Yesterday I had to have a break from unpacking and tidying so got on my bike and went to the next town (I live in a village) to get a haircut. Of course, I could only find one barber when I got there and it was closed on Monday but at least I got some exercise! I thought I would post some photos of the trip, not to give a reason why my legs ache so much but to give a contrast to the photos of the past two years about Ireland. Here in the Cambridgeshire fens the landscape is a lot flatter.
I know I should be on the motor bikes but I have to go through the rigmarole of registering them again before I can get them taxed etc. So I treated myself to a couple of new tyres and thought I had better use them.
From Thorney I headed west towards Peterborough, then south through the arable fields.
Oilseed rape is commonly planted and is now out of flower but heavy with seed pods.
And there is lots of wheat too.
Looking towards the Peterborough power station.
And the fertile, peaty soil is ideal for potatoes too.
The River Nene drains into the sea at The Wash and runs through Peterborough. The whole landscape is artificial and depends on drainage systems and pumps, being below sea level. The Millennium bridge crosses the river for pedestrians and cyclists.
The path crosses more drains to the town of Whittlesey. This is Ball Bridge.
Whittlesey is a small market town, perhaps best known for the deep brick pits, the straw bear festival and the flood plains between it and Thorney that are used for skating, in the Dutch style, in hard winters.
The road to Thorney is frequently flooded in winter and is bordered by ancient pollarded willows, some of which are now doubled into grotesque shapes.
Halfway is another bridge, this time a road bridge, with The Dog in a Doublet pub on the corner.
Looking the other way you can see one of the water control systems.
Water, water everywhere
And I finally made it back to Thorney. It is an ancient village that was named for the thorney (blackthorn or hawthorn?) shrubs that grew on a slight mound in the marsh.
It is best known for its abbey
And also for the main village houses, built for the drainage workers by the Duke of Bedford. It used to be home to a wildlife park too till the 1970s but now we don’t even have a post office, but there is a pub of course.
Tomorrow, some of the plants I saw on the way and then I hope normal service will be resumed and posts will get more regular.