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Villan

A Magical Week

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What a wonderful time you all seem to have had. We have enjoyed reading every word of your beautifully scripted tale. This has whet our appetite for our return after a few years away next month. Thank you for sharing your holiday with us all.

 

Regards

Jon & Jo

 

 

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What a great tale, you have brought my first time experiences flooding back to me. I can tell that you and your family firmly have the bug, and I know that you will be back very soon. And you know the really good thing is? You didn't really cover that much ground, and have so much more to discover next time. You say that the Bure wasn't you favourite river, but you really should go further upstream. I have never read a holiday tale before where Horning and Wroxham isn't visited. I think you and the family will love overnighting at Salhouse Broads, and also Coltishall wihich is the end of the line fore the River Bure, (it's my favourite place, just ask Gracie), it has a lovely riverside common that kids really love. Can't wait to read your opinions on these great places, and relive them with you. Thanks for your great Tales. 

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Great to see you had a dinghy - they are so much fun. Lovely photos - thanks for sharing!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Great write up Andy. Really enjoyed it.

found myself looking forward to the next instalment.

Thanks for taking the time to write it up, it'll be great to look back in the dark days of winter and re live your holiday. 

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Thank you Andy for a quite brilliant holiday tale. You really should write a book at some point in your life. You have also put me into countdown mode for next months trip down to the Broads!

Thank you once again for sharing with us all.:)

 

cheersIain.

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Between The Sedge- I was referring specifically to the Bure between Thurne Mouth and Acle as not being my favourite stretch. Pretty much everything upstream from Thurne Mouth is wonderful (although if I had to pick a favourite river the Ant would just shade it for me).

Final instalment of the tale and conclusions will follow. Thanks to you all for indulging me in reliving an excellent week. Looking forward very much to reading the tales of those of you who are lucky enough to be on the Broads over the coming weeks!!

Best Wishes- Andy.

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Saturday 22nd August

We all slept until the alarm went off at six. After a quick breakfast we finished our packing and then did a final sweep up and clean. The temperature was forecast to get close to 30 degrees today and it was warming up already. With the top and windscreen both down, we set off on our final journey of the holiday at 0730.

As we headed East up the Thurne, the Broads decided to bow out with a spectacular sunrise. My camera was of course temporarily unavailable and Janine’s phone out of juice having been used as our camera for the previous night, so we were not able to record this.

Turning left into Herbert Woods yard, I managed to avoid contact with the quay for the first time heading in this direction. I then headed for the far quay to which I had been told to return and a HW employee gestured for me to moor stern on in a gap between two other boats.

The last time I had attempted such a mooring was above Wroxham Bridge and I had struggled with the limited space I had to line the boat up. This time I took it slowly, alternating between reverse and forward with the steering hard over until I was able to reverse square on to the quay. My best mooring yet went unnoticed amidst the hubbub of people unpacking their boats around me. Oh, the injustice!!

After retrieving the car and packing it, I traipsed to reception with the reading from the dipped fuel tank. We had used £62.50 of diesel, which gave us a welcome £87.50 refund on the fuel deposit. After departing Herbert Woods my camera was retrieved following what, by the standards of the previous week, seemed like a ludicrously quick trip to The Bridge Inn by car. As well as providing an excellent family dining experience, this establishment was very kind and helpful in dealing with this situation as well.

The boys had behaved really well for most of the week, so we decided to visit BeWILDerwood before the journey home. It seemed a shame to spend most of what was shaping up to be a very warm day in the car, so by quarter to ten we were in the queue to get in for when the gates opened.

 BeWILDerwood is essentially a very big adventure playground, but it is very well done and the shelter afforded by the woodland setting was very welcome in the increasing heat. The boys had a few hours running around, building dens and going on multiple zip slides before we had lunch and then headed off at about half past one.

As we passed over Wroxham Bridge in the car I had a final, wistful look at the boats on the Bure. I had experienced a great week, but then I always knew that I would. What about the other aspects of the holiday and people involved?

Magical Light was not the last word in luxury, but she never pretended to be. She was chosen primarily for her layout and this worked well for us. The aft well was a secure area where the boys could go and sit on their own whilst we were travelling and the two separate living areas were a real boon- especially on the nights Janine and I eat separately to the boys and we were able to give them the run of the wheelhouse to watch their DVD’s. In addition, the aft located Perkins engine was relatively quiet and used no oil.

As with all boats, she had her foibles. There was a degree of play in the Morse controller which made it difficult to adjust the revs by small amounts for speed limits. The handle of the rear door snagged on the cutlery drawer, making it impossible to retrieve items unless the door was slid open. Also, the middle cabin would have been a squash for two adults (although it was fine for Joseph).

However, Magical Light was a great home for the week overall. She was comfortable (especially when the beds were made the correct way up) and easy to manoeuvre considering her size. The spindles on the ships wheel at the helm acted as a good reference point to help me find the “straight ahead” position and the few mooring mishaps that we had were due to my lack of helming talent rather than anything to do with the boat.

Herbert Woods were excellent as well. Everyone we dealt with there was unfailingly helpful and friendly- from the person who we phoned in February to change the date when my brother announced he was getting married on 1st August to the poor bloke Janine pounced on to ask for extra dinghy rope after my mishap entering the yard.

As far as each of our party was concerned, Joseph had a great week. As expected he loved being on the water and around boats, but it was a delight to see how he got into the concept of mooring up in isolated locations. I had expected him to enjoy Salhouse Broad the most, but he much preferred our nights at wild moorings.

As I alluded to at the beginning of the tale, we were concerned whether there was enough to occupy Matthew. There was, although he did not particularly take to the dinghy. He has always been a home-bird and he seemed to like the fact that we were able to take our abode for the week with us wherever we went. His interest in spotting birds and animals helped, as did the fact that he was very good about going into the front cabin whenever we were mooring.

Janine got into it as the week went on. She had been to the Broads before, but without needing to get involved with mooring. As soon as she felt comfortable doing this and became satisfied that Matthew was safe, she relaxed visibly. She is up for doing it again, but would like to have a smaller and slightly more modern boat next time. I have agreed to these terms in order to secure our return.

Not in 2016, unfortunately. Our holiday plans are already set in stone and we have neither sufficient leave nor budget to shoe-horn anything else in. However, we are discussing potential boats for 2017 (including one that does not have a centre cockpit- a huge departure for me). We may even get to have the holiday with my parents that we were not able to have this time. Whatever, it will not be another 14 years before we return.

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I really have enjoyed reading about all your adventures on the water. You must think that I am mad, recommending Coltishall and Salhouse to you, when you have just been to them, For some reason I had it firmly in my mind that you didn't further thank Ranworth Dam!!?? I know everyone says the Ant is their favourite river, but as I nearly always hire from Richardsons, it's usually a mad dash down the Ant, and then avoiding for the rest of the week (it always reminds me of taking the boat back). The one time we hired from elsewhere (Horizoncraft) we spent a wonderful two days and nights on the Ant

 

I know exactly how you are feeling, I have lots of holiday commitments next yea, and it's I won't be returning to the broads until 2017, not sure I can last it out, I'm already homesick! I will have to reread your holiday tales a few times to get my fix. 

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Only just read this holiday tale .  What a superb describtive style of writing  felt like I was there as well !!  Really hope you go back on the broads this year and let us all enjoy it with you in another holiday tale.

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