Monday, July 6, 2009

358.5 kms: Charlton Mackrell-Castle Cary.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

341.7 kms: Langport-Charlton Mackrell.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

102.2 kms: Perrenport-Holywell-Newquay-Colan

The X on this map actually marks my camping spot in this crazy caravan park. Click to zoom in and get an idea of how big it is.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

51.9 kms: Carbis Bay-Hayle-Gwithian.

But leave I did. Completely different walking environment today. I walked across sands and beaches and dunes.

Friday, June 12, 2009

40.7 kms: Porthmeor Cove-Zenner-St Ives-Carbis Bay

Fluid was the theme of the night: the less viscous type falling on me from the sky, the more accumulating inside my sinus passages until I thought my head might explode. The funny thing about camping wild is how much I cannot wait for the night to end—and those of you who know me well, know that is not my usual wish about the act of lying down and sleeping. Packed up in the rain and donned the wet-weather gear (sort of useless—everything is sopping wet anyway) and made my way to a hotel that June had told me about with the thoughts of steaming coffee on my mind. The path had been closed by a landslide and so I had to deviate to the road. The road was at the top of a very large hill and the path to get there was not really that well marked. I ended up in a paddock full of curled-lipped horses (That always makes them look like they think you appear tasty), and electric fences—you know that old adage about electricity and water? Ouch. I was very glad to see the road and the hotel in my very near future. I de-geared at the door but was soon told that service was only for guests. I must have had my wet, sad face on because the man then asked me what it was I wanted. I stated (just speaking the desperate parts) 'coffee'. He figured that was do-able. But coffee progressed into a plate of eggs and bacon and toast and a big glass of juice. A roaring fire, a ghost story about rooms three and six, and encouragement to keep using the public footpaths came as well. And all I got charged for was the coffee. Just so you know, and unless you arrive looking like I did and get the same sympathetic ear, the experience may be a bit different, but if you are ever in the area, please stop for anything and great service at Gunards Head Hotel. Book room three or six—I dare you! Twenty-eight million stone stiles later the sun came out and I topped the hill over St Ives. The sun brought the hay fever back (bad use of a wish). My feet had reached a new level of sore: possibly from the harder road surfaces, possibly from the wet socks. I bought pills and found (at the top of another enormous hill) a B&B that I eagerly paid whatever-it-cost to have a bed and a place to dry things and somewhere to lift my feet away from the earth. I refuse to leave, ever again.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

24.1 kms: St Just-Kenidjack Castle-Pendeen Watch-Watch Croft-Porthmeor Cove

Every bit of water I drank today was manufactured by my body into the end-product snot. I have never experienced hayfever like this before. I was miserable. I wondered at the silliness of the whole thing. There was no where to stop for drugs. I also discovered the blotchey ouchness of stinging plants. What a sight I must be. Regardless of that I did manage to be social. I accidently stumbled into someone's yard. 'The sign must be down again', said Mr Landowner. They made me tea and let me use their facilities and fill my water bottles. I have written in my diary that Mrs Landowner's name was June and that she didn't use articles. I stated that I no longer used them either. Isn't it curious, the things we write, and how they can mean little to nothing on later readings. The articles I can conjure up all still seem to be being used—I used one just then; I'm also wearing a pair currently. I am not sure what I meant. I pulled into a field in the early evening, feeling, still, miserable, and aching all over. I was going to just watch the sun go down in about three hours times and then go to sleep. Then I realised I could get a whole lot closer to civilization if I gave up that sort of useless thinking. The walk after that was lovely, even though quite upward. I ended up walking along cliffs and having a lovely evening. I still slept field-wise, sharing my space with sheep, but miles from anyone and behind a little wall so quite safe feeling.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

12.5 kms: Land's End-Sennen Cove-Cape Cornwall-St Just

My last walk-free night was spent in a cute cottage by the sea in Sennan. It's the home of a friend of Adam's. She was so hospitable. I just wish I could be a better human being and not get petrified everytime I have to communicate with a real live person. Poor thing. It was probably an ordeal for her. We took a lovely walk into the Cove. It was a nice start to what I'll be walking. This morning she dropped me at Land's End and took my photo. I had a cornish pastie for breakfast. And began.

I'm using a trusty string technique for measuring how far I have gone. I note where I go on the map, measure it with a piece of string and then compare the string measurement to the map scale—highly technical. There was a lot to get used to for a first day: sore knees, ankles and feet; sunburn; backpack shaped bruises on my shoulders; scrambly paths in spots; hard to work out signs that resulted in wrong turns that I persisted with until cliff-tops told me that I was truly off track, and which resulted in torn pants. After a mammothly average twelve and a half kilometers I went into a town and stayed in a building. Camping out was not an option.

You may have seen from the blurby bit on the side, over there on the left, yep, that bit, that I have decided that I needed to have a costume based alliterating theme to my blog and that this part of it involved ballgowns. I made a costume based on ninety-three percent of all episodes of So You Think You Can Dance: a corset with a fluffy, tutu style skirt hanging off the back. I had a back-up purple prom dress rolled up in my pack, but this was my darling. I could wear it over my trousers or shorts and it wasn't overly ostentacious. (Okay, it was a little.) By my first stop though I was ready to rip it off. It had boning. Boning and a backpack don't really see eye to eye. I found a sharp stone, and , necessity and mothers and all that, managed to cut the boning out. Much better: although I have got my shirt over it now as there is way to much boobage for a casual stroll through Ol' Blighty.

The shower I had was the best ever. The sleep was the same. Turns out I have to do the whole thing again tomorrow.

Good night to St Just, good night to you.