Day 5

St. Austell to Lostwithiel – 12 miles (71 total)

The last time I remember doing a walk over Easter was The Cotswold Way in April 1992. This morning, as I set off from St. Austell, en route for Lostwithiel, the church bells serenaded me out of town, reminding me it was indeed Easter Sunday and to some people it means more than just a couple of days off work and chocolate eggs. The weather was dry, in fact, I was blessed with perfect walking conditions, but for how long?

Again a climb out of town. Within half an hour I passed a charming elderly gentleman walking the other way. He stopped me for a chat, asking me where I was headed. When I told him ‘Lostwithiel’ he wanted to know the details and what route I was taking. We talked for a few minutes and he corrected my poor geography of this part of England, gently reminding me that the River Tamar is the boundary between Cornwall and Devon – or, as he said, between Cornwall and abroad. This is something I am beginning to appreciate about the inhabitants of this county which props up the bottom left corner of England. Like the Scots they are proud of their long history and individual identity. We parted company exchanging our relative ages – he was 83 – and almost forming our own personal mutual-admiration society. He told me that he wished he was doing my day’s walk, and I said I hope I look as good as him if I reach the age of 83.

Beware of walking pensioners!

Later, near Bodelva, I was stopped for a minute, looking at my map and GPS, when a passing car pulled up and the lady driver asked if I was looking for the entrance to the Eden Project which apparently I had just passed. It reaffirms your faith in human nature when people go out of their way to offer assistance. I’d quite forgotten that my route took me close to this major tourist attraction. No time for such distractions, though, I have a walk to do.

Not long after, at Cornhill Farm, I heard the sound of excited children as I neared a cottage. I do believe I was witnessing the ancient Cornish tradition of an Easter Egg Hunt… not. When we were young it was eggs boiled, painted and rolled. Of course we had chocolate eggs too. As the wise man said, ‘Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be ‘. Hollywood has a lot to answer for. Anyway, not one to pass up an opportunity, I asked if I could join the hunt. Unsurprisingly, the kids voted me out.

Around 1.30 pm the rain started, gradually getting heavier as I approached my destination. It was pretty wet, and so was I, when I walked in to Lostwithiel around 2.30 pm for a reasonably early finish.