Three weeks ago - that's all, although it seems like forever - the Saturday after Christmas, and we were on our way to the village of Stonea, intent upon visiting the Golden Lion which, we were told, did very good food. Checking back with the log book I see we set off from Bill Fen at around ten o'clock, and made our way via Popham's Eau and the Sixteen Foot Drain.
It was still very windy, but for a lot of the way we were heading straight into the wind. The sun was shining, it wasn't raining, and all in all it was a splendid and exhilarating experience. Nary a boat nor another person was to be seen, but the sun glinted off the water, spray coruscated around and over the fore end, little waves whipped past us, swans escorted us, and it was good to be alive, and even better to be out boating on the Fens.
So we'd worked up a nice appetite by the time we got to Stonea, recognisable as a habitation only by the presence of the railway bridge, by which, we knew, the pub was close. Tying up was the usual wet, reedy challenge, but that done we scrambled up the steep muddy bank, made our way around (or in some cases, through) the wire fence, and onto the road.
Stonea not only has a pub called the Golden Lion; it in fact seems to consist entirely of a pub called the Golden Lion, albeit one with a post box in its front garden. A pub, sadly, which does not open Saturday lunchtimes. Back around the fence and down the muddy bank we went, for tea and pasta on Warrior, before going on our way again with the wind and spray even more impressive steering into the setting sun.