LEJOG15: Bawdrip to Cheddar

Today began as all the best days do, being served a breakfast of scrambled eggs and beans on toast with a fresh pot of coffee. Mike had some more tips from his own travels that I mentally scribbled down, and then John came round to give me a lift back to my route in his big comfy car. I felt very well looked after, and was (and still am) very appreciative. It makes such a difference, and really sets you up
for the day.

We said our goodbyes at Bawdrip while mothers milled around after dropping their kids off at school. The sun was shining and I was in good spirits-I felt the day belonged to me and the sky.

The morning involved striding across a very flat lanscape of fields criss-crossed by a grid of drainage channels with fluffy white clouds stretched out for ever in the sky above. It was so flat and expansive that i could still see the Quantocks behind me while ahead of me in the distance their northern counterpart the Mendip Hills were in constant (if hazy) view.

At one point I came to a farm where the owner had decided to hide electric wires at chest height behind a wooden fence running across a right of way. This was super naughty – it had no other purpose than to catch people like
myself unawares. I had to do a massive detour to circumnaivgate his little death trap, and considered commiting little acts of offensive vandalism on his property. But I was more concerned about getting to the pub for lunch, which was even more essential than usual as i hadnt got provisions, and so pushed on.

I pushed on only to get a little lost almost immediately. I’m constantly getting a little lost at the moment cos the paths I’m on are infrequently used, not well signed, and not well cared for by land owners. It makes me long for a well managed national trail. I bumped into a group of tree surgeons who laughed when I told them I was lost. ‘I’m not surprise’ said one ‘it’s the back of beyond here and everything looks the same’. So at least it’s not just me.

But I made it eventually to the pub through deduction rather than map reading skills. As soon as I saw the name of the place – the sexey’s arms – I knew I had to go.

I was treated to a toastie and drink by the Landlord after I told him of my quest. He told me of all the different LEJOG-type people who’d passed through his pub. For example, two guys in a milk float, doing 11 miles a day as that’s how long it could go for between charges, or another two guys who were planning to do it carrying a fridge each. A fridge each! I thought my rucksac was bad enough! The example that irked me the most (mostly out of jealousy) was the guy who was doing LEJOG and interviewing people each evening with the intention of writing a book about the different people he met. What a bloody swot. I had difficulties enough just doing the walk without then having to engaged in articulate conversation each evening. It made me feel very inferior. In fact, the more I learn about other people’s attempts, the more inferior I feel, as if my attempt were just a naive and shambolic affair compared to everybody else’s immaculately planned and executed expeditions. And I thought this whole thing would raise my self-esteem, not compromise it further!

The afternoon consisted of getting closer and closer to the Mendips in general and Cheddar Gorge (my resting point) in particular. The nearer I got the more I realized that I was going to have to climb the buggers the next day. This thought made them look more exhausting rather than exhilerating.

On the way I walked through a lovely country lane that was almost a ‘green tunnel’, and had to crawl underneath an electric fence to continue along a right of way. There were some lovely houses overlooking the Cheddar river on the way into the town, with people sat out on little gardens reading the paper in the afternoon bliss. I chatted with a man whose son had run the coast to coast wall in six days, the man told mr how he wanted to do it but his wife was ill and his dog old. Maybe in a couple of years, he said.

It was a lovely day for a walk, and it ended as a lovely walk.

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3 Responses to “LEJOG15: Bawdrip to Cheddar”


  1. 1 Gayle April 30, 2009 at 6:10 am

    I remember the Sexeys Arms from our walk last year. We had a good lunch and a couple of pints of ale there – and then promptly turned the wrong way in leaving the village and found ourselves doing a bit of a round-and-about tour before putting ourselves back right.

  2. 2 Graham Faithfull April 30, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Keep your chin up Brendon you’re doing really well!
    I’m enjoing reading your blog and remember sometimes other people are not always as honest as you when writing their trip reports.

  3. 3 Karen May 6, 2009 at 9:46 am

    No need to feel inferior. Just remember, the number of people who’ve done a LEJOG walk are only a tiny percentage of the general population! The average person wouldn’t even walk 10-15 miles a day for even two or three days in a row, without a rucksack. That makes you more impressive than millions of other people!


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