The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Day 8 - St Mabyn to Five Lanes, Altarnun

22 April
Distance: 16.1 miles
Number of killer ponies: 0

It's been a day of meeting nice people and crossing fantastic terrain.

The meeting nice people actually started last evening when Mary stopped at our tent to say that if we wanted any hot water for a drink then we only had to call at her chalet. With the day having been quite considerably wet there was little dry wood to be found for the Bushbuddy so in the interests of fuel conservation we took Mary up on her offer. Half an hour was spent chatting to her and her husband Ron and we may have stayed longer except that after 7 days spent out of doors it was just too hot for us in their chalet.

It was a few miles into this morning when we reached St Breward, which is currently battling to save its Post Office (where, in hindsight, I should have gone to sent my toe eating shoes home). Edibles were bought at the village store and per our practice we went just outside of the door to eat most of it (weight saving!) where we were joined by Christine from the shop who chatted to us for a good ten minutes until another customer called her away. With St Breward being on most people's LEJOG route, they see quite a few passing through.

Bodmin Moor was the next really notable point of the day, which is also where we met Janice and her friend whose name we either didn't learn or we forgot.

Bodmin is not a place to which I recall having been before and therefore I had no picture as to what it would be like. In fact, I don't think that I'd even guessed at a picture.

I was very pleasantly surprised with what we found, from the masses of (not scary) ponies to the terrain. With the sun shining down on us it was truly lovely.

We met Janice and companion just as we were all considering indulging in some trespass but were being put off by the big 'No Entry' and 'Private' signs. We ended up all taking the detour together around the edge of the not-access-land area and up the side of Brown Willy.

As you'll already know if my earlier post got through, lunch was taken atop the hill, and a goodly long break was had.

From the top of Brown Willy a bearing was taken and off we set in a straight line, detouring a little every now and then to avoid the worst of the bogs and to find better crossings of waterways until we met the road that would lead us to Five Lanes.

There we met a nameless lady who having passed us came back to ask to where we were headed today. Had it been further she would have come back with us to give us tea and cake at her house. As it went we were only half a mile from our destination so she continued on her way after a brief chat. She intends to do LEJOG soon, on a tandem with her husband.

For the first night in eight, we're now in a B&B, or to be more precise a pub. The good news is that our room is not en-suite and thus we have a bath at our disposal rather than just a shower - and lashings of hot water. Big grin.

A huge meal has been eaten (got to keep the weight up) and some wine is washing it down nicely.

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