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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 3

(Day 1; day 2.)

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Walking west along the canal at Wilcot.

Day three was quite a bit easier–it’s six miles by road from Pewsey (the nearest town to Manningford Abbots, where we’d spent the night), and I don’t know how many miles it took to walk, but we did it in five hours. Margot and her husband basically plotted the whole route for us, returning to Wilcot (the village where we’d had dinner the previous night) and walking west along a picturesque canal before heading north across hilly pastures and along the edge of copses that were definitely not part of a public right-of-way. But Margot promised we’d be all right, that it was a route she’d taken with her dog many times, and we were.

It was misty the whole day through, but we got what we came for: white horses! (Well, one white horse, but we saw another the following day.)
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Pausing for “lunch.” Good thing she’s not sick of trail mix–there’s still five pounds of it left!

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It was misty the whole day through, but we still got what we came for: white horses! (Well, one white horse, but we saw another the following day.)

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The original white horse figures were meant as offerings to the gods, and so they’re best seen at a distance. It was such a thrill to come to the top of a hill and see it laid out on the hillside opposite.

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We arrived at our B&B in East Kennett around 3:30 and had a cup of tea before we headed out again for Avebury. Before you get to the circle itself, you walk (or skip, hee hee) down the remains of a stone avenue that was probably used for ceremonial purposes:

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Over 4,500 years the stones have been weathered into weird and awesome shapes.

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The other odd thing about Avebury is that the village is built inside the circle. There isn’t much to the village itself (pub, visitor centre, ludicrously expensive vegetarian B&B, and a few other buildings), but the traffic is ridiculous–if the road had circumvented the monument I imagine the site would be much more peaceful. We still enjoyed the afternoon, of course (although we almost had a conniption when we saw some idiot climbing up onto one of the stones for a photo op!)

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There are loads of neolithic sites in the area, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit any others. After Avebury we got our headlamps and walked to The Bell at West Overton, on the premises of a 19th-century coaching inn, for dinner. It was quite a bit fancier than the previous night, but we had a delicious butternut squash soup and gnocchi with spinach and walnuts, and I got a pint of another local ale, and then we walked back to East Kennett in the darkness. Another lovely evening.

(p.s. Kate took most of the pictures in this post.)

(p.p.s. Funny enough, I’m in India right now, volunteering here. Sweating buckets and sleeping with frogs–I’m a long way from Wiltshire now!)

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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.