Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Alde footpath

runs along the bottom of the garden at Iken Barns. It is accessed via a steep set of steps - not a problem at the beginning of yesterday's walk, but an obstacle to be negotiated on the way back.

MWNN goes to rescue Ron (out of sight in the mud)

We set off in full sunshine after an early(ish) breakfast, heading in the direction of Snape Maltings.

Ron remembered the delights of hunting along this footpath but was unaware that it was now low tide and there was more mud than river. He disappeared into a gully of mud and sank up to his armpits. He was having great difficulty getting out and needed rescuing by MWNN.

Farm dog No.2 making his way back home

We were joined on the walk by the second of the farm dogs ( a terrier of some sort with a bit of corgi mix, I think.) I say we were joined but this dog had a destination in mind. He passed us and trotted on towards the Kayak hire hut. Later, we met him again on his return journey.

Kayaks on the Alde

There were a few kayak's out on the river. A couple had paddled in the direction of St Botolph's before deciding it was too difficult to navigate the channel at low tide. They met a recently-launched one and turned towards Snape.

The beginning of the reed beds
Not far along from the Kayak hire at Iken Cliff, the well-made footpath turned inland. It became very narrow and quite overgrown before heading back out into the reed beds. We walked on for  a while until MWNN decided that the footpath was going nowhere. Here's where I made a bad decision. I decided to go onwards until the track came to an end. It became even narrower and, at one point the edge crumbled into the reeds. My right ankle turned over the edge and twisted badly.

Alde Footpath from Snape to St Botolph's

The trek back to the Barns was difficult and painful. Where the track was narrow, it also sloped at the sides, forcing the ankle to twist again and again.

MWNN rests on upturned boat

We sat and rested on the boat beside the kayak hut and had a slurp from the drinks  in our backpacks before making our way slowly along the unmade part of the footpath to the bottom of the steps up to the garden.

The bottom step was reached by climbing two large chunks of concrete. I needed a whoosh up the second one from MWNN.

Biba ignoring Ron

Once back at Farrier's Barn, Richard offered the services of two boys to set up a table and chairs in the courtyard for morning tea. We were joined by Biba, who, after an enthusiastic greeting and batting, seemed less keen to play with Ron - perhaps the odour of estuary mud is not to her liking.

The Green Man, Tunstall

After a rest and first aid for the ankle, we drove through Tunstall Forest to have lunch at The Green Man. There, we were able to have a 'basket meal' - just the right size for lunch - of scampi and chips for MWNN and local Aberdeen Angus beefburger on a ciabatta roll for me.

We had planned to  walk in the forest after lunch but - the ankle says no.

Rogan and Josh

Ron 'had words' with Gismo, the resident parrot but thought better of having words with the two pigmy goats, Rogan and Josh.

We shopped in Rendlesham for milk and instant ice-packs and then returned to the Barns. I spent the afternoon resting and applying RICE. I am really annoyed about the injury.  I don't want to miss one day of activity. This place was booked for the number of local walks and interesting historical sites on the doorstep.