Tuesday 12th June – Day One

So reeling from the horror of the Bordello pictures in our hotel room we lugged our massive luggage half a mile to the other more salubrious hotel where the other half of the team (and the crew!) were staying. Surprise surprise we were the first there so after hanging around for yonks we all squeezed onto the bus and set off to Sennen.

It was looking a bit windy but by the we got to Lands End it was blowing very strong! Malcolm and Marion were there to greet us which was great! They have been so good to us driving us down and was awesome to have them to see us off.

Quick stop for pictures and the tour began – what have we done? It was very windy and had to layer up..an image of us next to the signpost was of course necessary…

We started off retracing our steps back to Penzance and then on through Marazion with its top views of St Michaels Mount.

Marazion is home to a community of artists who produce and sell paintings and pottery in the art galleries in the town (ie a load of tut that I wouldn’t give houseroom to but it was very pretty). It was the last part of Cornwall to speak Cornish as a community language.

We also saw HMS Queen Elizabeth – off the coast for sea trials currently being commanded by Captain Jeremy Kyd…yes Captain Kyd! Bizarrely he was in the scouts with James and I, he’s done very well!

In the graveyard of the small village of Gulval up the road features in the Churchyard the remains of local pirate and smuggler John ‘Eyebrows’ Thomas of Marazion were buried in the 1700’s. It is rumoured that Marazion parish refused to bury him and paid the nearby Gulval church to do it instead – his grave features a skull (with appropriate eyebrows) and crossbones. Sadly, our route did not take us past the graveyard…

We moved on through the land of the silly names we stopped for water at Praze-an-Beeble via Relubbus(!) where discover adventure plied is with…..jelly babies! Maurice is sick – he bought 13 packets with him and he will not be able to bring them back – easyjet weight allowances!

Fortunately, we missed out Burras, Porkellis, Carnkie and Mabe Burnthouse and headed onto Redruth.  Apparently, there is a local mine nearby called the Ding Dong Mine.

We cycled on through Truro. Although the route was very frustrating…

It’s difficult to avoid main roads in Cornwall but we were trailing down dual carriageway for a large part of this route rather sadly got tantalising glimpses of the awesome Truro Cathedral but did not get close at all!

It’s beautiful but looking at it from the hard shoulder of a town ring road is not my idea of fun!

Truro is Cornwall’s County Town and the most southern City in mainland Great Britain. William Golding was born here and wrote the Lord of the Flies.  He was so incensed with the unrealism of ‘The Coral Island’ (written by RM Ballantyne a jolly story of british boys ingenuity and resilience following a shipwreck – it’s even got pirates in it) that he wrote his book.  He felt it more accurately reflected what a bunch of boys would do if left alone on a tropical island.  Shame really, I used to enjoy reading The Coral Island when I was growing up.

We rode on in increasing heat to St Austell, the arms of St Austell are:

“Arg. A saltire raguly Gu”

So now you know! St Austell is famous for its brewery – I was hoping to sample some tonight but the Premier Inn was all out!

We finished a respectable 75 Miles in Liskeard, a killer of a 10% climb to the hotel was a challenge tho!

Liskeard was in the news recently because a 60 year old resident found half a rat in a bag of frozen vegetables from Aldi. They’ve removed 38,000 bags of veg from their freezers as a result.

Liskeard seems to be a hotbed of Masonic activity (frankly Cornwall seems to be full of them – the dodgy hotel we were in in Penzance clearly doubles as a lodge as well as a brothel…).  No less than eight lodges meet in the Masonic Hall to jump around with their trousers rolled up and left breasts dangling in plain sight.  There is also a Woman’s lodge that meets there too, that’s a lot for a town of 9,000 people. St Austell has nine lodges also but twice the number of people.

There are a few historic buildings in Liskeard including St Martins, the second largest church in Cornwall.  Charles I used to stay in Stuart house on the parade when he was chasing parliamentarians in 1644.

Disappointing and rather scary news was received when we arrived – John Wrieden (one of our riders) was knocked off his bike just outside Liskeard and the van did a runner! Probably a Masonic plot! Anyway a trip to two hospitals has confirmed he is just scraped, more importantly his bike is ok so he will ride tomorrow.

For his courage under fire we awarded him our highest honour, the Golden Tool award! Up until we found out he was OK Brian Hildick Smith had the award in the bag for being shat on by a pigeon as he boarded the bus to Sennen, sadly he was beaten to the punch by John


Enjoying the blog?  Please take time out and sponsor us!  Maurice and I are riding in support of Fresh Start – new beginnings, a treatment service for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.  My just giving page can be found here and all donations go straight to the charity (my ride is 100% self funded).

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