Friday, 10 February 2012

The Beginning

Day 1 – Friday 10 February 2012
Train to Penzance and Bus to Land’s End
An inauspicious start: for weeks, if not more, I had thought my train left Paddington at 10:06.  Only when I checked the tickets to find out where to sit did I discover that I had booked the 12:06.  So – big case to left luggage (£8.50!); a coffee; a walk around the area; another coffee.
Eventually I was able to board the right train, which duly left on time.  It proceeded West at the advertised speed – and averaged, according to my iPhone, exactly 100kph all the way to Penzance.  (This I doubt, because Penzance is, according toe the railside signs, 316 miles from London, whereas my iPhone app reported it as 490km.)  But anyway…
Comfortable, warm, and not delayed by the snow which had fallen the night before.  In fact there seemed to be less West of London than in London itself – though that may have been because it had been melting for two hours more than I had originally expected.
Dark outside all the way. Are the windows tinted?  Must check.  But it was genuinely evening by the time I arrived in Penzance. Then a wait of 20 or 25 minutes for the bus to Land’s End.  Drizzle at first, then just chilly.  Astonishingly the bus was a double-decker which would have been more at home in London than at the far end of Cornwall.
The bus proceeded through the windiest of narrow roads, with few passing places for others. Impossible to see anything much.  Eventually it stopped at Land’s End – a bleak, empty turning point hundreds of yards from anywhere.
The lighted buildings to the (presumably) West must, I assumed, be the hotel. Fortunately it was.  After trudging through the dark for a quarter of a mile, and a tour of the buildings, I eventually found reception.
To my room – a second floor garret.  Unpacked – or, more precisely, sorted out what I needed for the following day. Dinner in a cheerful, newly refurbished and attractive dining room, was surprisingly good. A quick skirmish outside to see what the weather was doing (drier now, but blustery), and then to bed after a little reading, and a failure to see the news and the weather forecast because the TV wouldn’t work.  (Subsequently discovered that the mains cable, though apparently attached, wasn’t properly connected!)

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