Every time I lay down last night enough snot to flood Wales seeped out of my left nostril so I resorted to plugging it up with tissue. That helped and I slept the sleep of the dead. We’d pitched very close to the farm so we knew we’d have to get going but oh my gosh, I felt awful. I obviously had lesbian flu, which is a bit like man flu but roughly ten to fifteen times worse. I’m not going to die but I will wail incessantly like I am. Usually this can be remedied with a sofa and Netflix and cream of chicken soup from a can but I had none of this and poor Tarrant would have to deal with me all day.
At least the temperature was saner today, we had full cloud cover which is much nicer to walk in. These fields, however, these were not nice to walk in. Of course we started our day by following a right of way line on a map, bushwhacking our way through tits-deep grass which was also sodden. It was just shit field after shit stile after shit field.
We walked along roads for quite a while too which usually I hate but it was such a welcome reprieve from having to do battle with foliage and it meant we could actually get a pace up and make some progress. That didn’t last long though. We found ourselves in a wheat field, the right of way was meant to follow a stream but the wheat had been planted right up to impenetrable nettles, thistles, brambles, and suspected giant hogweed. We had no idea what to do, we couldn’t see a track through the crop so we just had to pick our way down the side, trying to trample thistles as much as possible rather than crop, whilst not getting torn to shreds.
I mean, what’s the etiquette here? If the right of way has been planted on is it still a right of way? Large swathes of the wheat had already been crushed so we followed that where we could until we found a track and we jumped into that. The gate we were aiming for was completely blocked off with the crop, we had no choice but to walk through it. We knew we hasn’t got it wrong, we checked one we’d climbed over the gate (couldn’t open it, it was too overgrown), there was a fingerpost and a Public Footpath disc directing you right through the field as well as the line on the map we followed.
The paths got a little better as we got closer to the sprawling metropolis of Bridgwater. I was relying on Bridgwater to drop the kids off. Nature wasn’t just calling, it was hammering frantically at the back door. The first public toilets we got to were closed due to persistent vandalism and the sign directed us to Blake Gardens. Okay cool, I can make it there. We got there and those were also closed due to persistent vandalism. You are shitting me, Bridgwater!
We ended up in a café for tea and bacon and I annihilated their little toilet. I always feel terrible when I have to use a small business for that sort of thing, I wasn’t even hungry but buying food was the least I could do after what I did to their loo. Asda was our next stop but fuck me, I was feeling rougher than a Somerset footpath. I sat outside feeling very fucking sorry for myself whilst Tarrant went and got me some Day and Night Nurse capsules. That shit is magic. But no way could I walk much further today.
We were booked into the YHA in Cheddar tomorrow night but they had nothing for tonight so we booked onto a campsite and headed directly to Cheddar with public transport. It’s a train to Weston-super-Mare then a bus to Cheddar from there, and as we couldn’t get anything cheap enough in Cheddar for Monday and Tuesday we booked a room in Weston-super-Mare. That way we could go to Cheddar now, catch up with Tarrant’s mate tomorrow, bus to Weston-super-Mare on Monday then train back to Bridgwater on Wednesday to continue the trail, assuming I wasn’t dead by then.
It actually turned out to be a hideous afternoon and evening weather wise anyway, we lay in the tent as the rain hammered down relentlessly for hours. Kind of glad we weren’t walking in it. We pitched up and I just slept and slept and drooled and snotted all over my pillow. We were very much in the snot stage at this point. Like, if mucus were currency I could pay off the UK covid debt, buy a kebab and still have change for the bus home. I just chained my pseudoephedrine and rested.
Merridge, Somerset to Bridgwater, Somerset, England
Stayed at: Petruth Paddocks, Cheddar
Useful shit to know…
- I have no idea if Bridgwater has any toilets that haven’t been closed due to vandalism. Asda has a customer toilet though, or there are cafés.