Wednesday June 12: Day 1 Lizard to Porthleven

Today 15.7 miles total 15.7 miles total pints 3 still no cream teas!

First of all my thanks to Robin and Michelle for a wonderful B and B. The old bakery in lizard village. Really comfy room and top notch breakfast.

Very tiring first day, this is the furthest I have walked in a day for a while. It was also a rollercoaster day with 1396 ascent and slightly more descent. At least the rain kept off and it brightened up a bit during the afternoon.

I started by heading to the most southerly point (of mainland Britain), about a mile south of my B and B. A poor attempt at a selfie:

But the view was nice

I then turned northwest (easy navigation, keep the sea on the left) and headed over steep cliffs towards Kynance cove. On the way I saw 3 seals swimming just offshore. The cove is guarded by 3 rock formations: lion rock which seemed a fanciful name until I was past the cove when it did look like a lion sitting with its back to me

And asparagus island and gulf rock (why?)

The route got a bit less rugged after Mullion cove

I continued over the cliffs and came to the Marconi monument. This marks the first transatlantic wireless broadcast from the shore near here to a boat ( containing Marconi) in the south Atlantic.

Although still up and down the going was easier now although the path has been rerouted in several places due to cliff falls. I came to Church cove, named after the church of St Winwaloe, also named the Church of Storms as it has been damaged several times over the centuries by storms. The bell tower is separate and built into the cliff

Nearly there now, continuing along the low cliffs above Porthleven sands. Two thirds of the way along the beach there is a sand bar separating the Loe from the sea.

Legend has it that Excalibur was thrown into the Loe after the death of King Arthur. Following another low cliff top, I arrived in Porthleven and the Harbour inn where I enjoyed a crab linguini with a glass of wine.

Tuesday June 11: Day 0 travel

Miles walked 0, pints beer 2, cream teas 0.

Not much to say. A long train and bus journey, everything on time. Had a good view of the August leg from the train . If the weather is nice there should be good views from the Cotswold escarpment.

When I planned the trip I imagined getting here and feasting on fish and chips sitting on the beach on a sunny evening. Instead there was heavy cloud and a strong northerly wind but at least the south west has avoided the torrential rain that hit the rest of England today. Either it’s the beer or the cloud is thinning out now. Unfortunately I think wet weather gear will feature high on the list for tomorrow.

Nice fish and chips and a couple of pints of well kept St Austell Proper Job IPA in the “Top House” pub in Lizard. Fish depends on what was caught; today it was hake. Pub Recommended if you are down here.

Cream teas: I must remember it is jam before cream in Cornwall and cream first in Devon.

COVID19

looks like LEJOG part 2 is off this year. In theory I could camp and cook my own food en route I don’t know whether campsites will be open, and communal washing and toilet facilities are hardly self isolating. Wild camping is theoretically possible but is illegal in England, difficult in central Scotland but I will explore this. If I do this there will not be a blog as I won’t have internet access or charging facilities for my electronics.

Favoured option at present is to stock the car up (or use the trains) and bag some Munro’s as well has some of the lower but still beautiful Scottish hills. Or the Cape Wrath trail or Knoydart (avoiding the village at the tip of the peninsula) which is self isolating in the extreme!

Stay safe everyone and the blog will continue in 2021

Preparation

A month to go!

I am very grateful to those who have published books and blogs about their journey. At some point I will add a bibliography and links.

Preparation actually started at the beginning of the year. I was worried Cornwall B &B would get fully booked so I booked accommodation really early. I am going to start at the Lizard and walk to Lands End via the coast path, then continue along the north coast to Padstow before following the Camel trail to Bodmin. Nice easy days of 10-12 miles to ease in gently and to have time to sit on the beach if it’s sunny.

I have done minimal training. I cycle to work and walk and swim regularly but have not backpacked for more than 3-4 days at a time for ages hence the relaxed start. Hopefully B&B will allow me to keep my weight down. Like other walkers it’s a compromise between the amount of clothes to carry vs not wanting to smell! There are some fabrics which claim to avoid smelling sweaty and are easy to wash and quick to dry so, as long as it doesn’t rain every day I should be ok. My I pad will double as a book reader and iPod and allow me to upload a diary and pictures as I go along. My new boots seem comfortable and hopefully will be blister free. I won’t even have to carry much food as most days will include a bay where there is a pub or kiosk where I can buy lunch.

I decided to take “real” maps and a compass as I don’t trust electronic devices in case the battery runs out. However, if I keep the sea on my left I shouldn’t get lost!