Monday, 15 May 2017

The Camino...

Had a very enjoyable weekend in Somerset, which began with a lightning visit to Greylake, an RSPB reserve. Though there weren’t many birds about - gargany, heron, bitterns booming, a distant marsh harrier - I chatted to a guy in one of the observation hides. I mentioned the great white egret as a bird I’d like to see, and he said that one had been seen the previous day. At that very moment a dazzling white bird the size of the heron flew up briefly and landed in the reeds: unmistakably a great white egret!

I socialised with friends Gordon and Trish in Taunton, which included a full day at the cricket: a 50-over game between Somerset and Essex. The visitors scored 334 - Alistair Cook hit an elegant 65 - and Somerset started their reply at a canter, with opener Myburgh hitting fours and sixties to every corner of the ground. Somerset were scoring at a good rate, but kept losing wickets, and eventually fell 72 runs short. It was a great day’s cricket, and Taunton’s county ground, under billowing cumulus clouds, looked a picture.

Gordon is starting the Camino pilgrimage walk later this week, from the Pyrenees in France to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain: a distance of about 500 miles. He seems blissfully unaware of the effort that will be required, especially for a man with dodgy knees. I hope to be kept informed of his progress across northern Spain. Walking 500 miles is a life-changing adventure (just ask the Pretenders…) and, with some slight trepidation, I wish him all the best…

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