Saturday, May 19, 2012


Today I  managed a 7am start, being well organised, well rested in the yurt, and with the knowldge of accommodation at the end of the day certain.

My climb up to the moors was invisible, not a single car that approached acknowledged me; a  teenage girl on a bike who approached totally ignored me.

Navigation was mostly easy - keep the blue dot on the red line on the GPS.
Kings Hall was my first surprise. On a remote hilltop here was a rectangular ruin from antiquity, with standing stones that must have once supported a timber roof spanning an impress length that would have challenged my abilty to design and construct.

I then passed several stone circles, then later a few ruined settlements from  an ancient era.

Later on a remote cottage appeared on my route, and through windows I caught my reflection as I peered into the sparse but tidy furnishings within. 
Alongside the cottage were the remains of an ancient village. As I looked back from a distance the whole village and field structure were revealed.

My planned route north to Brown Willy then south to Jamaica Inn involved a double zigzag so, not needing the extra exercise I decided on a course due west right, circumcising Brown Willy which I had no desire to mount. I wondered about trespassing off the Public Footpath and decided to change into my 'stealth' mode just a farmer appeared on his quad bike and accompanying pack of cattle dogs, who bounded off completely ignoring me.

I thought best to ask permission for my shortcut and was greeted with a smile and directions through to gates so I didn't have to climb  through fences and the comment 'right to roam ...'

My new route took me past a lovely ruined farmhouse as I steered a course with an option of calling into the famous Jamaica Inn.

As I walked I saw my first deer of the trip and heard cuckoos.
Later on I encountered Tony and Jo out walking for the day and having just come away from an altercation with a farmer over a Public Footpath. After chatting with them I asked to take their photo for my Blog but Jo retreated out of the picture in horror. Tony couldn't care less.

As I came down off the moors a car approached me towards a gate so I opened it for the woman driving. She spoke of the time she'd gone to Oklahoma to live years before but said Oklahoma turned out to be rather flat and disappointing. I said but at least they're very 'Musical' there. The woman looked puzzled so I felt obliged to sing the few bars I remembered '... cowhands dance with the farmers' daughters, farmers dance with the cowhands' wives...' and she caught my drift.

Later in the day I had to cross several streams and bogs and was glad to find my boots as impervious as the manufactures claims.

It was as I was ankle deep in cow shit waking through a farmyard I received a call from Miriam who urged me to walk on to Launceston where she and her husband Paul had a spare bed on offer.

I pressed on to Jamaica Inn to find it was on the other side of a busy dual carriageway that passed through a deep cutting but  I thought it worth the effort. The inn was lovely and not as over commercialised as I'd heard in spite of the nice enough giftshop. I stopped long  enough for a sausage roll and blackcurrent cordial which was all my remiaining ready cash ran to and wished I could have stayed longer to admire the lovely decor  - cutlasses hanging from the rafters and all.

I pushed on determined to rach Launceston but by 3pm I reached the Kings Head (established 1693) amd my heart was qon over (dn my feet were sore) so I decided to stay the night with Launceston still 15km away.
I pushed on to reach Launceston but by 3pm i reached the Kings Head Inn (established 1623) and my heart was won over (and my feet were sore) soi decided to stay the night as originally planned with Launceston still 15kms away.
The King's Head turned out to be delightful. All of the staff were as friendly, courteous and efficient as could be. They even offered to tumble dry my washing for me.

A couple I spoke to in the bar (Pam from Bow in London and Dick raised in Nigeria) told me off their life in Cornwall restoring old houses and their plans to move to France to do the same. Dick kindly drove me to a nearby Sevice Station to use the ATM.

In my long relaxing bath I was pleased to find no new blisters and the old ones already healing nicely.

I fell asleep to the news that the Olympic Flame arrived in Cornwall en route Lands End to begin following me through the country.