Shottisham Birthday Beer Camp – 9th-11th June

Story & pics contributed by Marie-Louise

Some 30 plus IOGers assembled at Shottisham Camp Site on Friday evening for a couple of nights of fun and a good day or two of hiking around the area. I’ll leave descriptions of the walks to those who took a greater part than I did, but what is camping without the fun of getting the tents up? A pictorial study of erecting Lou and Anne’s 3-bedroom bungalow is a taster of the joys to be had.

The shadows are lengthening but the job goes on.

As everyone arrives and tents of all shapes and sizes are put up with varying degrees of hilarity, the bbqs begin to appear, the boxes of meat, the cheese kebabs, the chips and dips and salads, the usual lavish array of puds and birthday cake – this year provided by Anne: a rich, dark chocolate cake to rival Trump’s “beautiful piece of chocolate cake” but without the embarrassment of telling President Xi about US air strikes on Iraq. Oops. Syria. A lovely, gutsy evening of good food and great company – this is a really fun event on the annual calendar.

Walk Report – Saturday 10th June

Words and pics – Lou

Question: Given a choice of (a) a medium-paced 14 mile walk with no pub stops or (b) a leisurely 8 mile stroll incorporating the Ramsholt Arms, how many IOGers would opt for the latter?
Answer: 24 out of 33 (with an additional 2 going for a more direct shorter route).

After the 3rd recount, I decided that there were indeed 24 of us, and we sauntered off via the church and allotments. The first obstacle confronted us in the next field, where FB was marked on the map but in reality required a leap of faith across a muddy expanse of water. Perhaps FB in this case means “Fill your Boots”, as some of us did. The route to the estuary took us via the coralline crag of Sutton Knoll (marked on the OS map as Rockhall Wood). A notice board informed us of its fascinating history.

Wading through the meadow

The sun beat down on us as we waded through wildflower meadows (and some nettles – people wearing shorts had been warned) to reach the Deben estuary with a view upstream to Waldringfield.
A short walk downstream took us to Ramsholt Beach, where we stopped for lunch part 1 and watched the tide come in.

Lunch on Ramsholt Beach

Continuing downstream, we arrived at the Ramsholt Arms for a leisurely break (well, a leisurely break for most of us – Rachael and Torben changed into wetsuits for an hour’s swim). It seemed that everyone wanted to buy me a drink at this point, but I couldn’t quite manage 23 pints.

View from the terrace

Thirsts quenched, we headed inland via Ramsholt Church and its strangely shaped tower – it looks square on approaching from the South but is actually round on closer inspection. A short bit of road was unavoidable, but it was a pleasant off-road route most of the way back to the campsite. I think I would have got away with a slight detour off the planned route had I not mentioned it at the time – I put that down to the beer and conversation.