Sunday, 10 June 2007

Day 1 - The Cornwall Coast - Lands End to Newquay

Setting out

The Start

With fine weather to start the day, we left the Lands end Hotel and the obligatory team photo by the famous signpost. Unfortunately, the official photographer doesn't do early starts on a Sunday, so we had to settle for the sea view behind us rather than the "John O'Groats 9xx miles" sign. Officially 878 miles on the sign, but over 1,000 the wiggly way we are going.

Cycled the north Cornwall coast from Lands End past beautiful fishing villages and now mostly holiday resorts. Passing Porthtowan reminded me of school camps - sneaking in to The Victory at the top of the hill. What used to be a tiny holiday resort now has houses built all the way up the hill-side, but still the locals can't afford to buy.



Steep hills were the order of the day. Friends had warned me that the first three days of the tour are the worst - past Bristol, and I have cracked it.

The hills were sharp and sometimes frequent, but I managed to cycle all of them. Thanks to the Surrey Downs training, I was prepared for the hills, but not for the distance. Turning in from the coast road, the afternoon became a long grind home. No more seaviews, just me and the hedgerows for company. Got slightly lost at the end close to St Columb, but made it to the camp site in time for tea and cakes. Much needed after my first 60 miles in a day.

View from Devil's cafe Portreath Tin mine
View from Devil's cafe Portreath Tin mine

Stayed at the Smugglers Inn near Newquay Airport. The hotel had been renamed, so I couldn't find it at first. A few miles from the campsite - those extra miles really tested tired legs. Dinner on my own with a quiet pint and a huge bowl of pasta to regain energy.

Map of Lands End to St Columb Major from Google maps.
Tour summary: 58 miles planned turned out to be 63 miles with a couple of detours for the scenery!

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