Sunday, 15 September 2019

A day at the sea

On the Broads with First Venture, 2007
A quiet night away in the Wherry Hotel on Oulton Broad. We were last here when we brought our boat First Venture up to the Broads 12 years ago, and it doesn't seem to have changed one scrap. It still looks as far behind the times as it did then, a perpetual twenty years lagging anywhere else in decor and menu. Waiting for the lift back to our room, an old man and his wife were waiting ahead of us. The man entered the lift, the door closed, and he disappeared, leaving the three of us standing. "Where's he going?" asked the woman, "he's sure to get lost." Ann asked if she'd been enjoying her stay. "We came to bury my step-mother-in-law," she answered enigmatically, so we weren't sure if it had been a good day or a bad day for her.

Pier Hotel, Gorleston-on-Sea
We went for a walk across the old wooden lifting bridge and watched another old man reversing his boat to his waiting wife and young grand-daughter. The little girl was hugging a soft white toy otter, and pleaded with her grandad to help her onto the boat. He gave her a hand on, and she coyly thanked him, then proceeded to jump on and off the boat with great agility. She clearly knew from an early age how to flatter the old man.

All too often I leave my hat at places, so next day we had to retrace our steps by 30 miles to collect it from where we'd had lunch the previous day. We went via Gorleston-on-Sea, and had coffee at the Pier Hotel, made famous by the recent Beatles tribute film, Yesterday. It has perfect views over sea and sands, and even the gluten-free cheese cake was superb. We just wish we had chosen to stay there instead of the Wherry,

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