Thursday, 26 May 2011

England - Cornwall

5th May, 70km, Antony - Truro

As with all countries (and "fresh starts") I attempt to begin the final stage of the trip with a degree of discipline. I wake up at six. Once the blur leaves my eyes I roll out of the tent. A few stinging nettles on bare feet accelerate the waking up process. While eating breakfast I check the map and plan a vague route West.

The South-West of England is well known amongst cyclists for its hilly nature. Aside from the spinal main road down the centre all other routes are Lung Busting Leg Burners – makes for great interval training! My route along the South coast from Plymouth to St Austell (via Looe) is a perfect example of such topography.

A cold wind rolls off the Atlantic – bringing with it bucket loads of rain. The moment I stop all heat is sucked from my body. I gather I've adjusted some since the consistent sub-zeros of Turkey and Iran. I take refuge in a traditional red phone box. I use my last sixty pence to make a phonecall to my girlfriend. The call doesn't connect and I loose my money. Sad face. I muster the motivation to face the cold once more. I plug in some Drum and Bass, turn the pedals, and let my mind wander.

Early evening I'm on the outskirts of Truro (the County town of Cornwall). I stop to fill my water bottles and consider whether to camp or try some last minute Couch Surfing in town. As my mind chews the idea I'm approached by John and Judy. We chat briefly about my trip and where I'm heading. They invite me to stay with them for the night. Random Act of Kindness number one – not bad for my second day in a new country.

We feast on carbalicious cycling fodder for dinner. While eating we chat about cycling, Cornwall and everything in-between. They are planning to ride the JogLe (The length of Britain from John o Groats in Scotland to Lands End in England) later this year. I enjoy the first shower in a while and flick through some cycling books before bed.

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