Chulmleigh to Wadebridge - Cornwall at last!

After some discussion with Colin, The Old Bakehouse proprietor, regarding the lay of our intended route, some on-the-fly changes were made in order to avoid some unnecessary ascents early on.

Colin was able to recommend a couple of changes that would save our legs for which I was particularly grateful, as the cumulative effect of our exertions was beginning to take it's toll by this point.

However, the prospect of the burden being lightened was on the cards!

My wife and children would be making their way down to Cornwall today and we were planning to meet up at some point. This had been our longest period of separation and I was really looking forward seeing them again. Also, ever since the fact had occurred to me at about the half way point, I had been increasingly looking forward to being able to ditch the panniers!

I am ashamed to say that I am not sure which I was looking forward to most!

Even with the route changes, there is no getting away from the fact that you are in Devon and there will be hills. Whilst not as drastic as yesterday, there were several stiff climbs in the first thirty miles including a nasty little ascent to North Tamerton after crossing the River Tamar that serves as the boundary between Devon and Cornwall.

The weather had been improving vastly since we turned the corner at Bristol and the heat had become serious factor. On the quite roads through Devon and Cornwall we were consuming water far more quickly than opportunities to refill allowed.

However, it is far better to swallow your pride and beg for water from the nearest house (or from the odd garden tap if no reply is to be had) than risk dehydration. We probably made quite a saving today by cadging refills due to the lack of shops along the way.

The support team arrives!

Just after Maxworthy we were overtaken by a familiar looking car, whose occupants could not wait to get out and see their dad! (Well one of whom couldn't at least.)

Not only was this interruption very welcome, it was also timed perfectly, because we were just about to embark on the longest ascent of the day and now with my bike would be significantly lighter!

So began the long(ish) haul up to Hallworthy and the A39. It was a lot easier than expected sans panniers. In another first for me, I even managed to stay with Christian on the ascent and, before long, we were beginning the descent to Camelford. It was just as well it is downhill because the A39 was not the most pleasent of roads, particularly through Camelford itself.

The weather was closing in on us as the day drew on, a factor which caused us to miss out on a visit to the British Cycling Museum in Camelford. I was a little dissapointed, but it proved to be the right decision as, even though it is pretty much downhill all the way from Camelford, we only just beat the brewing storm into Wadebridge.

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Day:12 of 13
Date:10 July 2003
Distance:96 KM
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