Sunday, 6 October 2013

GAB 2013 Day 6: Thursday September 26th - Perrenporth, Surfers and Tintagel.

Today started wet and miserable. The tent went away damp from the fog but I arrived in Perranporth in the rain. I scouted around for an open cafe to hide in for breakfast but the owner of the only one I found anyone in indicated he didn't open for another hour. I did find the Co-op and a cashpoint before heading off in the drizzle.

The weather improved as I picked up the main road into Newquay. After a couple of attempts to navigate the somewhat odd one-way system (arriving at the same roundabout twice - via different routes) I found the main shopping street and Tea and a Hot Breakfast.

Onwards and it was a bit of a dive downhill into Watergate Bay - it wasn't entirely clear which road was the way out. It took a three-point turn in the car park to point in the right direction for the tight corner but gentler climb away from the beach. At Mawganporth I treated myself to both an ice cream and a new map - my road atlas now being so wet the pages were beginning to disintegrate as I tried to turn them.

On the outskirts of Padstow the route turned south and was actually flat for some time! The flattest road I'd encountered for several days. To cut around the estuary the shortest route was to join the A39 for a while. A pretty busy road but I only needed a short stretch before picking up the next section of coastal B-road. It did make quite a change to be able to let rip on the downhill towards the bridge over the River Camel but I paid for that on the drag up to the roundabout and my turn north away from Wadebridge.

This section was initially quite busy but as seems to be the way with these rural B-roads everybody else gradually turned off leaving me to more quiet riding. At St Endellion I pulled into the Trevathan Farm Tea Room. It was time for a much needed (and very generous - I must have looked like I needed it!) slice of chocolate cake and several cups of tea. That was enough fuel to get to the target destination of the day.

For a treat on the last night of this leg of the trip I decided I'd earnt the reward of sleeping indoors. Rolling towards Tintagel I was pleased to find the Youth Hostel to be well signed. Taking the turn the road reduced in size. Then in quality. The final stretch down to the hostel being little more than a stone track. On the final bend rather than risk rolling I got out and made a manual turn... Kate grounded several times on this section - but then the warden reported so had his car...!

 Kate at YHA Tintagel

 Looking SouthWest from the hostel

 Tintagel is one of the possible claimed locations for the legendary Camelot and certainly walking over the rise from the Youth Hostel to the pub it is rather magical when the 'island' where the castle once was rather spectacularly pops into into view.

Camelot or not?

 The modern 'drawbridge'

 Onwards to the village and the pub

Dinner and a beer at Ye Olde Malthouse Inn (14th century) was very welcome and felt well deserved. No sooner had I ordered than the staff began bringing in the food signs from outside - I was assured I'd not eaten the last food they had, they were just short of staff so the kitchen was closing for the night - a close shave and nearly plain pasta for tea!

Also closing was the castle, so no opportunity for a visit this time. So time to head back to a warm, dry bed for the night.

 Heading 'home' for bed - the village church with a rather oddly shaped tower.

Specs: 54 miles, 1348m/4376ft of climb, 8.8mph average speed.

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