Day 4

Truro to St. Austell – 15.5 miles (59 total)

I said goodbye to Christopher near Truro Cathedral this morning. He was heading off for the train to Newquay where he would catch a flight to Manchester to link up with his fiancee, Sinéad. His company for the first 3 days of the walk has been invaluable. It has allowed me to get settled into a routine which will be my life for as long as I can stay fit and healthy. My heart was heavy as I packed my rucksack for the first day of walking alone. On Easter Monday, John W, a long-time walking companion will be joining me at Liskeard to accompany me for Days 7,8 & 9. That leaves me walking alone for the next 3 days and I’m quite looking forward to the challenge because that’s what I assumed I would be doing for most of the time.

Today, Day 4, was a fairly routine affair. The walk out of Truro was straightforward enough. Early on my route started to climb and this became the pattern for the rest of the day: a long ascent then back down then up again and so on until the final gentle rise in to St. Austell.

Because of the dearth of paths going in my direction I am having to use more roads than I am comfortable with. Over the last 2 days this has included B roads where the speed and the volume of the traffic can be quite intimidating. Perhaps things are busier because it is Easter weekend. Other than the occasional dog walker I have met no other walkers on my trails so far. I am starting to encounter more cyclists, however, but I suppose that is to be expected as I am piggy-backing on their cycle routes. Seeing them struggling on the uphill sections makes me feel quite smug. Of course, on the downhill stretches they are just a blur. The influence of Bodmin Moor, followed by Dartmoor, will dominate my walking over the coming days and test my age and fitness to the limit.

The 3 days when John W joins me, 7,8 & 9, are already causing me anxiety, but I am banking on reaching an acceptable level of fitness by then.

About 6 miles out of St. Austell I slipped on a wet flagstone, banging my right knee. Crossing stiles for the rest of the afternoon caused me pain in my right ankle. I imagined for a time that my adventure could be over before it had begun. Luckily my ankle now seems fine and I am only sporting a small bruise above my knee. This just reminds me that there are a thousand things that could scupper my plans and I will need all the luck I can muster in the days and weeks ahead.

I should have mentioned before now that the concept and organisation of this blog is all thanks to my oldest son, Peter. He is devoting what little free time he has to keeping it updated. It is taking the time, money and interest of a large number of individuals to help me make this happen. I do appreciate it.