be the lot, surely?)

As I left Diss I entered Suffolk and the place names got really peculiar. Eye and Rishangles; Ashbocking and Clopton Corner. I think this was the first time I'd visited Suffolk, which is best known to me as the site of Cruella de Vil's place in The Hundred and One Dalmatians. Perhaps some of the villages I passed through were the very ones Pongo and Missis visited on their epic journey from Regent's Park?

The skies stayed blue from here on, so I knew things would be going my way. My last landmark was near the coast, in a place so small the roads don't have numbers. I'd like a rematch with the lovely road through Rendlesham Forest some time, and to investigate the charmingly-named hamlets of Butley High Corner and Butley Low Corner (No Through Road).

My landmark was easy to find, the biggest obstacle being high winds which did their best to blow away the rally card that needs to feature in all my photos, and that was my lot for the day.

Having celebrated my arrival on the A12 southbound with a BP coffee and doughnut, I blasted home.
Tags: round britain rally

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