Thursday, 14 July 2011

Free night in Bude

This is Thursday's Blog; dozed off early last evening after a tough day in the saddle, so writing this at 05.00 on Friday morning!

I'd arranged for an early (07.00) breakfast at the Guest House in Bude. I was all packed and ready to go, but when I went down for breakfast there was no sign of activity. I had to wait until nearly 8 before the landlady appeared; she apologised of course, but said she'd been ill during the night. Anyway, breakfast was superb, with fresh fruit (blueberries and raspberries) as well as the usual cooked meal. As I attempted to pay, she said she wouldn't be charging me, So I forgave her for losing that hour's flying start.

The first harbour to be visited was Boscastle. I'm sure everyone will remember those terrible floods of August 2004, when cars were swept into the harbour and buildings destroyed. The place has fully recovered, with a new Visitor Centre and others sympathetically re-built. The harbour, with its winding entrance, has a particular charm and would certainly feature in my 'Top Ten' British harbours. I was fortunate to be there reasonably early, as apparently it gets very crowded once the coaches start arriving.

It was then on to Port Gaverne and Port Isaac. It's the latter which attracts the crowds, but I prefer the former. Only a short stroll away, Port Gaverne is quiet and beautiful, if lacking the maze of tiny streets at Port Isaac.

On to Wadebridge where I picked up the Camel Trail, a five-mile former railway line alongside the estuary, to Padstow (which was busy). Then between Padstow and Newquay there was a series of extremely steep hills, both down and up, which severely tested my tired legs. I confess to having to walk some of them.

I managed to get through Newquay before the pubs and clubs threw open their doors to the seething masses, and made it as far as Crantock, the genteel side of the town. The day ahead will now be relatively short, but with rain forecast this will be useful. I'll be meeting Bundy in Penzance this evening.

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