when me and a friend pedalled to Felixstowe n back from Bedford, we camped on the beach inbetween the shore and the busiest container port in England.
we popped into the same beach front pub each day for a drink n to charge the mobile phone.
so we got chatting with the barman, he was amazed at our bike ride and told us of how he’d been in the army, was in the fire reserves etc and envied us our lil adventure.
on the second day he warned us.
“there’s an inland storm coming tonight, thunder n lighting.
it’s gonna be rough out there, maybe you should head back before it gets here.
i wouldn’ wanna be out in it and i’ve been in the blah blah blah”
he said something like that.
me n my mate, we looked at each other, half grinning probably.
well the barman went back to his duties and we supped up.
so there’s gonna be a storm 🙂 shit we are in for it.
how much weed have we got?
damn, we smoke too fast, let’s find a local…..
so we found a local, he’ll be back in an hour., then to the free water tap to refill the bottles.
we went back to the tent, made sure nothing was missing, fried some bacon n noodles with the Hexi stuff, talking about the incoming storm, were we gonna leave early?
we are gonna weather it and walk in the pub tomorrow morning with a grin on our faces!”
Yeah man!! let’s make a spliff.
adventures aren’t meant to be easy, and when i want one i always seem to get one.
(do you remember my poem of epic length about being wrongly arrested and having to hitch hike home?)
so we got stoned on the beach, met up with the local for some more (just incase, we’ve still got to get home yet.) and went crab fishing.
that evening we went to the old burnt pier, the wind was picking up wickedly as we played just meters above the frothy sea.
well, to be honest i’m a scaredy cat but it was cool to slowly walk the old black bare skeleton and hop its limbs.
the wind and rain and black sky made us hurry back to our tents a few hundred meters away.
all that separated us from the sea were some partial mounds that stretch lazily, intermittently along the beach. on the other side of our tent is the port of Felixtowe, a noisy never ending entity.
we made sure our tent was secure, our bikes out of the way. we made sure every thing was comfy and that we had a hot drink n smoke.
the thunder was growing, it felt different because we weren’t inland, it was magical.
especially when the lightning started.
we tried to stay outside for as long as possible, it was beautiful watching the lightning hit somewhere over Ipswich maybe 20miles away upriver. but it was steadily coming closer. 🙂
“well here it comes, like soldier boy said.”
we were loving it. our own true adventure, a hundred miles from home with only ourselves to rely on.
to be honest once it got serious, there was nothing we could do inside the tent so we jus laughed, joined in with the thunder, trying to hear each other above it, watching the blanket lightning paint shapes on the tent.
i’d only used the tent once before during lightning, by Elstow, an ancient village, so i knew that it would be strong. but how strong?
it seemed to hold up as long as we didn’t touch the sides 🙂 the tent was making some crazy shapes helped by the gale storm winds.
it felt like ghost cattle were stampeding over us for hours, buffeting the tent incessantly.
we took it in turns to occasionally re-peg the tent, we were losing pegs into the grassy sand so we started using our cutlery etc.
we were soaking wet, everything was soaking wet. luckily we’d ‘russian dolled’ our spare socks i think because they were dry later on.
we weathered the storm. the world was getting lighter. all that shivering makes me need a piss break. on top of the sea defence, i looked out onto the North Sea and watched dawn rise as she does every morn on the east coast.
we made noodles for breakfast, or was it tinned tomatoes?
anyway. we couldn’t wait for the pub to open so we went to a cafe to warm up, i’m sure we looked crazy hehehe.
the pub opened a little later to serve breakfast and we popped in for a quick one, the barman could see our wet selves, our bikes outside, overladen with wet intrepid explorer stuff.
his eyes said a million things that he couldn’t voice, we smiled, supped up, made a joint for the journey and set off for home.