Thursday, 8 September 2016

Chillin' in Pallin' and Hicklin'

Thursday 8 September
Nido's parked up between other motorhomes at a lovely Britstop pub on Hickling Broad.  I can hear the wetland birds in the background as they settle for the evening. 

We woke early to bright sunshine and a warm wind - yay! Breakfast of poached eggs on toast was enjoyed sat outside. As we were on EHU we charged up 'all the things' overnight and enjoyed another cuppa sat out in the sunshine before driving along the coastal road to Sea Palling.  We'd been here many years ago for a quick visit but never stopped any length of time.  We parked up in the large long stay parking field, along the base of the dunes - perfect for motorhomes - £7 for the day.  I've been able to pay for all car parks here using a card, rather than faffing about with a fistful of coins. I wish more councils would take note.

Bags packed, we walked the short distance to the very clean and white sandy beach.  It's a lovely spot and, once our beach shelter was up and everything zipped inside, we walked into the sea. The RNLI Lifeguard information board said the water temperature was 16'C, but it felt warmer, helped by the hot sunshine.  We enjoyed a good swim and chat before walking along the beach line - with the calm sea, white sand, blue sky and hot sunshine, we felt we were in Spain, not East Anglia.  We collected some seaglass and driftwood as we walked along the tide line to dry off.

Returning to our beach shelter I was surprised to see this guy had set up his chairs and table less than 2 feet from us, blocking the entrance to our shelter, despite the size and emptiness of the beach!  I told him so and was ignored, so after a few choice words of 'anglo-saxon' (I know a few East Anglian 'words' having grown up near here!) I moved our shelter away from this idiot and his partner. The rest of the day was spent sunbathing, reading, swimming and walking along the beach. Lunch was fruit and water, with tea and biscuits later. About 1600 we returned to the van; it was still hot and sunny and we sorted out our kit on the warm, dry grass while the water heated. We enjoyed lovely showers onboard Nido before I prepared and cooked dinner - Greek salad, boiled new potatoes in olive oil and garlic, pork sausages. We sat outside the van with linen napkins of course (standards) and nearly the whole field to ourselves.  It's a shame no overnight sleeping is allowed. The Council are missing out on a huge income stream and we'd have visited the beachside pub in the evening, so the local economy would have benefited.  

Instead I'd booked us a slot at Britstop #248, a lovely waterside pub by Hickling Broad - only 10 minutes drive from the beach. On arrival four vans were already parked up, but there was room for us too, parked alongside one of the cuts with small wooden sailing boats moored alongside.  I popped into the pub to check in, before we had a short walk to look at the water. From here, though, views are limited - it's a very large Broad but best (and in most cases only) accessed on the water.  Back in the pub we ordered a pint - Doom Bar for C and Nelson's Revenge for me (a pint I enjoyed in the Lord Nelson on Saturday night). Cathy also tucked away a lemon curd sponge and custard - I was good, just pork scratchings for me! By 2000 we were back in Nido, tired after a hard day's chillin'. Tomorrow we hope to explore some more of the area, hopefully on the water.

Our little beach hut!

Nice waterside pitch in Hickling Broad

Sunny breakfast stop

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