A Bridge on the River Kwai [Deben] – Sunday 8th December

Text and map contributed by Raj; pics by Raj, Ana Luisa & Simon

Track of Melton Circular Walk 9.23 miles / 14.97 km

A good turnout for Sarah’s walk with 28 people arriving at the Melton car park as directed. Not bad for this time of the year. Naina and I decided to use our gaiters as we live nearby and it had rained for over 5 hours overnight, so we were expecting some soggy paths. Little did we know that would be an understatement.

The route from Melton took us past Wilford Bridge towards Ufford Bridge via footpaths and quiet roads. A lovely day for a walk. The sun was out, and we were making good time over firm ground. This changed, however, as we left East Lane to walk along the River Deben. The first field was a bit waterlogged, but everyone managed to navigate their way past this.

It looked like we had gone through the worst of it. The water level had risen quite a bit as we walked along the Deben, so it was no surprise when we encountered a couple of places where the river was flowing into the flood plain. Again, with a bit of effort and support from everyone, the group managed to get past two small flowing rivers to continue on our intended path, that is until we arrived at a field that was well and truly filling up. Sarah asked the group to wait in a safe place whilst Simon and a few others looked at whether it was possible to navigate across the field as the small footbridge was already surrounded by a stream. The photographs don’t quite show you how wet it was in the flood plain.

The bulldog spirit is alive and well and it lives in the IOG!  After several attempts to build some supporting structures around the flooded bridge an excellent decision was made by Sarah to return to the White Lion to have lunch, recover, dry out and reroute the walk. I have not been back to the White Lion for 20 years, so this was a welcome return for me. A few walkers decided to call it a day at the pub stop. I got 9.23 miles / 14.97 km for the complete walk.

Well done all. Thanks to Sarah for organising such an adventurous and exciting walk.