“Around 100 acres of lavender fields” was the first thing that I read about the “famous” Norfolk Lavender. Boy it’s huge! I was overwhelmed at the prospect of getting lost in the middle of a massive field while photographing hundreds, perhaps, even thousands of lavender rows. When at last I found out that it was just one bus stop away from my favorite Hunstanton, a.k.a. Sunny Hunny, I wasted no more time and the next thing I knew I was on the bus again.
First stop was Kings Lynn, a peaceful market town in West Norfolk. After spending a couple of hours here, I and my travel buddy, Gabry, hopped on the bus to our final destination that would highlight the day trip, Lavender Fields. We didn’t know exactly where to get off but a kind young gentleman, the sort of James Rodriguez of Colombia, became our instant bus guide.
No sooner had we gotten off the bus than the scent of lavender wafted in the air; it heightened my expectation even more. The huge purple billboard strategically built by the roadside caught our attention beckoning us to come hither. As soon as I spotted the field, I felt like someone burst my bubble and my countenance fell. For it wasn’t a massive field of 100 acres but rather a small field which had only about 50 rows of different kinds of lavender, and they were not even deep purple yet. We came too early.
But after spending all that money and travelling all the way for two hours on the bus, I thought I might as well make the most out of it. The bees and the butterflies, specially, diverted my attention and I spent several minutes capturing every moment with them.
Tired and seemingly satisfied with photographing the butterfly, I went inside the shop where they sold all sorts of lavender products, still wondering where the massive fields of lavender could be. Upon spotting a bookmark with a picture of the “massive lavender field,” I could hold it no longer, I had to make my sentiments known. I picked up one of the bookmarks, and pointing at the picture I blurted, “I’m expecting to see this!” His reply stunned me. He said they didn’t have one on site but they have them all across the country. I wondered why it’s called Norfolk Lavender if they grow outside Norfolk. Outside the shop was a nursery, and there were two men arranging propagated lavender and other plants. I ventured closer to one of them, and this time I became more direct. I asked where the “massive field” was. He gave me the direction and told me further that they were not deep purple yet, but they would be in two weeks. Thanking him, I left the nursery to find Gabry. We were at the wrong place! The field was near the bus stop where we got off.
Not wanting to waste any more time, we hurriedly retraced our steps back to where the bus dropped us off. I made sure I asked the man twice and had him rephrase the direction so I could follow it. However, when we arrived at a turning point, I quickly forgot all the direction I was given! Though it would have taken only 10 minutes for the return trip, going back to ask the man again didn’t look like a welcome option. Time was running out and we had to make sure to catch our bus back to Norwich.
Oh, one thing more you need to know about the Norfolk Lavender fields is that they have been sold to private owners. I found the information two weeks later when I intended to go back to see them in deep purple, as the man in the nursery told me.
The adventure didn’t end there though. We caught the bus to Hunstanton and soaked up in the sun. Knowing it would only take about an hour to get to Fakenham, we decided to get the next bus so we could catch the last trip to Norwich. But why is it that when one has to be in a certain place at a certain time, fate plays a trick and causes delay, just when you didn’t have time for it? The bus rolled slowly, taking its own sweet time and stopped over at Wells-Next-the-Sea longer than necessary. I kept glancing at my phone clock, and every minute my worry was doubled. I prayed earnestly to get there on time, but the clock was ticking fast, and my heartbeat was racing even faster. In fact, I wished the bus would run as fast as my heartbeat. It felt like my prayer wasn’t getting past the roof of the bus. Finally, we arrived at Fakenham, and I was going to heave a sigh of relief when I saw the last bus to Norwich slowly inching its way from the station. I tried to signal with my hand to the driver to stop but he shook his head and deliberately drove off.
Stuck in Fakenham, I sent an urgent text to my husband but his reply made me even more worried. Thankfully, my good friend, Paul, responded to my distressed message, and within an hour he came to pick us up.
When God doesn’t directly answer one’s prayer to catch the last bus home, he will send a rescuer.