Thursday, 27 March 2008

Tootling, Tootsies & Taxis

After a splendid curry in Weston, the daughter and her man decided it would be a marvelous idea to clear their heads and join me in tackling the Mendips.

Now the Mendips might not be a huge challenge to the rufty-tufty northerners who form part of our congregation, but for us soft southerners they are terrifying summits. Beacon Batch (as you will already know) is a giddying 1,066 feet high and was summited in squally snow and soft hail showers in a bitingly cold wind.
Summit Party

We descended the long stony track, bumping into a large walking party which had a clear front runner. The Front Runner approached at almost running speed, ahead of his group to enquire his whereabouts. He was mightily relieved to be given his position and turned commandingly to his hangers on (some hanging on like grim death) to let them all know that it 'wasn't much further now...'

We made the safe environs of Cheddar and the even safer confines of the pub to a rather good lunch washed down with a pint of Butcombe.

The daughter was spending some time waving her mobile phone in the air trying to find a signal - apparently in the vain attempt at hailing a taxi as her feet were aching. Happily, her man had her under control and was having none of it.

Cheddar Gorge

We strolled manfully / womanfully up the road, past the throngs of Easter cars filling the car parks, with daughter performing rain dances with her mobile phone until we eventually made our turn off beneath Black Rock and into the peace of the silent canyon.

This area was the centre of Roman Lead Mining for the entire Roman Empire and the remnants of the ancient mines are scattered all about, making a fascinating landscape with a terraced valley bottom, lush and full of rabbits below and buzzards circling above.

We made the safety of Charterhouse Church - a tiny Mendip gem which had once been a miners community hall, with a beautifully simple arched roof and a very pretty screen Andrew & Tom were making the church and altar ready for the Easter service the following morning and filled the daughter's man & me in with the local history of the area and the church.

Outside, the daughter had finally managed to get a tiny bit of reception on her mobile telephone and had been in touch with the mother.

Great glee; to find that the mother had told the daughter that the walk would 'do her good' and it was only a few miles back to Blagdon.

A mile of kickystone down the lane, scoffing Cheddar sweeties soon had us sitting on the bench at the top of the hill looking over Blagdon Lake in the warming sunshine.

12.1 miles, and no passes!

The next day, the daughters feet, shins and knees were still aching, her man was suffering from shin splints. Youngsters today, eh?

1 comment:

  1. Nice one, youth!
    Definition of 'youngsters'?
    I went on a stroll (or was it a 'stride') yesterday where the minority of us were 'youngsters' (ie under 60) who were constantly having to play 'catch-up' with the older folk. I thought we were supposed to slow down as we get older?


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