Saturday, 9 April 2011

Rock to Lerryn- Day Five - Bristol to Cornwall round trip

This morning we were up bright and early, not long after nine! After a hearty cooked breakfast we bade our hosts goodbye and headed off to catch the ferry across the Camel Estuary to Padstow. A very enjoyable start to the day it was too. I craned my neck, hoping for a glimpse of St Edonoc church which is situated just up the eastuary from Rock, across the sand dunes from the ferry landing. Sadly the church was buried from view. Not literally, although in the past that has been the case. In the nineteenth century the church became almost buried by the sand dunes and the vicar had to enter via a skylight whenever a service was due. Luckily for the vicar they were only held once a year. St Edonoc is famous for being the burial place of John Betjeman. I made a vow one day to return here and seek it out. Hopefully it won't have got buried again or I'll need to abseil in.

We headed for the start of the Camel Trail. We were familiar with this part of the route from our End-To-End journey. Once again the weather was fine and the water sparkled in the sunlight. The Camel Trail is well used, it was great to see so many people out on bikes enjoying themselves, and we only had a couple of near misses with novices on hired bikes.

The path enters a park just outside the back of Bodmin Gaol (or Jail). What a formidable place. The prison was built in 1779 and closed in 1927. Over fifty people were hanged (not hung!) here including one John Hoskin, hanged for stealing a sack of wheat at Redruth in 1796, Michael Stephens who was hanged in 1820 for killing a ram and stealing it and Elizabeth Osbourne who was hanged in 1813 for setting fire to a corn stack. Ann Holman got off lightly. She was given a mere two months improsonment in Bodmin Goal in the same year for stealing milk from a cow. Nowadays of course things are different, and one can drink stale water in the 'Witness Box Wine Bar' or have a delicious meal of gruel and onion in the award winning 'Warder's Room Restaurant'. Only kidding....there's no onion.

Now all we had to do was to get from Bodmin to Lostwithiel. We got slightly lost in Lanhydrock estate but after cycling down the main drive I was unable to resist the tantalising little road to Restormel marked red and white on the OS map. Checking the key I surmised that red and white means "under construction."

"This map was printed in 2008," I said. "It's sure to be finished by now." We took the road. Which wasn't finished, in fact it wasn't a road at all, it was a path across fields.
"So much for a quick route," grumbled Mick as we dragged our bikes across the grass.
At Restormel we rejoined tarmac and cycled the last couple of miles to Lostwithiel where we met our friends and headed on down to Lerryn for a knees up in the Ship.

Miles cycled today: 27
Total miles: 221

Our route is here

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