21 September 2010

Hayle to Bodmin

The pleasure of having companionship for almost all of the past week has provided both interesting conversation and local knowledge to navigate interesting routes. Today I am on my own and look at the map to plan for the next stop, Bodmin, without interest. Having ridden Land's End to John O'Groats in 2007, on an organised ride led by a bit of a sadistic leader who most definitely sought the toughest hills he could find, I can do without the switchbacks along the N coast, so decide to take the easy option of the A30. It's direct, relatively flat and there is no chance of navigation errors. The downside of course is that it's boring and the trip is unmemorable.

I focus 100% of concentration on staying within the 2ft wide relative sanctuary between the white line and the grass verge, looking for loose gravel or the glint of broken glass and avoiding the draft as trucks roar by. There is little incentive to stop on such a busy road, and although the distant views are enticing, I just want to get this stage over and make good progress with the luxury of the following wind. I'm fortunate that Brian Cassidy, AoS port Chaplain for Fowey, Falmouth and Truro who has handled the complicated logistics of moving the car from place to place with amazing and unflappable ease for the past five days, passes me and waves just as I am approaching Bodmin. He slows down to keep in sight and I'm piloted to the Bodmin Parish Centre at St Mary's, welcomed by balloons and the best cuppa of the day!

Keith and Judy Lindsell are my hosts for the night at their lovely horse farm. The sight of Indonesian memorabilia, gongs, gamalan, carved ducks, all similar to those which Maria and I collected during our stay in Jakarta in the 1980's, quickly tell me that we've plenty to talk about! Much of the evening therefore was spent reminiscing about our travels. I thought that I had done a fair bit of that but these two make me feel like a stay-at-home! Many thanks to both of you for such a warm welcome. Salamat Tingall!

The picture shows Gabrielle O'Connor, Secretary/Admin at the Centre, Andrew and Carol (from Bradford) who drove my car to Bideford and Sylvia and Brian Cassidy. It was a pleasure to meet you all.

1 comment:

louise carter said...

AS a "baby" trustee, i am a bit slow to catch up with your progress David,and this is my first foray into the world of the blogger, but well worth it: your undertaking is amazing stuff! Your journey so far is something epic - I wonder if you think of it more as a pilgrimage even? I feel quite guilty that while we laze around on a cold day you are out there pounding the miles but seeing the many facets of our land. You are certainly making an impact on those you meet; I have just returned from a week's holiday to the southwest where I had a wonderful time catching up with Ann the fantastic current chaplain and my old volunteers and port staff. A very nostalgic experience. All those who have met you are singing your praises. Dave Lickman your cycling companion who is a ships' agent at the port of Plymouth and keith Lindsell, our volunteer ship visitor and your host at Bodmin particularly. They were so disappointed that with such short notice they couldnt roll out the crowds to welcome you more fittingly as you sped through, especially as there are so many who would have loved to cheer you on your way. I hope the hills of Cornwall didn't entirely wear you out - not to mention the caravans, tractors and thundering china clay lorries zipping past at top speed. They used to terrify me - and I was travelling in the large, safe tank of an AOS Vauxhall Zafira! I was particularly delighted to hear you stayed with Michael and Jenny Gilmore in Bideford who have been so faithful to AOS despite being quite an outpost for us. Wonderful people.

Do rest assured our prayers continue with you on your journey. You hearten those you meet as much as they encourage you. So keep going and keep annoying all those 4 x4 drivers!