Sunday, 22 July 2018

LEJOG Days 5 to 7 - Newquay to Jamaica Inn

I left Newquay on another fabulous, sunny morning and set off along the SWCP to Padstow. I had the beginnings of a small blister on the ball of my left foot and had taken a rest day in Newquay in the hope that this would stop it developing into anything worse. As I progressed along the coast, I was becoming amazed at the sheer amount of stunning sandy beaches and coves I encountered as around each headland, another superb beach would be revealed. Unlike the rough, rugged section of the SWCP from Lands End to St.Ives, this section was much easier as it followed the tops of the cliffs, which made for easy, rolling downland type walking. Eventually, I left the path and followed a number of country lanes and paths into Padstow to avoid the long detour around Trevose Head. After pitching my tent at the Dennis Hill campsite, I headed into Padstow in search of dinner and passed the queues waiting in line for Rick Stein's fish restaurant. I found a pub by the harbour and as I ate my dinner, marvelled at how people could afford  £4.70 for a pint of fairly standard  lager. My foot was by now becoming quite painful and when I returned to my tent, I replaced the plaster on the ball of my foot but my big toe was now also becoming painfully swollen. 
Newquay to Padstow 29.2k - Cumulative 154.2k

The following morning I set off along the Camel Trail, an old railway track that is now used as a long distance cycle and walking trail to Bodmin and beyond. Because of this the walking was easy but along a hard surface, so by the time I reached Bodmin, my foot was quite painful. I hit upon the idea of purchasing some hiking sandals in the hope that this might stop my feet swelling so much in the heat. That night, because there was no campsite in the vicinity, I obtained a room in a pub, which was less than salubrious and seemed to be where most of the local youth gathered to get drunk and argue. I wandered around town looking for somewhere suitable to eat but most of the pubs had a large groups of rowdy youngsters drinking outside so I opted for a takeaway and went back to my room to eat it and watch TV as the music pounded away in the bar below.
Padstow to Bodmin 20.5k - Cumulative 174.7k

Camel Estuary

River Camel

Camel Trail
Breakfast the next morning was a dismal affair, the landlady was obviously trying to save as much money as possible and the tiny breakfast duly arrived accompanied by one slice of toast. I ate it quickly and was soon on my way,  glad to be leaving Bodmin. Walking in the sandals was a revelation. My feet remained cool and my toes could spread out, which made for a much more comfortable walk. I continued for some miles along the hard surface of the Camel Trail to the charmingly named village of 'Merry Meeting'. Here, I finally left the Camel Trail and headed off across Bodmin Moor. The first section of this was along quiet country roads which were pleasant enough but the hard surface was again taking its toll on my left foot and the blister on the ball of my foot was really quite painful and more worryingly, the big toe was now swelling and looking quite angry. I approached a beautiful old stone clapper bridge called Delford Bridge. This was an idyllic spot so I decided to stop for a break. Removing my sandals,  I walked across the gritty sand shoreline and waded into the beautifully clear cold water as a trout 'flapped' around in the water. I filtered some of the cold water and refilled my water bottle, there were sheep around so I didn't want to drink straight from the river.  Continuing, I headed off across the Moor towards the summit of 'Brown Willy', loudly cursing the 'Lands End Trail' as the paths regularly disappeared. The climb up the side of Brown Willy was a frustrating 'bushwack' with no visible path through waist high ferns dotted with large granite boulders. Eventually, I reached the summit marker before descending to Jamaica Inn on the A30 where I had a room booked.
Bodmin to Jamaica Inn 30.3k - Cumulative 205k

Delford Bridge, Bodmin Moor

Approaching Brown Willy

Summit marker on Brown Willy 

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