Four of us resolved to ride to Avebury on the summer solstice. Avebury has a prehistoric stone circle and attracts quite a crowd on the solstice. Obviously we weren't there at dawn. Four in the morning is very early indeed!
As usual the post-solstice experience was a bit underwhelming. There were no druids sporting horned headgear. No-one chanting or singing. Nobody clad in rainbow colours. Just a couple of stoned youths on the hill above Avebury, and a group of travellers with their horses and caravans. Probably the overnight revellers who waited to welcome the dawn were asleep. In their shoes I would be.
The travellers, local people warned us, had aggressive dogs so my companions wanted to give them a wide berth. But their horses looked placid enough, variously dozing and grazing. I'd have liked to ride on to meet the travellers. After all I ride a coloured horse similar to the traditional Gypsy type, and I look far more bohemian than the typical English rider. Brena and I certainly don't look like the gentry out for a hack. Thank goodness, in most situations. Being a little hard to place can open conversations. And, even if I don't look like them, the real gentry can recognise a nice horse and someone who knows how to ride.
We had enough fun crossing a field in which there were young cows. The silly creatures crowded around us, rapt in attention. With a semicircle of cows facing me, bovine eyes wide in expectation, I felt like a politician about to promise all sorts of undeliverable outcomes. We pushed through, only to find that they wanted to follow us. One horse became alarmed, and trotted on ahead, only serving to encourage the cows. The gate at the far side of the field came none to soon, and we slipped through leaving the cows to press against the fence.
Here is the traveller camp with various horses grazing. The nearest looks like a relative of Brena.
Regaining the hill, we headed back towards our parked vehicles. Here's a lovely part of the English countryside. The trail heads downhill, past an ancient church, and into a quaint stone-built hamlet. All about us the vegetation is burgeoning. Horses graze in nearby pastures. We're warm in the sun. A gentle breeze cools us, and blows Brena's mane about too.