Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I was sorry to leave the comfort of the Kings Head Inn. I'd had a double bed with the softest mattress I've ever come across, and TV and coffee right there in the room. The full English cooked breakfast included in the £30 bill was just far too much for me to eat.

I headed off on a full stomach, and certain of my direction thanks to the signpost alongside the hotel. Within half an hour I discovered I'd gone completely wrong. I retraced my steps cursing myself for not having paid more attention to the compass. Later in the morning I came to another crossroads and again took the wrong one. My excuse was that I'd deliberately departed my planned GPX track and navigating was no longer a case of keeping the blue dot on the red line. Yes I'd become lazy. I wonder why this always happens to me first thing in the morning.

Things improved during the day and I started to make good progress but knowing it was a short day. I passed along lovely country lanes with cottages and more substantial buildings dating from the 1500s. My route led me over several delightful streams and small stone bridges. I only took one Public Footpath shortcut across a field of nettles and learned that their sting bites right through lightweight trousers.

I finally reached the river on which Launceston stands and onto the rendezvous I'd arranged Miriam. Launceston is built round its castle, naturally on a high hill, so my day ended with a steep climb as it so often does.

Miriam hails from San Salvador and Sydney. Paul hails from Launceston and Sydney. Spot the connection!

Miriam kindly gave me unfettered access to her laptop so I could update my Blog and book mrs accommodation ahead. I've decided I have to have my netbook with mobile broadband for the next stage.

The bad news was that Okehamton's cheaper accommodation is coping with forty cyclists so it looks like I might finally get to camp. The good news was that I had secured modest quarters a few more night out. Booking accommodation is one of the more tedious parts of the adventure, but I'm not inclined to book too far ahead to restrict my options for changes to my schedule - I'm in no hurry.

Miriam, Paul and I feasted on pizza and English wine that I'd bought earlier then spent the evening chatting about San Salvador, South America in general and of course Sydney and Cornwall. Just as I went off to bed Miruam mentioned the house is haunted. I suppose there's a lot of traffic between the two graveyards nearby.

I have decided to review my daily walking distance schedule. 10 miles (16kms) is just too short for a decent days walking but 25 miles (40kms) is just too tough on the feet, but otherwise OK with good terrain, good weather and a daypack. While my body is happy to haul 15kgs 30kms my feet get just too sore.

Another discovery I made today is that there is often more to be seen along quite coutry lanes than across farmland, and finding and climbing stiles can lose it's appeal after a long day of the same.

I paused to consider today that for most part of my day I hear only my own footfall and birdsong. Unless I'm listening to my recorded music.