Saturday, 28 April 2012

... on to Week 2

I am approaching the second week with some trepidation. The weather forecast is awful – at least for today and tomorrow, which is the first day of walking. And the third and sixth days will be severe – lots of little blue lines at right angles to the coast, which signify streams – and steep-sided valleys to test the leg muscles.

Resuming where I left off in February
At least today was relatively easy – a drive through the rain down to Tiverton, where I left the car, and a nice easy train ride on to Liskeard, followed by drive back to Mawgan Porth.

An excellent lunch with Chris and Ann Hill, who had just returned from West Wittering in Sussex. It was good to catch up with them after a long gap. They also reported on the Kynge’s villa in Cyprus, to which they went in late March, and which we will be visiting at the end of next month. It sounds idyllic: when we go it should be warm enough to swim. It may well be recuperation from the next two weeks of walking. How exhausted (or not) will I be when I next see Chris in ten days’ time when he joins me in Combe Martin for two demanding days in North Devon and Somerset? I think Chris too is a little apprehensive about those stages, but as a regular long-distance cyclist he’s probably fitter than me.

Well met at Liskeard by Richard and Niki Dale, and then a pleasant country drive to Mawgan Porth. Wonderful wooded road along the River Fowey, and then largely treeless for the remaining few miles. 

The Merrymoor - a very comfortable B&B
Vey nice rooms at the Merrymoor Inn in Mawgan Porth, and a first taste of climbing to get mobile reception higher up in the village. A surprisingly good meal this evening, and excellent company. Richard relates the story of his latest research and published paper on the long distance pilgrimage business in medieval Europe. He’s treating it from an economic slant: although people undertook it in the hope of miracles and indulgences, it was very much a business on the supply side. And the church too made huge sums out of the pilgrims. He’s had all sorts of criticism from historians (many of whom write with a religious emphasis) and expects more. He relishes the controversy.

A last stroll after dinner reveals no sign of the threatened storm. I even saw a hazy moon through thinning clouds. Are the threats unfounded. We shall see on the morrow!

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