23 January 2012

B2Y6: Spalding to Norwich

A day of glorious sunshine, big skies, richly chilled saturated colours, and a tailwind that scooted me over 75 miles of flat East Anglia backroads with ease.

Elevenses was at Kings Lynn (above). It’s good to have your preconceptions about a place challenged; I’d always thought KL was a weird terminus town, full of staring locals with genetic finger conditions.

Well, as I had my bacon roll and coffee, I got chatting to a local lady in her 60s. When I told her I was from York, she said she was going up there, to the Viking Genealogy department at Jorvik, to research her heritage: ‘Come from Voiken, me. See moi lettle fengers?’ She displayed said digits; both were permanently crooked at the main joint, at 90 degrees. ‘Voiken gene, that is. You got Voiken in you?’

Nice lady, but she was staring at me a bit. Come to think of it, most of Kings Lynn seemed to be doing the same.

The challenging of preconceptions will have to wait another day. I rode out sharpish.

Shame, as KL has some characterful historic quarters, many picturesque streets and buildings (above), and a statue of one its famous sons, a seafarer who explored the coast of Canada, name of Vancouver. Wonder if he discovered anything.

The riding was just delightful all afternoon: intimate and untrafficked back lanes, gentle slopes, modestly picturesque village churches and market-town squares, all with summer’s-morning tranquillity, January posing as April.

On another of Mark’s recommendations I dropped by Castle Acre, with its ruined Norman castle and priory, and this rather splendid arch (above) that all traffic has to squeeze through. Every village should have one.

Staying in Narch tonight. Another twelve-quid, city-centre, bike-in-room Travelodge special. Final leg tomorrow.

Miles today: 75
Miles since Barmouth: 310

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