The Ups and Downs of Cornish Hills
Trip Start Feb 28, 2012
21Trip End Ongoing
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This was my first day cycling after two days off. And before that three days on. On as in biking ...though I wasn't 'on'! Okay for two days I was. I was flying! I was on fire! I did huge miles both days. I got down to Land's End... the most South Westerly point in England. And then made huge mileage up to New Quay. And that day was mostly in the rain!!
I had made it to Land's End because I heard about this little jaunt that people do from one end of the UK to the other. It's called End to End or more commonly reffered to as Land's End(in Cornwall) to John O'Groats(IN Scotland). The oft used acronym is LEJOG. I hadn't really decided if I wanted to do this ...it is like 900 miles, but I thought I would go there and see how I felt at that point. Besides, it was near where Jessica lived!! And so far I'm all about visiting friends!! Needing that to give me some reason to go somewhere! My visit with Jessica, and her roommates was awesome! I enjoyed their hospitality immensely and the Sunday before I left, Jessica and I cooked everyone a Sunday roast. Apparently it is a tradition in England. It turned out really well. Though I can only take credit for chopping! That's my limit of expertise in the kitchen.
Where was I? Oh yeah, so yeah ...Land's End. It wasn't until I was in Land's End ...and I caught wind of the officialness they have set up around a LEJOG attempt that hooked me! They give you a form to fill out on the way and when you make it to John O'Groats ...you get your form signed and if you pay 15 Pounds ...you become a member of the End to End club!
This gave me some much needed focus. I must confess that up until then, I've been doddling! Kind of directionless and more into visiting than actually biking. I knew I needed some bike focus but I didn't know where I should put that bike focus!! It was either a bit more of UK or head into France or up to Germany to see my friends Ina and Miguel. I was all over the place! And Doddling along. Deciding on the LEJOG has given me the focus I needed. And the realization that I'm not too fussed about being a tourist while I'm on my own. I've missed seeeing a lot of cool things in Cornwall ...but it's all good because now it becomes more about the biking. Oh ...I'm seeing a lot of cool things too! If I wanted to see all the cool things a place has to offer ....forget about it!! I'd be travelling forever!! Wait...?
I left Land's End with a new sense of purpose and ripped up to just outside of Penzance where I had a great sleep and then got up the next morning and even in the rain, I was able to blast up to just outside of New Quay where I wild camped and had another good nights sleep.
This was great!
The hill in question was a particularly steep one and I didn't even make it up that far when the whiny sucky baby in me came to the surface and took over: "Forget this! This is ridiculous! These hills are too steep, and I have too much stuff, and my knees hurt and my thighs are like jelly and Goldie's chain is screwed!!I'm too old for this crap!!" And then the tears. Done in by some stupid hills. For the second time in the almost month since I started on my world bike quest ...I quit!
Yet this time I couldn't even quit with grace! There was not a bed and breakfast in sight to quit at! Nor were there any campsites ...which God forbid, I would have to resort to if I couldn't find a BnB. I rode into St. Columb and found the only BnB in town ...though she was renovating and had no space
If I wasn't broken before this. This did it!! The universe was making quitting very difficult! I went back to the main part of Talskiddy and came across a couple sitting outside their home. I stopped to ask if they knew of a BnB and ended up having a great chat with Bruce and his wife over coffee while they helped me locate a place to sleep for the night. "I believe Elizabeth up the road has room!" Bruce and I went up the road in his car (Thank God!!!) to where Elizabeth and her family were watching workmen install a Canandian made wind turbine. Sure enough Elizabeth had room and within half an hour I was in the BnB drying out my clothes, my tent and nurturing my wounded pride with a hot cup of tea and scones with clotted cream and jam - a Cornish delicacy! (Yum!! by the way!!) I even got to the point where I was able to kinda laughing at myself for my mini meltdown!
I had a GREAT night sleep and spent the next day in the town of Wadebridge buying a new chain for Goldie and sending 14 lbs of stuff up ahead to Bristol!
After two glorious nights at Elizabeth and Micheal's farm in Talskiddy Cornwall - where I indulged in TV (Britain's Got Talent), great English breakfasts(Yum!!), a long, hot bath, and repair work on Goldie - I took to the road feeling refreshed and once again willing to take on the world with my bike!!
My spill less than two kilometers later, did not for a second dampen my spirits!! In fact I think it bolstered them. I dusted myself off feeling more alive than ever. Perhaps just feeling greatful that I didn't break anything. On me or Goldie!!
It is now actually the next day from the spill, and I am luxuriating in my tent, writing and enjoying the sunshine. I spent much of yesterday on the 'Camel Trail' An 18 mile trail that goes along the Camel river and is prairie FLAT!!
Life is really simple sometimes!
Next stop ...I'm going to be a bit of a tourist and visit Tintagel Castle, where legend says King Arthur was born. I'm a bit of a freak for English history actually so I couldn't resist this one! Besides, it is quite close.
I just a week ago figured how to upload pictures to Facebook so will get on that soon. I haven't yet figured how to sort pictures on this blog site so sorry that they are out of order!! I am using an Android computer and it doesn't quite work the same as a Windows laptop. Please be patient as I figure it out!!