Monday, 7 July 2014

The Last Blog. For now ;-)

3rd July 2014

We had breakfast this morning and for the first time none of us had a full cooked breakfast.  We all had cooked but just chose the bits we wanted.  It was nice and the people were very nice.  I did manage with the cupboard which was our shower, just.  It was a bit of a squeeze.

Anyway we left about 9.30 am.  We are on our way to Truro, which is 35 miles.  It does look very hilly again, but I suppose Cornwall is.  Graham is on the bike today.  The sun is shining a bit  too much today.  Still we can’t grumble as we have been so lucky with the weather. 

Dani was going to try some back roads, to keep of the A38 but I think the hills were too high, so they decided to come back to the main roads. 

Caroline and I  went straight to Lostwithiel on A390.  We were looking for lunch, coffee and doughnuts.  We parked the van and walked round the town.  It was a really pretty little town.  We did find some doughnuts, and luckily some buttons.  Caroline decided she didn’t want to come to the button shop with me and wandered to the river.  It was very nice there and we thought it would be a good place to meet up with the others.

Their morning had not been as good as ours.  They had some really horrendous hills to climb on the way to Lostwithiel.  We had found a nice coffee shop to have coffee.  By this time they had recovered enough to carry on. 

Caroline and I then went straight to St Austell.  Rather than go off the main road, we saw a Tesco supermarket.  We did stop to buy lunch but thought it would be nice if we had lunch in Tesco’s coffee shop.

Dani’s knee was quite painful when they reached us.  She rubbed some deep heat on it and rested it for an hour.  That’s it with this challenge, none of us want to give up at this stage.  Just one more day to go.  We had lunch then on we went.

Caroline and I, although not cycling today, feel every hill for them at this stage.  It’s just as well they have been sensible and don’t have the 60 mile days we had in Scotland.  Dani said “It’s really lucky we did it the way we have because we are all a lot stronger at this stage than we were at the beginning”.

They headed off, up yet another big hill.  They had about 20 miles to go.  We thought we would go about half way and wait for them.  It was a little bit further than that.  They soon caught up with us.  They were very hot and exhausted.  Dani said she had been really working hard up one hill, nearly ready to get off and walk and someone shouted to her. “Come on you can do it, pedal”.  It really gave her the push she needed and made it up the hill.

We left them then to find the B and B in Truro.  It’s really nice and homely.  We had two big rooms.  We waited outside for the others to arrive, which wasn’t long.  We had showers and cleaned up, rang for a taxi to take us into town.  Dani wanted an Italian meal for the last one.  The taxi driver took us to one but it was closed, so we went to Mama Mia, which sounded Italian, but wasn’t.  It was a nice meal though.  Our last meal with the five of us.  Tomorrow our last breakfast.  Do you think we can say no tomorrow.  We’ll see.

4th July 2014    

Well of all things, we were not offered breakfasts in Truro.  We had a continental breakfast.  So while we were thinking about not having breakfast, we were very disappointed not to be offered.  I would most definitely had had one as it was our last morning.

We set off about 8.30am.  I was cycling today as Graham had cycled all day yesterday and it was the last day.  I was determined to do the whole journey to our house in Sennen.  We had some quite big hills out of Truro.  Today I would try and only use the electrics uphill so it would last all day.  It did mean Andy and Dani would have to wait for me to catch up.

Rain was in the air and looking at the weather forecast for today, we knew the rain would be coming.  We started with tee shirts and cycling gear, then the rain got harder so we put our macs on.  Then it stopped and you were boiling, so we took them off again.  When the second lot of rain started, I knew this would be in for the day.  The trouble is when you’re  wet, you soon get cold and the winds were the strongest we had encountered to.

We met Caroline and Graham is Carharrack and had a Costa Coffee.  We were then going to meet up for lunch at Penzance.  By now it was raining so hard, it was stinging our faces.  We came along the coast road between Marazion and Penzance and I don’t know how we stayed on our bikes.

Dani’s sat nav took us on its last little detour in Marazion, right opposite St Michael’s Mount.  It was a little alley way.  When we got to the end it nearly blow my hat off.  In different weather it would have been a fantastic photo opportunity but it was too wet to get our cameras out.  Then we realised we had taken the wrong turn.

After that it was just heads down and keep going.  Graham and Caroline phoned to say they were in Morrison’s, just outside Penzance.  We could have coffee, lunch and get supplies for tomorrow.  We stayed for about one hour.

It was hard to get our wet clothes on again but we only had about ten miles to go.  By now my battery was very low.

We had a couple of hills, one that went on and on.  Nothing like they had had the previous few days but for my battery, it was complaining.  On the bigger hills it did not have any power and I had to walk.  I said to Andy and Dani, if they wanted to go on I couldn’t get lost and I would see them there.  They said “No, we started as a team and we’ll finish as a team”.  So they waited.  At one stage I was pushing the bike up the hill and Andy stopped, ran back down and pushed the bike up for me.  What a team, I was very touched. 

Then the best bit of all, we came round a corner and there were Graham and Caroline.  Caroline was on her trike, ready to join us for the last bit of our journey to the house, our last stop before Land’s End.  I had another moment, as I did at the beginning, with tears, I was so proud of her.

When we arrived at the house, we had a little fanfare waiting for us.  Sue, Andy’s mum, Shelly, Dani’s mum and Chris, Dani’s boyfriend were there waiting for us.  It was so nice to see them and to get our wet clothes off.  The house was lovely.  Just right for all of us to stay.  Later Allison, Lee and Lillie came.  They were camping in Sennen.  Andy and Caroline cooked a lovely Shepherd’s Pie for tea.  It was such a happy time.  All reliving the journey and remembering different parts.  At this stage it would have been nice if Graeme had been there too, as he was part of our team.  He can’t get here until tomorrow. 

We also put all of Caroline’s photos on the TV and lived it yet again.  We all had such a laugh and have some fantastic memories that will be with us for ever.

5th July 2014

It is now the last day.  I woke as usual at 5am.  I came down and did the blog for yesterday, had a cup of tea, and a moment to myself.  Graham and Sue came down about 7.30 to 8am.  We had some cereal and Sue and I went to the shop to get papers.  As all the others were still in bed we walked to Sennen Bay.  It was beautiful.  There were lots of surfers out.  We had a coffee, sat on the front.  It was lovely.  Then Sue saw a bus coming toward us.  We both had bus passes so decided to flag the bus down to take us back up the hill.  The bus driver was very obliging and stopped for us.  He dropped us outside Costcutter.  We then got our papers and came back to the house.  It was still only 9.30am.

Most people were up and about.  We had bacon sandwiches for breakfast.  By then we were all getting ready to do the last mile into Land’s End.

We had to wait for Allison and Lee who were in our car and guess what, it wouldn’t start.  Dani’s brother James to the rescue.  He had some jump leads in his car, rushed down to Allison and got the car started.

We waited for them all to go past us, then we started our last ride down to Land’s End. Actually it was the first time the five of us had cycled together as one of us was usually in the van.  It was a really strange feeling.  Caroline Dani and Andy in front, me and Graham behind as always, back up or bringing up the rear.

When we got to the End, there were loads of family and friends cheering us on.  I was so emotional.  There were even a party of men that had finished about an hour before us, heard we were coming and decided to wait for us and cheer us in.  Even the man on the gate gave us a cheer and clapped us in.  Graham and I felt really privileged to have been involved in this adventure, but the main people were Dani, Andy and of course Caroline.  Dani and Andy had done so well.  What an achievement.  We all knew we were on an adventure but I don’t think any of us realised just what an adventure it would be.  Caroline didn’t cycle in body but in spirit, she did every mile with Dani and Andy.  It would never have happened if it had not been for her.  

We spent about an hour or so at Land’s End with so many photos and Champagne, it was brilliant.  We then went back to the house and had a BBQ with anyone who wanted to join us.  It was a lovely end to a brilliant 3 weeks.

We have all joked all the way through this, what Caroline’s next challenge will be.  I still say I am not swimming the channel.  Caroline says the same as she said after Ben Nevis “Never again”.  None of believed her.  It took four years after Ben Nevis to come up with this one.  So we’ll wait.

We left after everyone else yesterday.  We went to Caroline and Andy’s first, to drop the bikes off.  Before we even got inside, Caroline said “We have our next challenge sorted, are you and dad up for doing the London to Paris cycle ride”.  I knew it.  In our excitement we have both said yes.  So watch this space. 

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