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  • Alick Burt

River Waveney Harleston to Bungay with an electric fence to paddle under!

Hello Folks

After our trip from Scole to Harleston the next logical trip for Andrew and I seemed like Harleston to Bungay.

Andrew new of a good campsite near Bungay which was adjacent to the river so our plan was to move camp sites and then take Andrews car with both boats on it to the put in. This meant a minimum of faffing changing stuff around etc.

We left scole and arrived at our new site in good time. We met one of the proprietors and explained our plan.He asked what time we expected to be back from our trip and we said we hoped to be back by 4pm but were unsure because it we would be on Canoe Time!

We left my car on site and drove back to Harleston where we had left off the day before and put in.

The river was a lot higher after yet more rain the night before.

I love the trees in the previous picture there is something interesting about trees without leaves whether dead or alive. As we paddled on doing our best to find our way through the strange landscape of flooding river we saw a long line of Geese following their leader.

Once again the river was so high we had a better view of our surroundings than you would normally expect and soon spotted a church in the distance.

We got out to take a closer look.

At our next portage the water was also quite deep on the surrounding path so we could almost paddle along it. No need to carry the canoe here as it floats!

As we paddled on I spotted something in the distance that was quite unexpected. Incidently our motto of the weekend became “ Expect the unexpected”for many reasons which I won't go into as I was not going to mention the referendum!

The unexpected in this case was an airplane.

Our next portage was going according to plan. We got our boats out. Walked a few yards to the put in and got back on the water.

Then shock horror! I saw a wire stretched across the river in front of me.

I have heard horror stories of barbed wire being found across disputed canoe routes but this is part of a recognized trail so I wasn't expecting it.

I shouted back to Andrew lookout there's a wire! and told him I was able to lift it over my head then Ouch! it wasn't barbed but it did give me an electric shock!

We both got past it and paddled to one side to go back and investigate and try and work out what stupid idiot had put it there in the first place. I held the boats while Andrew went back to look.

On closer inspection Andrew found it had been strung across the river and tied to a branch part way across with baler twine.

He retrieved his boat from me and removed the dangerous hazard and when he got home he reported it to the Environment Agency.

With the weekend coming and hire boats up river anyone could blunder into it and get dunking or more seriously drown!

I can only think it must have been someone who really didn't think of the possible consequences of what they were doing.

As we paddled on there were more interesting looking trees like this one.

and although the water was muddy we made very fast progress so arrived at our campsite at about 3pm despite nearly being garrotted on the way.



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