Distance: 24,6 km (15,3 mi) for a total of 250,7 km (155,8 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 950 m (3120 ft)
Weather: Sunny, then overcast, then sunny again with increasing wind
This was certainly the worst day from a walking perspective so far. I had packed and was away from the campsite reasonably early. But as soon as I set off I felt that the body had decided to use that part of the right thigh which had suffered from a series of muscle injuries three years ago-a side effect of my martial arts training. This isn’t extremely painful but it slowed me down considerably. Creeping through the streets of Bude I already lost a good deal of the time I’d have needed for other parts of today’s stretch.
I somehow managed to get myself to Duckpool along the coast path-if only with a short rest in the café at Sandy Mouth-where I picked up an inland route to Morwenstow. I had planned this the evening before and getting the confirmation from a couple of locals that the green line on the map was not only a right of way but a walkable path as well this was settled to be it.
By the time I reached the town I could already tell the envisaged end point for this day was out of reach. So I treated myself to a real lunch in The Bush Inn. I then navigated some more fields and a wooded valley before rejoining the coast path.
This was a very precise signpost on a farm:
Walking inland I hadn’t realised that the wind had become quite strong again. During the first ascent I had to stabilise myself with my walking sticks otherwise I would have been blown over the cliff. There was no thinking of reaching any point for the night in this wind. So I took the first footpath inland again and “enjoyed” another road walk of 2,5 miles to Elmscott. In the youth hostel I was recognised immediately as the German LEJOGer, a certain Nick had told them about me-whoever this Nick is. And I missed Steve again by one night as in Tintagel, wonder if we manage to bump into each other.
So the best thing to say about this day is “Goodbye Cornwall, hello Devon!” It definitely feels a major achievement to have completed the first county. I knew before that Cornwall is large, but distances are put into a more direct perspective when being covered on foot.