Thursday 8th March
I started out at 8am, Ewen helped me load my bike and I was off to find more Cornish hills! My legs felt tired and heavy this morning and I’m not sure they really warmed up much throughout the day, however I was feeling more comfortable on the trike and I have finally gotten used to the 15kg weight I am carrying.
I had a little break at a view point above Marazion and could see the headland that I would be cycling round for the day. It looked a long way away and it was slightly daunting. The stretch along the coast by Penzance was relatively flat and very welcome, it was tempting to stop in a cafe or supermarket but rain was forecast in the afternoon so I wanted to make as much headway as possible.
I reached Mousehole, a quaint little seaside village with a narrow road through the houses, typically I met a bus on the 90 degree bend and I was faced with a steep 20 percent gradient on exiting.
I then cycled to Porthcurno on typical Cornish narrow windy hilly roads to get to the Minack theatre – which I didn’t know existed until one of my followers pointed it out a couple of days ago. Wow! It’s an open air theatre that a lady called Rowena Cade designed into a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea over a gully, it looks like it is something from the Ancient Greek era but was actually built in the late 1920’s.
I learnt that Rosen was a remarkable woman and not only did she design the theatre but helped carve a lot of it herself and was incredibly strong, she was described as a ‘mountain goat building into the hillside’ on the intro film that I watched. Very fitting for International Women’s Day! Not only was the theatre impressive but so was the scenery and the turquoise glistening sea. I spent a while watching a seal bob up and down in the distance – I won’t post the photograph as it looks like a black speck on camera! But I know it was there!
This part of the coastland almost feels tropical, it’s windy but the sun is shining and it is warm. There are palm trees in the houses gardens along with more tropical plants you would associate with being in Mediterranean climates.
I continued onto Lands End a few miles around the headland, it’s a bit more commercial than I had expected considering that the last few miles had felt very bleak and windy. This time of year most of the tourist shops are closed, I cycled round a little and then stopped in the Lands End restaurant for a sandwich where I chatted to some of the locals along with a couple visiting from Devon. One can see that the facilities can cater for 100’s in tourist season, but it is hard to imagine when it is so quiet – part of the reason I have started my trip so early in the year. It doesn’t usually snow at the end of February/ March though!
I stopped my route on my Garmin (GPs device) as I didn’t want to risk loosing my ride to Lands End and then cycled a further 4 miles to the local shop and then back to the hostel/BnB I am staying at. I am the only resident so have the place to myself.
I had planned to rest whilst the hot water heated up to have a shower, but I fell asleep. The truth is that although I am feeling very comfortable on my trike, I am exhausted! I am sleeping incredibly well but am needing much more than usual. My body is coping well at the moment but my legs are very sore and stiff, it is hard to spend time at the end of the day stretching because I am so tired. I am not just tired from the cycling but from battling the weather – the wind even when it is sunny, from staying with strangers (now friends) and sleeping and relaxing in unfamiliar places. I however am managing to eat and digest enough calories to keep me going, so let’s hope that continues!
Today is International Women’s Day and I feel like a strong woman – I strive to inspire others and give them the strength that I have, but behind this strong woman is a very strong and supportive man whom I couldn’t be doing this without. I am counting down the days until I see Danny next weekend!
There is another strong woman in my life my sister – Pippa and it happens that her Birthday falls today – Happy Birthday Pippa!
Tomorrow the weather looks pretty grim but I will take the days as it comes! Hopefully there won’t be anymore tears!