Report by Larry Clarke.
Day one Sunday 16th Sept.
Cycling went without a hitch apart from one of my rear mudguard stays breaking. This I managed to get mended the next day, on route at a bike shop. He said a pound so I gave him two, only right as he had baled me out. Day one was an easy 61.3 miles, from home to Treyarnon bay Y- Hostel. But I ended up with a broken stay whilst traveling along the Camelford cycle trail. Luckily after I had removed the broken half, & made a slight adjustment, I managed to continue on my way. On route I took in Davidstow moor, Bodmin moor, Camelford cycle trail & finally the North Cornwall coastal route to Treyarnon Y-Hostel. I called in the co-op in Wadebridge for coffee & toast. Weather was rather cloudy but mild all day. So no fantastic views out to sea like on a clear day. Hostel was nice & clean & food was adequate. I enjoyed a nice bottle of Betty Stogs, Brazen Cornish Bitter. So apart from the Dutchman snoring in the dormitory it was a nice stop over.
This was to be the toughest of the five days, with 60.85 miles to cover. & the granite coast to finish with. Again it started cloudy & misty, or is that mizzle. Cornish for drizzle. Yes as predicted it was lovely going down to one bay after another, but always a steep climb out. With occasional views of cliffs & open sea it added to my days journey. I found the Green Parrot, Wetherspoon pub in Perranporth. So had the usual coffee & toast. Then off again I passed around Hayle, then St Ives & on up to the Granite coast with Tors inland & open sea to my right. Now it was nice not to be going down to one bay & then up & on to the next. I finally arrived dead on opening time at Lands End, Y-hostel (St Just). Probably my favourite hostel of the trip. Nice food, good company, friendly staff, lovely views out to sea. Oh & no snoring.
This was another easy day? With only 50.94 miles to cover & cloudy/windy weather. I was under way shortly after 9am so after passing Lands End airport I found myself heading down the straight road to the land`s End Experience. I soon found the sign post & a Royal Navy bomb disposal man took my photo. Then it was underway again & heading towards Penzance on national cycle route3. At a place called Lamorna I missed a left turn & ended up at a lovely cove full of North Americans. So quickly retracing my tracks I soon located the turning I had missed. So soon after another very steep climb found myself descending into the Picturesque village of Mousehole full of very narrow streets & tourists. Now all the way to Penzance was on level roads following the coast with lovely views out to sea. On arrival in Penzance I managed to locate the Tremenheere, Wetherspoons pub after stopping & getting directions from locals. Soon suitably refreshed I continued out of town & on pass St Michael`s Mount, Marazion & on to Godolphin Cross. Here I turned right & headed cross country for my second stop at the cafe in Sithney. Run by an elderly couple. All home made stuff, yummy. Next part of my journey took me round Helston, & on pass Culdrose(Royal navy air station) to the sound of helicopters flying around. Soon off the main road & heading down to the beach at a golf club. Now doing a nice spot of rough stuff I climbed up away from the beach to the entrance road to the club. Back on tarmac I passed through Mullion on very level roads heading down to Lizard & the evening meal in the Regent cafe. Eating for the first time Cornish mackerel with a lovely salad, which included celery. They directed me to the Youth hostel. A converted hotel right on the tip of Lizard Point. Run by volunteer staff. But what views out to sea. Did not manage much sleep as in the dorm we had a loud snorer.
Day four .
This was another tough day of cloudy/windy weather, & 56.13 miles with plenty of climbing after leaving the Lizard area. I soon found myself in Falmouth, inside the Packet Station, Wetherspoons pub getting info from some of the locals on busy roads etc. Suitably refreshed & underway again I soon had a short stretch of the A39 to do before leaving it for a minor road to Penpol. I spotted a bird watcher so asked him what he was watching. Ospreys he said on migration to Africa. Seems the Fal estuary is a good spot in mid to late September. Soon I bad farewell & continued on my way to catch the next ferry at Trelissick. After the ferry it was undulating all the way to Portloe. Then a steady climb up to a ridge road across to a steep downhill to the coast & passed Caerhays castle. Then a climb up & a few more right turns saw me at a caravan site shop getting a bottle of cider ready for the Youth hostel down the hill. Arrived well before opening so sat myself down on a wooden chair. Managed a good nights sleep so should be alright for tomorrows ride home.
Day five Thursday 20th Sept.
Last day & shortest in distance, only 48.96 miles & yes cloudy/windy weather. Boswinger to Saltash. It wasn't long before I rolled into Mevagissey. Another picturesque coastal village. I was soon on a steady climb out on a B road, then to descend & turn right into a lane through Pentewan. Suddenly there was this sign 20% climb out which actually must have been 25% or steeper in parts. This got the gold star for being the steepest climb in the hole trip. Then fairly flat going around the St Austell, Par area. Then on the main road to Fowey for a very expensive tea & cake stop. Soon after this I was crossing the river Fowey by ferry & on up to Pelynt. Birthplace of Jonathan Trelawney. After here it was pretty much going over familiar roads to Torpoint, & then home to Saltash. Just got in before the heavens opened up.
Total distance 278.18 miles over five days, averaging 55.636 miles a day. Would I do it again? Probably when my memory of it has faded.