|Hike Southbound through Britain with Daryl May
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|St. Michael's Mount seen from Penzance, and Penzance seen from the coastal path|
|Days S53 - S65 English West Country|
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North of England
English West Country
Monday, April 28, 2008
Time of departure: 8.15 am
Time of arrival: 5.00 pm
Place departed: Redruth, Cornwall
Place arrived: Penzance, Cornwall
Cum miles: 960.2
Percent complete: 98.9
Longboat Hotel, Penzance **
Cost (for bed only): £20 ($40)
| Overview of both hikes
What others say
|Railroad viaduct near Angarrack, and mudflats at Hayle, Below: my worn-out gloves|
It looked this morning as if the poor weather would arrive a lttle later than forecast - maybe by a whole day. So I set out hoping for another overcast rather than showery day. And it turned out better than that: a mixture of cloud and blue sky, with barely any sprinkles.
The Lyndhurst Guest House was of minimal standard. It was low on comfort, and high on paper-thin walls with an unequaled snore-penetration factor. The shower must win the prize for hard-to-operate. But they did provide hot water and central heat, and breakfast was just acceptable.
I took minor roads for my first twelve miles today. Redruth didn't look nice, and my mugometer made a few warning noises - but nearby Camborne had a stereotypical British High Street which I enjoyed. It was coming alive as I walked along it at nine o'clock.
Then I took a wrong turn, which wasted time, but I found my way back to my desired backroads through Roseworthy and later to the pretty village of Angarrack at the bottom of a steep valley. From here I got a fine view of the rail viaduct that spans the valley which all except birds and trains have to cross at ground level.
When I reached Hayle at its waterfront, it began to rain. But, being lunchtime, resourceful ol' Hobson ducked into the Salt Kitchen/Bar and had the pumpkin-and-tomato peppered soup with a half sandwich of steak, red onion, and blue cheese on granary bread. This took quite a while, because the counter was often unmanned as the attendant ran across the street from time to time for mysterious reasons. But the food was worth waiting for, and the sun returned and was still there when I left the restaurant - and fortunately it remained out the rest of the day. It was low tide and the River Hayle was all-mudflats, which offers not a bad view really, especially in the sun.
I saw the sea on the north coast at Hayle, and six miles later across the Cornish peninsula, I saw the sea on the south coast as I approached Penzance. There were stunning views of beaches, and St. Michael's Mount. I took the coastal path into Penzance. As its name suggests, it runs next to the beach, whose wide sandy expanse is a great playground for dogs and their owners.
My mileage and time-walking were higher for having gotten lost. But, having reached Penzance and the nicely-located Longboat Hotel, I'm well-placed for walking to Land's End tomorrow, and arriving back by bus.
In fact, I strolled over to the nearby bus station and wrote down the times of the buses from Land's End back to Penzance for tomorrow afternoon. Sure I could walk back from Land's End, but I'm not stark, raving mad - whatever your suspicions.
Getting ready for tomorrow at the Longboat, the fire alarm sounded, and everyone had to evacuate to the front of the hotel, where a camaraderie developed among those dressed warmly enough to talk. Hobson's adventures know no end. The staff seemed well-versed in how to handle false alarms, and we were back inside soon enough. If the alarm had sounded an hour later, it might have found me in the bath.
My spirits were high all day. I am trying not to let myself think that an eleven-mile day tomorrow is a breeze. It's still going to take nearly five hours, and that's if it's dry.
|Day S63 © 2007 and 2008 Daryl May Day S65|