Travel

Mixed Bag But No Cities

After a fabulous dinner of steak and chips, creme brûlée and a couple of JD and cokes ( a first for me on my own!) with a buzzing atmosphere it was time to go to bed. Well, that was the plan, but my key didn’t work! Holy crap on a cracker! Don’t panic! In my head I did though – where will I sleep? What about my stuff? Will I have to wait hours for a locksmith? Should I kick it down – no doubt I’d come off worse and it would probably come back and hit me in the face! It’s incredible how many thoughts can go through your head in a couple of seconds!! I opted to go back downstairs through the busy bar – which I had just walked through and spoke to the guy (who incidentally had a very sexy French accent) who had served me. He came back upstairs with me and tried the door – it didn’t work (told you) So off we went, back downstairs, me for the comfort break that was calling and him to get another guy, he went up, tried it, then just pushed it open apparently! It had been left on the latch, not by me, must have been when they put my lights on. How blonde did I feel?! He seemed to take great pleasure in telling me he tried the simple option first of just pushing it – yeah yeah, whatever!
Anyway, a fairly good nights sleep was had and I awoke to bright blue skies and sunshine – wonderful! But no view to move me, just roof tops and hills.
I opted for poached eggs on toast for this mornings breakfast – the food in The Bear is delicious – then went and packed and checked out.
The French guy had asked me what I had planned for the day. I said I wasn’t sure, I’d thought about Cheddar Gorge, Glastonbury Tor and RSPB Ham Wall (I was determined today). I don’t think he knew what the RSPB was – maybe I should have invited him along!
Having learnt a very valuable lesson the day before I programmed Google Maps before I left. I plumped for Cheddar Gorge, I thought while I was down this way I should give it a look. I had been before but it had been many many years ago, I don’t recall enjoying it as much as Wookey Hole but I was willing to have a look.
While I was driving along, trying to plan out in my head how much time I had to fit everything in that I wanted to I realised that I really didn’t have the time to make the most of a visit to the Gorge. With the daylight hours being shorter I was really conscious of the time of the sunset and the possibility of seeing the Starling murmuration. So I made the decision to change my destination to Glastonbury Tor, after all it had connections with King Arthur and I fancied conquering a hill.
It’s really odd how the signal was none existent the day before but today I was able to change the destination with no problems…..
Well, when I say destination, it’s a hill. It has no car park, you have to park near and walk. I eventually found a car park after driving around, through the town, which I have to say looks right up my street again. Lots of mystical, magical shops. I didn’t go and have a look, my purse wouldn’t allow it and I knew I would have seen so many lovely things that I would have had to just walk past. Maybe I will go back one day.
I wrapped up, hat (not my Minion one, that has been retired for now – memories and all that, not ready – I know, it’s only a hat but..), scarf and waterproof trousers because the heavens opened when I got there and set off. I found the signs and followed them (obviously) and went through the kissing gate. Right from the bottom it was steep. There were large, shallow steps to begin with, the kind that you have to do two steps to each one. I had to keep changing legs, it was tiring. The steps got narrower and a little steeper in places and the wind was tremendous, I had to hold on to my hat. Although it wasn’t as windy as Tintagel had been!
They had built the steps to stop people just walking anywhere, it controlled the erosion and I have to say made it a lot easier, although I couldn’t help but think how they managed when they were carting the stones up to the top to build St Michaels Tower, which is now a Grade 1 listed building. I stopped on my way up a few times to take in the view (alright, to get my breath) which was just stunning. All I could think of was ‘England, My England’ The patchwork of fields, so many different greens, the white dots that were sheep, hills, sky, hedgerows, trees, it was just beautiful – and windy! Did I say windy?!


I got to the top. There were people. There were annoying people. I’m going off people.
I think it would be quite something to go up to the top when there is a meteor shower and just lay there looking up – I might have to do that next summer – in fact, it’s now on my list.


Going down was a lot easier I have to say. I’d warmed up. The sun had come out and the sky was now blue. At the bottom there is a garden with a sacred well called the Chalice Well. I paid my entrance fee and went in.
I wasn’t prepared for the surge of emotion that came over me as I walked in. I just started crying. I feel pathetic sometimes but I think I would rather be in touch with my emotions and show them than be cold and uncaring, Maybe I’m making excuses for being a blubbering wreck at times but I do feel a bit better after and a little bit stronger. I am me. Take me or leave me…..Ha!!
Anyway, back to the garden, the peaceful, serene and calming garden. The sun was shining, it was quite warm, there were plants that were still flowering, Cosmos, Lupin, and Roses, even the Sedum still had colour, it was as if time had stood still here, it wasn’t really November and the beginning of Winter.
I had a lovely walk through the different parts of it, I even had a sip from the spring water flowing through, from one of the glasses that was provided for the purpose, just sitting there in the peace and quiet – there were only a few people here, which pleased me and the ones that were there were there for the peace and calm also, kindred spirits if you like.


As calm as it all was I knew that that time was ticking. I had to get petrol and I needed to be at RSPB Ham Wall in good time for dusk. I said my thanks to the garden – I’m weird I know – and made my way back to the car.
This is my first trip to an RSPB place on my own, it was something we did together, he took the photos and I enjoyed just being with nature and him. I could never see the bloody birds, not until I was bought an awesome pair of binoculars, then a whole new world was opened up for me. I need to buy myself a pair so I can enjoy looking again. I didn’t necessarily know what I was looking at, he did though and took beautiful photos of them for identification to be added to a list.


If I’m honest, it was tough. But I did it, I had a lovely walk round and now that has been done. They had told me at the entrance where the best place was to see the murmuration so I eventually made my way there and waited. Well, I have never seen so many people in one place at an RSPB site. It was obviously a big thing. We were all hanging around waiting for the Starlings to come home to roost, I didn’t know where to look, I just kept looking around. Then someone spotted a small flock of them doing their dance, these were joined by another flock and then another flock until they had all joined together to do their display. This apparently was only around 50,000, in the deep winter the numbers increase to 1 million – I cannot begin to imagine what that must look and sound like.


I tried to get video footage, I got some which I was pleased about considering you didn’t know exactly where to be. The sky was an absolutely beautiful pink, the wind had died down and it was quite calm, the sunset had been breathtaking, I do love a sunset, I get a photo of them whenever I can and I always look behind me, not just at the sunset, the colours can be just as beautiful. Again, if the sat nav had worked the day before I wouldn’t have seen the display in the same way if at all because the weather had been drizzle with low cloud – see, fate.


I was so happy that I had managed to do everything that I had set out to do over the weekend. I had learnt a lot this weekend, I really only like open spaces, green, trees, sea, rivers and lakes. I’m really not fussed about cities and shopping and restaurants, I like to be outside experiencing things, breathing the fresh air and taking in our wonderful world – natural world. I kind of knew that anyway but it’s good to do things you wouldn’t normally do, how else do you find out what you do and and don’t like?

I’m looking forward to learning and finding out more!

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