It was summer time, and I had a photoshoot in the west of London. When it was over at around 2pm, I picked up my backpack (that had some accessories and extra clothes for the shoot), stopped by a supermarket to buy some tomatoes (I love tomatoes J ) and a few other stuff and then got going.
It was a sunny day, and the asphalt was hot. Maybe this was because of the sun, but I think it was because I was speeding. The beginning of the journey was a bit monotonous, with big roads and buildings all over the place, and quite crowded. But after Newbury, it got much better. Loads of fields, smaller roads, and some forests. I like going out of the cities into the countryside. There’s something about it that makes me happy. I feel more free, more human, and I feel more in control of my life.
It was only about 110km until Stonehenge, but I didn’t have much time, since I wanted to get there before dark. I didn’t have a map, and my means of finding my way were a small sketch I had done the night before, and asking people when I got lost or needed help. This makes you talk with people, which is always a must do wherever you go.
I remember chilling out on the grass for a 5min break. After some hours on the bike with an uncomfortable backpack sitting wherever I could put it, a break is greatly appreciated. I guess it’s the same with all areas of life, where a rest is much more appreciated when it is a well deserved one.
When I got to Amesbury near dawn, I met some hitchhikers that were on their way to Glastonbury festival. I also asked around for directions to Stonehenge. The directions were really quite simple: follow the old Stonehenge road until you see it. So I did. Going through Amesbury I felt like at home. There was a good mood in the air in that small town. Up the hill, when the small road joined the bigger one, I could distinguish some stones in a hill in the background. Finally there it was, the legendary Stonehenge. And it was perfect timing, because 2 minutes later the sunset came around. It was so beautiful.
My reasons to see Stonehenge were quite straight forward. I had seen a movie (Highlander The Source), and the main character got a magical experience there, and I just felt a really powerful desire to go there.
There was a fence surrounding Stonehenge, with guards patrolling around. A friend of mine once told me that in a misty night he jumped the fence and went inside the circle without being seen, for free. Funny guy. I met some Japanese tourists, and asked one of them to take a picture of me and send it by email. There was a small road about 150m away from Stonehenge, and a few people had settled there for the night. I thought that it would be a really good place to spend the night, surrounded by people, at open air, with a nice view over Stonehenge. I didn’t have a mattress or tent with me. It was lucky for me that there was good weather. But still, I knew that in the night it would get much colder. If you are in direct contact with the floor, you will lose body heat at a very fast rate, and very possible get really cold fast. I had to do something about it, and I had a few options like everyone ALWAYS has in life. I started collecting weeds, long grass, and heads, with which I built a kind of mattress. It was quite a thick one too since I knew that when I’d lye over it, it would get compressed. It was my nest for the night, and without it I’d have been very cold. Once I was settled, I went around talking to a few people and socialising. We were only like 15 people in total spending the night on that road. Some in their cars, some in tents, and me on the grass mattress.
The night was amazing. All the stars were there, shining above me so that I could enjoy their beauty. There was silence, the air was fresh, my stomach was full, and it was nice and warm in my sleeping bag.
In the morning, I saw the sunrise. It had been the summer solstice 2 days before, so when the sun rose, the shadow of the Heel Stone was projected almost straight through the entrance of the Stonehenge circle. It was a cool thing to see. But if I hadn’t spent the sunset, night and sunrise at Stonehenge, I would have probably been a bit disappointed. Because at the end of the day, it’s just some stones in a circle in the middle of a field with a road that goes past next to it. Apparently, at the summer solstice sunrise, there is a huge really cool celebration going on. It would be cool to go there one day. Actually I just checked and its at the 21 juin 2011, in 6 days. Maybe I go.
I left after a while, with my only direction being north, towards my home in Loughborough. It was so nice cycling around there in the morning, going through the fields, feeling part of the ‘’nature’’. At some point I stopped at a petrol station to take a look at some maps, and to see which cities I should go past.
Between Devizes and Swindon, after a smooth slightly downhill beautiful road, I saw some sign posts that announced the Avebury Stone Circles. Man, that was fucking cool. It was quite surreal. It was like being in another world. There were big stones foming a 420m diameter circle. Inside it, there was a small village with a interesting church with a small cosy garden in the shadow, perfect for a small rest and breakfast. I think there was also a youth hostel in the nearabouts from there. Definitely worth staying there for a day or 2 to spice up your life, get some new experiences and points of view, and to break the monotony of the daily routine, which by the way is very beneficial stability wise but can also kill you from the inside.
After, I just kept cycling north for many hours. But near Rugby I got bored, and my ass was hurting quite bad cause the saddle wasn’t the best one, and the rucksack felt waaay heavier than at the beginning. And I got fed up with it so I took the train from Rugby to Loughborough 😀 What a lazy fucker I am! In Loughborough, I met up with friends that I’d said goodbye to about 60 hours before then, and told them about my trip. It’s crazy how much you can do in such a short space of time. My advice to you would be next time you have a weekend, instead of saying oh not enough time to do a trip, shut the fuck up and go do something. Lol J. Anything!