06.21.10: Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf: WPP: Day 17 – The Summer Solstice, Cornwall Cyber Pirates, Stonehenge, and Bristol …

Summer Solstice at the Woodhenge

Utter darkness being borne into light. This is how this leg of the journey on my exit from Faerie Land after an amazing Sunrise at Colliford Lake’s Woodhenge, and as we attempted to race to Stonehenge, only to be intercepted by Cornish Cyber Pirates and a track-back to the port of Bristol to lodge for the night above a bowling alley … Rock n’ Bowl. What a whirlwind of a day ….

It was about 3:30 am when I heard the drums and rustled out of my sleeping bag and into the field … stumbling over dried sheep patties and on into the Woodhenge where I saw some lights of people slowly gathering. Apparently the lead Druid decided not to do the rite within the Woodhenge, and processed us off to a further field with clearer view of the lake and the hills upon which the sun would rise. The drumming continued for a very long time as everyone awoke really too early for the sun for s/he had quite some time before rolling out of bed. As the drumming beat onwards, slowly a large crowd formed and gathered in our ever re-sizing circle as the hoarse lead Druid tried to get participants to take over leading the chanting – no one stepped up and he obviously had a tough time getting others to follow along with the chanting. Eventually some of the entertainers from the festival appeared and took on the lead … and the power was generated as musical cries went out for Awen, Ra, and other Sun named Deities. As the sun came up, along the horizon I saw a black creature walking along a stone wall – couldn’t be a sheep, and oddly it had a cougar-like appearance. But alas, it was way too far away to figure out what it really was. Could it be the Bodmin Beast? A man in Indian chief garb also joined the Druid circle … between Indians, Faeries, and drowsy eyed ravers … it was an interesting sight before my eyes as the sun rose. I said sweet welcomes to the sun and farewells to my new Faerie friends as I set off after ceremony to break down my camp and meet up with Zoe. Blessed by being able to take a running water shower at Zoe’s room, we soon hit the road.

We dropped for a bite in Devon – and as we were just getting our food I spied Zoe’s car rolling backwards. At first I thought it was being stolen, but then we saw no one was in the car … we rushed out just as the car was about to roll into the middle of a busy roadway … and luckily it got caught in the ditch before crossing too deeply into the road so cars could go around. We luckily got it out of the rut and back into the parking lot. Seems we picked up a hitchhiking gremlin or two …. As we approached the Stonehenge Festival, we realized the time listed on the site was 12:40 am, not 12:40 pm. Stonehenge was closed and being cleared out. Roadways closed and re-routing traffic away from the sacred monument. So no ritual with the Druids at Stonehenge. Zoe blessedly dropped me off at Andover rail where I was able to adjust my travel ticket back from Andover to Salisbury without much additional expense, and then onwards to the Port of Bristol. I was exhausted – there was no way I was gonna hike with my heavy bags and backpack to the Rock n’ Bowl hostel from there. So I grabbed a cab. He didn’t seem to know where the Rock n’ Bowl was. But we figured it out. Pretty cool and hip hostel. I wandered down the shopping strip in search of a new phone since mine had deceased. Tomorrow was automatic deposit payday – and just in the nick of time as my funds were down to the minimum. I purchased a 30 GBP global pay-as-you-go phone which came with a 10 GBP credit. This way I could contact Lady Vanessa and Sir Sven when I arrive in Dublin tomorrow. Just as I was nestling off to sleep, I decided to log in and check my bank balance – much to my shock – someone in Cornwall had hacked my debit card/bank account and was charging online purchases – they tried Amazon.com (but I already had an account), some Ebay-like Auction house (debited $2 and credited it back), and Charged up over $600 worth of charges at various online shopping places. My new pay-as-you-go phone wouldn’t be accepted for a call out of the UK to the toll free Wells Fargo line … so I had to get dressed and race out of the hostel to a pay phone. The Wells Fargo representative said there was nothing she could do except cancel my card and ship me a new one in a couple of weeks (I’d be back in America by then and that would leave me with no access to my direct deposit funds tomorrow) … so I’d be stranded. I bit my lip. chewing out of stress. I didn’t know what to do … frustration … concern … worry …. Would I become stranded in England? I checked my bank balance on the hour, every hour while sipping on vodka-n-tonics at the bar in the bowl. How did these Cornish Cyber pirates hack my account? I had to keep it uncomfortably open and active until my paycheck went thru in the morning – my bank balance already several hundred negative … what to do? Luckily the pirates went to sleep after 11 pm and there were no more charges … I still woke up every hour to check. It was a restless night ….

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