Sunday, 23 September 2012

Great Barford to Bedford

Day 4. Thursday, 20 September 2012. Great Barford to Bedford.

We woke to a dull day but calm morning. No blazing sunrise today.
As we left Great Barford we entered a meandering stretch of river on the flat valley floor interspersed with sand and gravel workings. Some of these had long since stopped; others were obviously still on the go. Occasional glimpses of lorries and cranes could be seen through the trees and sometimes we heard the rattle of conveyor belts and graders.

 The river was lined with willows and alders that often dangled into the water; some collapsed, others barely standing upright. This made the route interesting, varied and sometimes twisting, as though travelling through a dense African river landscape.

It only took us a couple of hours to reach Bedford, it’s outskirts looking much more rural than you would expect for a major urban conurbation. We passed the Priory Marina and moored at the GOBA site just outside the town.
A short walk into the town took us through the riverside gardens, which are well maintained and must be appreciated by the locals and visitors alike. The rowing clubs add a ‘Cambridge’ feel to it. The town is unremarkable containing a selection of multi-nationals and small independents. These, coupled with the high number of charity shops, ‘pound’ shops and pawnbrokers, suggests the economy caters for all sectors of the community. Like most places, Bedford would look better in the sun.

An M&S sandwich eaten in the main square accounted for lunch and then it was back to the boat for a quiet afternoon lolling about, reading, listening to the radio, playing my guitar and dozing off. Well, we are retired!
Kay has spent at least 2 hours playing practicing with her new mobile phone, a gift from Wendy. After about 30 minutes she found the ‘on’ button and then the ‘text’ button and has been texting everyone she knows, which fortunately is not that many people. However, after a string of texts to Wendy, she may now be regretting giving her the phone. 

The plan is to head back tomorrow as there is not much else to see or do in Bedford (or have we missed something?).  

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