May 30, 2012
Nov 07, 2012
. The female they had been fighting over was content on just sunbathing on top of a rock ledge. We got down from the gorge and walked through the nearby streets and shops. It was here I did some cheese sampling. The smoked aged cheddar was among the best. One other shop in particular caught our attention. It was the hard candy sweets shop, with free candy making demonstrations. We went in and found Martin, the candy maker. Martin is a jolly English chap who has been making candy in Cheddar for over 30 years. We watched as Martin poured out the boiling liquid candy (he said was hotter than boiling water), added peppermint and flipped the mixtures until they were the right consistency. He then pulled one of the mixtures on a hook and made it more stringy. Next he mixed the two different colour mixtures and stretched them out so that the red and white colours became thin and intertwined. He put those on a conveyor which cut the candies into bite size pieces. They cooled and then were ready to eat. Martin gave us a couple of the freshly made candies. So good. The whole day the sky had been clear, so we (I mean I) thought that it was a good idea to go back up on the gorge to a spot where there would be an amazing view of the sunset. Later in the day the clouds came in however, and there wasn't much of a sunset at all, just wind. It was still cool to end the day with such a nice view. There were peregrine falcons flying in one spot on the side of the gorge, and those little brown sheep climbing on the cliffs across the valley. We enjoyed (once again mainly just me) some local cider and head back down the gorge for the night. Great day!
Well I didn't actually gorge myself on cheese, but I did have some 12 month old cave-aged cheddar. It was great! But we didn't come to cheddar for the cheese, we came for the gorge. Considered one of England's greatest natural wonders, Cheddar Gorge is Britain's biggest gorge. It also has many caves along the gorge, with one such cave being the location of the discovery of the Cheddar Man, a 9000 year old full skeleton of a man. Unfortunately the only way you could go in the caves is to get a full ticket covering a bunch of other things that we didn't want to do. Since Jess is not a huge fan of caves, we decided to explore the gorge on our own. We walked the full length of the gorge (about 3km) along the road that snakes through it. Then we hiked up one side of the gorge and walked along the top all the way back. There were little herds of tiny Soay Sheep all over the cliffs. They are kind of like small, brown mountain goats. Two of them were in a horn butting stalemate and they looked like they had been duking it out for hours