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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Wiltshire Adventure, day 2

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I admitted to Kate straightaway that the second day’s walking (from Amesbury to Manningford Abbots, in the vale of Pewsey) was going to be a very long haul, but even that was an understatement. I don’t know that we could have walked it all even if we hadn’t encountered a few nonexistent public-rights-of-way that resulted in wasted time retracing our steps. Oh well–it was still a very nice walk, full of variety, and the weather was perfect. My sister really enjoyed ambling through all the little villages and oohing over the architecture.

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We spotted this behemoth in a farmyard along the route. He seemed much too big to be able to walk out into the yard on his own, so we imagined the farmer brought him out in a cart to snooze in the sunshine.

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A kissing-gate at the end of a pastureful of cows. (Not so romantic as it sounds, then!)

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We did a little “we’re over the fold of the map” dance.

It got to be 3:30 and we knew we didn’t have a prayer of making it to Manningford Abbots before dark, so we gave up and took the bus. And we didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty about it, because it gave us more time to enjoy our 17th-century bedroom:

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I can’t say enough good things about Huntly’s Farmhouse. The house itself is a huge treat for someone like me (who was obviously born on the wrong continent in the wrong century), and Margot is an amazing hostess–she brought us tea and homemade lemon cake when we arrived, and breakfast in front of an enormous open stone fireplace with things like stewed figs and quince jam was thoroughly memorable. Being there reminded me that I still haven’t blogged about A Traveller in Time (which I was reading during the Cotswolds trip back in November, and excerpted here).

(n.b.—if you want to book at Huntly’s, it’s best to call. Either that internet form doesn’t work, or Margot doesn’t check it. She’s one of those chilled-out B&B owners who just does it on the side.)

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Margot gave us directions to a great little pub in Wilcot, a mile and a quarter off, so we walked over for dinner in the twilight. (Of course we used our headlamps for the walk back, and it was pretty creepy when the bluish LED light reflected off the cows’ eyes in the darkness. Bovine zombies, ieeeeeee!)

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We had a hearty meal (vegetable lasagna and veggie shepherd’s pie) at the Golden Swan; Margot had called ahead to tell them we were coming, and they were very friendly. I took this pic as a wish-you-were-here for Elliot, and reminded myself of LOLcats: ‘I bought you a beer, but then I drinked it.’

Next post: Manningford Abbots to East Kennett (one mile from the great stone circle at Avebury).

3 Comments to Wiltshire Adventure, day 2

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    March 29, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Nature never intended those little legs to hold up such a tubby body. I can’t help but find him (or her) adorable 😉

  2. March 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    The “smelliest pig ever?” You mean the AWESOME-EST pig ever.

  3. Ang's Gravatar Ang
    March 30, 2011 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    I LOVE that pig picture! The B&Bs look and sound so quaint… wishing I could go sometime soon…

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.