Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Miriam and Paul kindly returned me to Launceston where they dropped me back to the exact spot Miriam had collected me from the previous afternoon.

After visiting a few of the local sites such as the castle and city gate I managed to leave  Launceston without any major navigational mishap.

The first hour mostly involved walking along a  busy road and I soon came to the sign announcing I was entering  Devon. Almost immediately it seemed I became invisible to those I passed on the street or on back roads.

Later in the morning my route returned to Public Footpaths through fields, copses and across many lovely stone bridges over babbling brooks. As the day wore on I concluded my appreciation of muddy farm tracks has its limits especially for the constant demands on navigation. Often deep in thought I failed to notice footpath symbols or veered off without doing a compass bearing check first. 

Just after lunch I came to a pub and I ordered three drinks all for myself to drink straight away; a half part of the local brew, a pint of water, and a half pint of the blackcurrent cordial. I enjoyed the cordial best. Three men my age at the bar ignored me. They were too busy condemning the London Olympics, many of the sports included, and a variety of the athletes.

Two incidents marred the day, one was when I noticed my camera was missing from my backpack harness when I stopped for a serious navigational check. Fortunately I remembered using the camera about a haf mile back so hid my backpack in the long grass and ran back to find my camera case and camera sitting in the little driveway of the cottage I'd snapped earlier.
The other incident was getting lost slightly after some meticulous navigation again and finding myself in a field of cattle. The first herd was annoying enough but at least I was able to shoo them away without too much trouble. But in the second field the cattle were most persistent and as I walked through they all began to heard together ready to charge. Although my antics made them stop in their tracks every time I turned round and walked on 20 paces they'd be at it again.  After a navigational check I found I should not have been in those cow fields anyway.

It was after leaving the pub I had the option of  taking the minor road straight into Bridestowe or the Two Castles trail which I could see was steep and did a big dogleg but had the attraction of some castle ruins. After hours of trudging along the 'pretty route' I saw no ruins, had made a couple of annoying navigation errors and was glad to finally reach Bridestowe weary and footsore.

I'd planned to camp but spotted the White Hart Inn, and being an Inn thought might have a room. In fact it had only one room anyway which was available and turned out to have what I can only describe as triple bed plus two single beds, en suite, TV, the lot for only £30. After a bubble bath and Beef Madras I felt quite rested and content.

I pondered the cost effectiveness of camping for £7 in the campsite some distNce out of town and reached the obvious conclusion.

Later I had news of Adam travelling LEJOG fast but along mostly A  roads now well ahead of me but badly in need of a few days rest.