A stark contrast from the River Lea, the Stort twists and turns, is peppered with old water mills and heads towards Essex at a fairly rapid rate. London feels (and is) quite a way away: the water is clear, bridges aren’t splashed in paint and a whole world of wildlife appears to be thriving. Ploughed fields ran alongside the river for most of the day.
Arriving at Roydon Lock it was brilliant to discover you can get just about anything you might need from an ice cream to your laundry done. The owners are unbelievably helpful and we left stocked with all boaty essentials… a word of warning followed our exit from the lock ‘Don’t stay up there for too long or you’ll never get back under the bridge, the levels are already up.’ Oooh okay, it’s nice up here but I’m not sure a whole winter at the top of the River Stort might be such a good idea. The rain can stay away please. Peculiarly Nicholson seems to have given up providing a map for our current section, so we’ll be reading the footnotes and imaginging what lies ahead.
Far from busy, but there are a few boats moving about and a good few windows casting orange glows across the water tonight.