Published: July 16th 2012July 16th 2012
this was a touristy day - the full works at Cheddar Gorge, open-top guided bus tour, a look round two caves, a museum and a walk up Jacob's Ladder and the viewing platform, along one side of the Gorge, down, over the road and up the other side. All this afdter dancing the previous evening and having four hours sleep.
The Gorge is fascinating. The caves have links with jenolan Caves, which I'm sure I've been to in Australia, and the Gorge itself inspired Tolkien when he visited here on his honeymoon. The Gorge was formed by the ice cap on the Mendips melting each summer which caused a torrent to rage through the landscape carving Britain's highest inland cliffs. The caves beneath are also fascinating, self-guided with a slightly whimsical audio set.
I bought some Cheddar cheese - two types, marmite flavour and smoked after trying about six different types, though unfortuneatley not from the shop advertising cheddar made in Cheddar. I also bought a moon-gazing hare from a shop selling wares from Indonesia.
Camped at the Rodney Stoke Inn in Rodney Stoke (a 'thankful town' - where there were no casualties from either world war). A very pleasant meal in the pub followed by a shower and a view of the sunset to one side and some playful calves in the field behind me.
I can't remember what i did, but I camped in a field by a farm with a cobweb-strewn Portaloo in the corner £11 a night and a short walk across three wet fields to the Buffalo in Wyke, near Gillingham in Somerset/Hampshire/Dorset. There was a small group - the six o'clock club there who were interested in my travels and willing to tell me the history of the pub and once-local brewery which sold the best beer in the country until the well-water is was made with ran dry and it never tasted the same again. I have strict instructions that the next time I'm in the area I must camp in Frank's field ans it'll be cheaper than £11.
Larmer Tree festival Wed 11th to Mon 16th
'I love festivals', I wrote at 1.30am on Saturday morning. 'I'm tucked up in my van, picking mud off my leggings and listening to the Everly Brothers. i had a lie in this morning, worked a 4-hour stint in the wristband exchange, danced a Lindy Hop workshop, danced to the Spitfire Sisters and the Regular Joes in the swing-themed Big Top, and the Levellers on the main stage, and watched some great comedy - Zoe Lyons from Brighton had me in tears of laughter and now I've got a hot chocolate and brandy.
Yesterday it rained all day. The main field is a sea of mud and the area by the main entrance is like a paddyfield.
I've been here since Wednesday, spending four hours a day in wristband exchange, a jolly crew greeting happy festival goers and putting the correct coloured wristband on, depending on age or length of stay.'
The bands have been great, Joolz Holland and Ruby Turner, the Levellers, Edward II, Port isaac's Fisherman's Friends, The Crowns I really enjoyed, a Cornish punk/folk band who have supported the Pogues; Tim Minchin I loved and would l;ike to see more of.
The mud varied in texture and viscosity, turning the lawn into a bloughed field and the village into a partly cooked chocolate brownie. My calves and ankles are developing new muscles day by day.
Yesterday the sun came out and for two hours it felt like summer, Today it's back to rain gain, but snug in a cafe in Sherborne, i don't mind. I need to find a campsite soon, and one with a washing machine. a shower would be nice, i haven't had one since last Tuesday!