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.