From One Extreme…

2 Sep

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The last few days have been what I can only describe as “chilled out”. After the charms of Cromer we headed for a small site in Suffolk, many times winner of CL site of the year and praise heaped on by the shovel load in the reviews. Basically we were pitched in the back garden of an elderly couple. Woe betides anyone who got the recycling bins mixed up let alone any more serious misdemeanour. No dogs, no children and certainly no ball games. In fact nothing but a ghostly, fleeting glimpse of other caravanners and the occasional chicken or duck pecking around the water tap.

It’s probably too much to describe this area of Suffolk as somnolent and laid back. It is blessed with excellent roads and water-side towns like Woodbridge, popular with the many small sailing boats. Following the river also brings you to “Constable Country” where the village once painted by the artist brings in the tourists. It all retains a gentile charm.

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So you can imagine the difference when I tell you that we are now in Crystal Palace. Yes, that’s right. Our caravan is now in London. Who’d have thought it? As you can imagine the getting it here was interesting. We’d deliberately picked a Sunday on the assumption the roads would be quieter. But, of course, this is all relative. When I add that, against our better judgement, we made the mistake of listening to the siren voice of the sat nav when she insisted we “bear left”. A traumatic 20 minutes later that included blocking the main through road in both directions as Neil managed to manoeuvre round a particularly tricky corner, we were back on course.

It seemed incredible that there could be a patch of space along these heaving streets that would fit a single caravan pitch let alone an entire site. But sure enough, at the top of a hill and underneath the transmitter tower in the park where once the exhibition palace stood, our home-from-home is set up.

Once my blood pressure had come down, legs stopped trembling and a couple of ham rolls were raising my blood sugar levels, I was ready to start exploring the local area. The multicultural streets weren’t really a surprise but the incredible variety of restaurants this merging of nationalities brings is astonishing to someone more used to a much more limited cuisine. Couple that with us gawping at the views of the City of London on the skyline, buildings only familiar from photographs clearly visible, then, go on, you can call us country bumpkins.  

 

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