<> Burwell, July 2005 <>

Last modified: Sunday, 14 August, 2016

Note: these entries were originally entered on my Palm Pilot while we were away on our travels. That's my excuse for any remaining typos; my Graffiti is often a little slap-dash!

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Friday, 1st July

* We left home at 12:30pm and rode our Dawes Galaxies, fully loaded with all our camping gear, up to Stanford Park caravan site, just outside Burwell. Our route took us across Coldham's Common, past the Abbey Stadium, up into Fen Ditton and along High Ditch Road to Stow cum Quy. Then we rode onwards past Anglesey Abbey at Lode, through Swaffham Bulbeck, Swaffham Prior and Reach. We completed the twelve miles in seventy minutes of riding but, with a couple of stops along the way, it was about 2pm by the time we arrived at the campsite.

Bug and Porch* From reading the site’s website, we’d been expecting to pay £8-50 per night, so we weren’t exactly pleased to learn that we’d have to pay £12-00 per night! Regardless, we coughed up and setup camp on the Eastern edge of the large tent field. For the first time, we pitched the front porch stand-alone rather than as an extension to the bug (as we call our tent).

* Once everything was unpacked and organised, we had a cup of coffee and rode on into Burwell to get milk, eggs, steak mince and (soft!) toilet paper at the Co-Op. According to the site owner, it’s half a mile into the village; our cycle computers registered 1.83 miles there and back!

* After an hour or so relaxing in the bug, it was time to start thinking about dinner. We made up a pot of mushroom risotto, from an Italian dried pack we’d brought with us, which simmered on the Trangia while Lisa fried a couple of hamburgers, made with the steak mince from the Co-Op, on the Coleman stove. Nice tasty and filling grub which left us feeling ready to snuggle down in our sleeping bags as night fell around 9.30pm. And so to bed.

Saturday, 2nd July

* We both woke at 6.40am and had a pee. Back in the bug again we snuggled down for another three hours’ sleep.

* Just after ten, I brewed up a couple of cups of tea and we listened to the cricket commentary (England-Australia, one-day game) from Lord’s for a while. Breakfast was fried bacon grill and scrambled eggs, with coffee for Lisa & tea for me.

* Later (at the end of the Australian innings) we took our bikes out for a ride. We took the campsite owner’s suggested route out to Wicken, which also featured in the “Little Blue Book” (Barney Hill’s Cycle Cambridge, Barney Hill,1995) which I had with me to supplement my trusty OS Explorer map. Leaving Burwell northwards, we took Factory Road/Little Fen Drove east to Priory Bridge and then turned north again on Baker’s Fen Drove. This “track” was a fairly loose-surfaced path that led, via a couple of gates and a footbridge, through National Trust properties Baker’s Fen and St. Edmund’s Fen, to the village of Wicken and its windmill.

Baker's Fen Drove Wicken Village Sign Wicken Windmill

* To avoid the A1123, we left Wicken by Butts Lane, Drury Lane and Lower Road/Lower Drove as suggested by the Little Blue Book. We missed the intended track at Grey's Farm and instead took Shaw's Drove (a no less rough, and somewhat longer, grassy track) and High Fen Road back to Red Barn Farm to rejoin the intended route.

Little Fen Drove* Crossing the A1123, we took Upware Road south through Upware itself as far as Duckett's Farm. We zig-zagged across to River Bank, then took the long, straight Little Fen Drove (a different one!) back to Reach where we picked up Burwell Road to return to the campsite.

* In all, the ride was sixteen miles which we completed in a hundred minutes of riding. We grabbed a couple of breakfast bars each while listening to the exciting end of the cricket match (which ended in an exact tie) and went into Burwell to shop at the Co-Op again.

* Dinner was dried filled pasta with pesto and a can of Italian tomatoes with garlic & herbs as a vegetable. We settled down in the bug as night fell and Lisa listened to the end of the Live8 broadcast on Radio 1.

Sunday, 3rd July

* We had a late breakfast of frankfurters and scrambled egg then we reviewd yesterday's ride and decided on a route for this afternoon's ride.

* We rode into Burwell via Reach Road then took Heath Road down to, and alongside the A14. Already Lisa was noticing the more undulating terrain compared to the pancake flat fenlands we were exploring yesterday!

Snailwell Stud* Once in Exning, we climbed Windmill Hill, we dropped down to and crossed the A142 Fordham Road and we continued on into Snailwell. We took a halt for refreshments just by Snailwell Stud, just before the village itself. From Snailwell, we took Snailwell Road and Landwade/Cotton End Road back to Exning. We were intrigued by the peeling yellow paint on the walls of the Equine Hospital's grounds. This tlme we left Exning by Burwell Road.

* Back in Burwell, we stopped off at the Co-Op for a few bits and pieces and took the usual route back to the campsite. As Lisa remarked, this was the first time this year we'd done rides on three successive days. We rode fourteen miles today, in eighty-five minutes.

Hedgehog* After a couple of hours' downtime, we had dinner of a packet of dried Biryani rice with fried steak mince stirred in and canned chopped tomatoes with garlic and herbs. We retreated to the bug straight after dinner as the sun had now set but almost immediately Lisa heard the sound of a hedgehog rooting around in amongst the cooking gear (and food!) stowed in our stand-alone front porch and went back out to investigate.

Monday, 4th July

* Just as I was finishing making tea, a little after 9am, it began to rain! We decided to stay another night, and head home very early tomorrow, so that we could spend a day in the bug.

* Breakfast, taken at midday, was conjee with bacon grill. During the afternoon, the rain became heavier and more persistent, climaxing in a thunderstorm. We were snug in our bug playing cards, talking and snoozing.

Power Lines* Dinner was a simple affair (by our standards!) of pasta & pesto but no less tasty for its simplicity. After washing the dishes, we started in on the packing to help us get away quickly tomorrow. By 10.30pm we were settled down for the night accompanied by the buzzing (in the wet air) of the power lines overhead.

Tuesday, 5th July

* Up soon after 6.30am, we completed our packing and were loaded up and under way in just over an hour. The ride home (twelve miles in eighty minutes) was uneventful but quite hard work: we were cycling into a headwind the whole way. We got home just after 9am and I had to hurry to shower and get out for the working day. Total distance riding for the trip was just over 57 miles.

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