Saturday, 13 June 2009
The search for "Surlingham Inner"
MY CANOE covered a lot of new water today and I was feeling quite pleased with myself until I came across an annoyingly knowledgeable website on my return.
I launched at Coldham Hall and headed up river, turning into the channel signposted to Surlingham Broad. Surlingham is the only Yare Valley broad which the Wherryman's Way is forced to ignore. Indeed to my knowledge it is impossible to get to by foot, although I am sure there is a local or two out there who could prove me wrong.
Anyway I headed down to the open water they call Bargate, (or is the The Bargate?) where a collection of people on a collection of boats looked supremely happy doing very little in the sunshine. Then it was on to Surlingham Broad proper where the "Shallow Water" danger signs deter all but us paddlers. It seems to go on for ever down there: lots of channels and - according to the OS map - lots of turnings. It's probably quite easy to get lost.
But it turns out that next to Bargate is another stretch of water known as "Surlingham Inner" with its own secret entrance. The website says it is "visited only by canoeists willing to get scratched by tree branches, wade through duck poo and get stung by nettles in the process of getting to the inner broad."
It's got to be done one day hasn't it? If you fancy the challenge, you can find the details here.