Tuesday, 28 June 2011

England - Familiar Faces

6th May, 20km, Truro – Lanner

After a hearty breakfast I am on my way. The three miles to the centre of Truro is over before I know it. I take a mooch through the town. Excited by the prospect of seeing the first familiar faces in nine months I don't linger long. I call to check they're in and then leave Truro heading West for Lanner. Despite the fact that I've driven much of Cornwall, riding through the county allows me a new perspective (doesn't it always). I follow an old railway track through Carnon Downs. When operational it was used to carry the mined Tin to the coast where it was picked up by Norwegian ships. The only evidence of this extinct industry is the engine houses littering the countryside. And the “Norwegian” pub in Devoran – as the clock is yet to strike noon I don't stop for a pint.

I arrive at Matt and Sara's and enjoy the first of the hug-fest reunions. Their daughter Amelia is not so forthcoming with the hugs. In fairness – the last time she saw me (via a skype chat) I was looking more “Osama Bin Rathbone” than James...We settle in to an afternoon of catching up. I perhaps do more than my fair share of the ear chewing. They have the unfortunate position of being the first step of my re-integration. To my surprise it's not as hard as expected. While I feel a little different...the familiarity is comforting. I seem to have held on to humanity better than I though - I only notice a small concious effort on my part – bathroom not garden, cutlery not hands...you get the idea. And the bed! I really don't recall sleeping quite so well during the last ten months! KO'd.

Making the most of our proximity to the coast Matt and I head to Gwithian Beach. We meet Matt's brother in law Mike. From the moss topped cliffs we observe the swell while I cook up some bush coffee. We gear up and head in. The water is about 9 degrees. Had I not been borrowing Matts wetsuit it would have been torture. From the beach folks may have clocked my sunbleached mop and orange complexion and (mistaking me for a surf dude) expected some serious shredding. The reality (for on-lookers) couldn't have been more disappointing – for me, it was great fun all the same. That said - I think I'll stick to Couch Surfing.

My long weekend in Lanner goes far to quickly. I decide to head off on Tuesday – before I'm infected by the comforts of the familiar and convenient – at which point I might possibly crumble and take the train.

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