19 September 2010

Truro to Hayle (Via Land's End)

Phillip Austin, nephew of Willie Austin who has been a fantastic supporter of all of the rides that I have participated in, joins Rachael and me at St Perin's for a 09:00 start. Phillip is another keen athlete and showed us great lanes and views as we headed SW to rendezvous with the second key milestone of the ride, Land's End. We faced a stiffish SW wind throught the morning and were thwarted on three occasions when we tried to find a coffee stop. We did think that we'd succeeded at the Crown Inn, a pretty looking pub in Leedstown where we arrived at 11:45 to find the door open and staff behind the bar. Whether it was the sight of the lycra, or the fact that the landlord might have had a heavy night, I don't know, but refusing to serve us a cup of cofffee because he didn't open until 12:00 seemed a bit churlish. We are eventually able to find coffee and the obligatory cakes at Marizion a few miles down the road and take in the amazing views across the bay to St Micheal's Mount. Why we are so impressed with these sights I'm not sure. Perhaps it's that we have worked hard to reach them and not simply taken a spin in the car.
The wind is freshening all the time as we leave Penzance but the threatening black clouds pass harmlessly to the south. Phillip is another kindly cyclist who insists on taking the lead for most of the ride. Rachael, on my back-up Trek is riding as if she has done this all her life. This morning I was showing her how to work Shimano gear shifters and now she's tireless! We pass through Penzance, amazed at the skills of the kite-boarders who are streaking across the bay. The anticipation of arriving at Land's End is mounting and for a lot of cyclists we see who are kitted out with touring bikes and panniers, this must represent the end of their ride from John O'Groats. What a pity that the Dr Who and other tacky attractions await them. The signpost at Land's End must be among the most famous in the World and to prove that we've actually been here, I shell out the 11 quid for the picture thinking that this might be one that I actually get around to framing!
Lunch at the Land's End hotel followed, but Phillip is limping with a sore knee. Phillip, I dont know how you managed to carry on with that pain, but thanks for being such a great guide and interesting companion. Not least, thanks to Karen and yourself for the Seawheeling donation too. Not only do you give up your Sunday, you help the cause as well. Many thanks!
Arriving at the Convent of St Mary in Hayle, we are greeted by Sr Imelda whp leads us to the cottage next to the convent which is used to house visitors. I cant believe how fortunate I am to be provided with such great accommodation. We all share a welcome cuppa before Phillip and Karen head home and I take Rachael to the train for her return trip to London. Many thanks for coming along Rachael.

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