Thursday morning saw the Windmillers on an excursion to the Suffolk Coast. There were eight of us in all – Maurice, Andrew, Sandra, Lawrence, John B, Ken, Keith and Brian – gathering in front of The Royal Oak at Laxfield, while Landlord Mike provided coffee and took our orders for lunch.
Maurice had planned a circular route to Aldeburgh and back, a reprise of the run we did last July, only this time in an anticlockwise direction.
Setting off for Snape, it was mostly downhill and – with the wind at our backs – we made good time on the outward leg. Along the way Sandra spotted a – very much alive and wriggling – snake in the road.
With the East Anglian harvest in full swing, it’s a matter of self preservation to pull over and let tractors pass safely. They seem to get ever bigger and quicker – and their drivers ever younger. We were overtaken by one, in particular, pulling a trailer full of red onions, many of which it distributed in the road ahead of us. That was another first for the Windmillers, dodging bouncing onions.
Leaving the road at Snape Maltings, Maurice led us on footpaths along the river and through the pines, an off road section of around five miles. Having done this in past years, we know to look out for the deep sand where it’s traditional for one of us to get stuck and fall off. Sure enough, this time it was Brian’s turn to take a tumble – though it was a soft landing, executed in some style.
Emerging from the pines and arriving in Aldeburgh, we pulled up at Maurice’s place on the High Street where he kindly provided coffee and croissants.
Then it was back on the bikes for the return leg – via Thorpeness, Leiston and Westleton – to Laxfield, a 20 mile run which we did non-stop and at quite a clip. We enjoyed a late lunch at the Royal Oak and Landlord Mike very kindly donated £10 to the Windmill Club charity. Cheers, Mike!
Thanks Maurice for planning another delightful outing and for hosting us at Shrimp Cottage.
And here’s a link to Andrew’s STRAVA recording of our route, with some more pictures.