MONDAY 9TH TO TUESDAY 10TH JULY 2012
My Imray guide tells me that just up the road from Brandon is an ancient flint mine that is still open and up until quite recently flints were still being sent to Africa for tribesman’s ancient flintlock rifles; in fact over 300 mines have been traced and this area could be considered the centre for knapping.
We got underway promptly on Monday morning and joined Angonoka in time for coffee. A weed cutter had held us up for a bit, but it was obviously doing a good job as I had to clear the prop far left often than on the way up. Another bonus was that although I wore jeans this time we didn’t meet any of those pesky horseflies.
Nathalie was happy for us to use their facilities at Little Ouse Moorings before we turned out onto the Great Ouse beside the Ship Inn. Reputedly on misty evenings the ghosts of those left to drown or hang by the rising and falling tides at this junction may be seen, but not this morning. At one point electricity pylons march in a dead straight line across the fens, creating an interesting image. We would liked to have moored at Littleport, but there was no space, happily a couple of miles further on, just beyond the entrance to the River Lark, we squeezed in to a rural EA mooring in time to sit out and enjoy the evening sunshine.
It was only about five miles to Ely and we set off promptly on Tuesday, soon catching our first glimpse of the cathedral. The river front in Ely is quite short, but very attractive and we chose to moor right in the centre to make exploring the city easy. We did the usual perambulating, taking in the cathedral etc., but decided to leave Oliver Cromwell’s house and the splendid chandlery until tomorrow when we would be dog free. We lunched in the Cutter Inn right beside the river, but on emerging the waterfront was full of gongoozelers, some of them trying to peer into our boats, so we decided to move upstream a little way, but still in easy walking distance of the town.
Just as the heavens opened in the afternoon and we rushed to get the clothes airer into the dry, Paul from Waterway Routes cruised passed, obviously he brought the rain with him, hopefully we will catch up with him at some time, but in the dry.