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Tuesday 25th of July

The views that made it all worth it

We got breakfast at a Little Chef next to our digs and got ready for the off. I had been having trouble changing up gears yesterday and a small investigation this morning revealed a sticky gear cable. So it was changed and I had a smooth running bike again.

Using the Yellow Pages we tracked down a cycle shop in Okehampton and as we set off, Bryn headed back into the town to purchase a nice new seat post for Dan. We followed the old A30 which was thankfully, almost free of traffic. We headed for Lewdon and then made good time to Lifton where we pulled in for refreshments and waited for Bryn to arrive with the new seat post. We had a quick map check and asked a couple of the locals what our best route might be. Experience had taught us to run our route passed locals. It also taught us that locals don't mind sending us up a sheer rock face if they believe it to be the shortest route. Our friendly locals asked what we were up to, enjoyed a quick chat about nothing in the way that only the British seem able to do. We were advised us to head up St Stevens Hill once we were in Launceston. The words "up" and "hill" made us wince but we took their advice on board and thanked them for it.

Bryn arrived with the seat post and Dan had his bike back in working order.

It seemed like just a few miles (probably because it was just a few miles) and we passed a sign which read "Welcome To Cornwall". We cheered as we passed it and felt an enormous amount of pride, pride which got us up the first hill into Launceston. Matt and Dan got ahead of myself and Dad and of course, went the wrong way. So Dad and I enjoyed a chat with a Launcestian (did I just make that up?) who had commented on the BCFC top I was wearing. Dad and I laughed our lycra shorts off when we found out how much of the hill that Matt and Dan had climbed when they didn't need to.

We cycled through the lovely town of Launceston, down some steep narrow streets of the town and found a sign for St Stevens. St Stevens Hill wasn't the biggest hill we'd climbed, but my god it was big enough and steep enough. We stopped at the top to allow some air into our lungs and on Dad's notification that it might be time to get cracking, we set off for Bodmin. I was looking forward to meeting the beast, but the others thought that was no way to speak of Bryn who'd helped us so much (sorry, cheap gag but couldn't resist it).

Leaving the quiet country lanes we headed down the A395. Just before the junction of the A39 we stopped to call ahead to Bryn to see if he was near enough to stop for lunch with us. We asked of his whereabouts and he replied that he was on the junction of the A395 and A39. Hmmm. As we turned the corner we could see him in a layby. Other people who'd seen us and him on the phone and the following exchange as we passed him were smiling at us after obviously putting two and two together. We left Bryn to finish reading the chapter in his book and "got cracking".

Dad cycling into Camelford

We got into Camelford ahead of Bryn and found the Masons Arms. There is very little parking space in Camelford but the landlady at the pub allowed Bryn to park the Van in the archway/driveway that I assume was the old coach house entrance. We ate a traditional pub lunch and discussed our trip with the staff of the pub. They were kind enough to send us a free round of Toasted Garlic Bread as they thought we could do with the energy. If you're ever in Camelford, pop in and enjoy the hospitality.

The afternoon was uneventful, we traveled down through Camelford and turned right at St Columb Major towards Newquay. Our campsite was situated about 3 or 4 miles outside the seaside town. The site turned out to be a good find and provided you don't mind watching the helicopters from a nearby air base, it's well worth stopping here.

The camping gear was unloaded from the Van then Dad and Bryn set of for their B&B. It appears that they're far too good to rough it in a tent. Dan, Matt and I pitched the tent and headed for the swimming pool. Joy of joys! We cooled down in the pool. It seemed like such a luxury.

There didn't seem too many good places to eat in Newquay, which surprised us and we ended up in a pub called Mavericks. The food was OK, not bad, but not the best either. The entertainment came in the form of a singer/musician called Ian Lockyear. He turned out to be quite amusing having a good rapport with the kids and obfuscating his more adult jokes enough to go over their heads but still understandable by the adults.

Off to bed.[3]

[3] I woke up in the night to hear the tinkle of somebody from our tent urinating in a nearby bush. Apparently, the toilet block just 150 yards away was a yard too far for one of the team members. I think it would be unfair to name names and it's suffice to say that it obviously wasn't me. Or Matt.

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