So having had my first successful tent snooze I was keen to get this journey started. Ate my porridge, packed my stuff and headed down to the very edge of cliffs at the Lizard Point. Having got there I was greeted by a beautiful sun, sea and a bunch of seagulls performing Swan Lake.
Well that was all lovely, but how far south could I get before falling into the sea? That was answered quite quickly:
Yep that’s a long way down, but it’s now 8:30 am and there’s no time for swimming, so let’s hit the road.
Leaving Lizard point behind..
.. I’ve headed north following my trusty compass and a map..
Having no idea of what I should be aiming for in terms of first day’s distance, I’ve decided to go with my good old trusted theory: keep going till you your legs drop off, and then keep going a little further.
Having zoomed past Helston and Redruth, I shoved a baked potato in my belly in Bodmin and headed for an intriguingly sign-posted “Camel Trail” heading towards Camelford.
Camel Trail turned out to be an old disused rail track, converted into a cycling / walking path. The rail track ran a long River Camel and was build in 1830s, used for both freight and passengers until 1983, when it was closed as a new line was built. soon after it was converted into a cycle track, and though in 1990s there were suggestions of converting it back to rail line to carry slate and china clay from inland quarries to ships in Padstow. I came across a gentleman, walking the track. He told me that his daughters used to jump on the freight trains to catch a lift from Bodmin to Wenfordbridge.
Having followed the national cycle network signs for a few miles, I have found myself on a very strange road. A long stretch of tarmac appeared to be like an abandoned part of an old motorway. Conflicting lane markings and grass verge seemingly creeping onto the road weren’t making much sense.
I cycled on as the road took a sudden turn and I came across a sign..
Though then I still wasn’t sure what to make of this weird field of old concrete runways , now mainly populated by various herds of sheep and horses, at a later research I found out that it was indeed Davidstow Moor Airfield, initially build for RAF use during World War 2. The airfield was closed in 1945 to become a motor racing circuit, and in the early 1950s three Formula 1 races were held there.
Naturally I called in my private helicopter to get me off the ground to acquire the following shot:
You should be able to make out my bike in north west corner of the airfield..
With no spitfires in sight, it was time to move on. Very conveniently there was a sign to usher me on:
So for the rest of the day, my route led me on through windy cornish roads, as I was heading for Bude near which, according to my sources, there were couple of campsites I could pitch up on..
I must say, though I was very happy to be on this road, on a beautiful sunny day, doing this muppet of a challenge, by now it was coming up to 6:30 pm and I have already somehow managed to cycle 70 miles. My legs have started to let me know that they would prefer not to do much more pedalling. According to the next sign, Bude was not too far away, so I decided to make a bit more of a push.
An hour later I found my way to the Budemeadows Touring Park, where I pitched my tent and assembled my flat-pack picnic table:
I was one happy bear. I had my noodles, looked at tomorrow’s map..
Took a compulsory mug shot of myself..
and passed out in the comfort of my nylon castle..