After I posted about my creative breakdown I decided to actually do something I haven’t been doing before. Instead of trying to plan everything I chose to just set off and go for it. For what I didn’t know, neither did I care. It’s the 0815 procedure that upset me most so I drove south. I visited Carlisle and after having some dinner I set off out of town. The moment of crazyness must have hit me once I left for Workington.
First of all I thought of driving to Cardiff but then all off a sudden I decided to go to Stonehenge with an overnight stop at a friends. Well the whole process of making the decision took no longer than 2 minutes and soon I was heading down south, once again. The weather so far was nice and warm but changed to a slight drizzle. After another stop to brim my tank I was good to go for a night of driving until I made it to my friends. It was a pleasant welcome and soon in the morning I headed towards the motorway and was on my way to my destination. At this point some 4 hours of driving away.
The final miles were quite entertaining. Narrow forest roads led my way to the icon monument that is Stonehenge. All of a sudden once you turn from the A303 you can see this truly magnificent site. In my case I was greeted with rain and strong winds. However, this wasn’t really of any concern to myself. As having lived in Scotland for nearly 5 years now I’m more than accustomed to it. So I parked my car, readied my camera equipment including tripod and made for the ticket office. The ticket was brought quickly and I set off to firstly take some pictures of the site. It was around 2pm and I wanted to get some decent shots in.
My camera was covered by my ARPS and I set up my system in rain and wind. That strangely wasn’t my biggest problem though. Unfortunately many tourist decide to visit Stonehenge and therefore I had some issues getting a nice wide angle shot with my 35mm lens. It wasn’t until standing in the miserable weather for 30 minutes that I could shoot a serious of bursts. Due to the adhere weather most of the footpath was closed so I’d to make the most out of it. Quickly changing lens wasn’t an option in the rain so I decided to retreat to the tunnel that leads you to the site under the road. Lens cleaned and changed I made the choice of the kit lens 18-55mm NIkkor. That proved to be a game changer and soon I battled with lovely Chinese and Japanese women for the best spot. Given the fact that 18mm is pretty damn wide I got more and more shots before switching to the fence location with my 55-300mm lens.
That lens was used to concentrate on various parts of Stonehenge. Having the full monument on a photo isn’t as always as compelling as a close up shot of a part of it. So after what must have been 5 hours onsite I left for home. The trip home was fabulous. My driving skills were put to the test more than once as some people don’t understand the concept of driving with full beam in rainy dark weather. Especially if those people come at you with nearly 100mph. Once I cleared Birminghham though and the spray rain stopped I found myself on nearly deserted roads for Scotland. For another 290 miles I enjoyed the emptyness of the motorway and some music.
At 0045 hours on Monday morning I made it back to Scotland. After nearly 7 hours of driving including a fuel stop I clocked a total of 920 miles. Having set off with no destination in mind this has to be the most fantastic trip I’ve ever made. Not having planned a thing felt good and didn’t constrain my plan in the slightest. Instead it gave me more freedom. I loved every second of it.