Saturday 26 March 2022

Southwold and Metfield - Suffolk

Thursday 24 March 2022

Nido's in a CL called Brook Cottage in the village of Metfield, just over the border in Norfolk.  We're here for a couple of nights before heading home tomorrow.  It's a lovely quiet little site, a bit quirky with a lovely, friendly elderly couple living in a caravan on site who look after the CL for an old chap (91) who lives in the house.  But it's a nice spot surrounded by trees and, for £10 including EHU, is good value. The phone signal is almost non-existent though, first world problem I know and the fault of our mobile provider (GiffGaff - O2), but we all have things to do and organise on-line these days and without a signal it's difficult.  I managed to check online for O2 coverage and the CL is the middle of an island of no signal surrounded by a sea of 4G - how is that even possible!?  Also, Suffolk is full of fields with those very loud and annoying bird scarers firing off every 10 minutes or so. Salty is absolutely terrified of loud bangs (we think he had a traumatic experience with shotguns on the farm before he came to us) and is left shaking like a leaf and hiding under the cab seat.  I guess you'd get used to them if you lived here.  

We spent most of yesterday in Southwold, a very popular tourist attraction on the coast.  We avoided the area around the town and pier and instead headed for the Harbour, parking close to the harbour entrance and sandy beach. It was hot and sunny with hardly any breeze, although there was the threat of a chill from occasional hazy sea mist.  After a pleasant beach walk we wandered along the harbour road. This is a working port with small fishing boats and a number of boat-repairers and chandlers.  There's also quite a few small sheds that would have once been owned by the local fishermen, but are no doubt now second homes and changing hands for a small fortune. Having walked to the end of the track and a little way along a levee by the marshes, we reversed our route and stopped off at Mrs T's Fish and Chips for lunch.  I ordered inside and we sat outside in the hot sunshine waiting for our order number to be called - Number 2!  The food was delicious and the portions huge. On the way out I popped into the Sole Bay Fish Company and bought a dressed Cromer crab (the best crab in the world!) to have for supper.  This went well with some salad, a part-baked baguette cooked in the Ridge Monkey and a bottle of Muscadet.  The bird scaring artillery stopped about 5pm and Salty emerged from his den on the cab floor, but was not keen to go out for his evening walk and showed little interest in his food, although he did eat some cod and a few chips earlier!  Posting the blog will probably have to wait until we get home, as I can't upload the content, nor any photos. 

This morning Cathy was due her online weekly Welsh lesson on MS Teams, but the lack of signal, even from the Mifi with a plug-in booster aerial on the CL made it impossible.  So first thing we drove back to the same car park in Southwold, where we knew there was a decent 4G signal.  Weirdly, the Mifi would only pick up 3G, whilst our phones were on 4G; it's normally the other around.  So I finally turned her phone into a hotspot and she used that to get on line for 1.5 hours of Welsh language learning.  I scooted out of her way, taking Salty for a good walk along the beach. It was a clear sky, sunny day although with a chilly sea mist.  I dropped him off at the van at about midday and wandered over to the cafe for a coffee and a chill-out in the sunshine.  We all had another walk in the afternoon and an ice cream before driving the half an hour back to the CL.  We sat outside reading in the warm sunshine, Salty hunkered inside under the cab seat and away from the bangs!  Later I cooked a Chicken Madras which we ate inside as the temperature dropped with the sun.

We've enjoyed our few days away.  It was lovely to meet up with old friends; I haven't laughed so hard and long for ages.  And the countryside and coast of Suffolk were lovely and somewhere we'll return to in the future.

Southwold Harbour - £4 for all day parking

Walking towards Southwold town and pier

Huge portions at Mrs T's Fish and Chips, Southwold Harbour

Brook Cottage CL, Metfield.  All alone again - is it something we said!?

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