Breakfast was chaotic, I was down at 7.30 wanting an early start before the heat, but was beaten to it by a coachload of Isreali tourists. They were giving the waiter a hard time with all their demands. As well as breakfast they were preparing lunch at the tables and asking for ingredients stored in the kitchens fridge. I settled down to copious fruit juices and observed the farce, my cooked meal not appearing for an hour when they had gone their way to no doubt create mayhem elsewhere. I congratulated the Spanish waiter and his backup on their cool manner.
I was almost at the top of Wearyall Hill when a man hailed me asking the whereabouts of the thorn tree. I had heard the legends of holy thorn trees being planted here, going back to Joseph of Arimathea from Christ’s time sticking his staff in the land. The man, not Joseph, had come from Poland on a pilgrimage to search out holy sites. So we joined forces to find it and in fact stumbled on it within yards. It looked dead following recent vandalism but was hung with ribbons from the faithful who feel the forces. A local lady joined in with more information and we had a pleasant interlude up here all the time overlooked by Glastonbury Tor.
I listened to music on the long flat miles through the next levels, I find The Traveling Wilburys a good walking beat.
Ahead was a small ridge to cross and the paths again seemed unused, several were blocked and there were lots of annoying electric fences with those awkward hook ups. I was hot and bothered by the time I reached the pub in Westbury sub Mendip, an ice cold drink did the trick. Sub Mendip meant there was climbing to be faced but the views back to Glastonbury Tor were outstanding. Along the ridge there was a succession of stone stiles featuring a large stone to be mounted.
Looking down on Cheddar I fell into conversation with a local man reminiscing on his childhood in the 50s with this as his playground, we had lots in common.
Ice cream was my next priority, the delights of the gorge can wait till tomorrow.