Day 6

Lostwithiel to Liskeard – 13.4 miles (84.4 total)

The rain that started yesterday was continuous and heavy. I awoke at 3.30 during the night to realise that it had stopped at last. The sheer volume of water worried me so I plotted an alternative route into my GPS than the one I’d planned, eliminating some paths which I guessed might be sodden.

This morning was the first first time I ventured out fully togged up with all the waterproofs. About 2 miles in to the walk I hit my first problem. A series of forest paths that I had hoped to follow through a plantation seemed to only have private access and I didn’t want to upset anyone. My immediate alternative was to take the A road which is really a last resort. I am not carrying individual OS maps, because of the weight, but do have OS printouts of my route. My GPS can cope with this but it’s not ideal.

After a short distance trying to negotiate the verge of the A road my next problem presented itself… a police sign on the road stating that the road was closed and indicating a diversion down minor roads. What was the problem, was it flooding? I had no wish to go even further off route and share country lanes with heavy traffic so I took the gamble that, although the road was closed to vehicles, a mad walker could squeeze by. At worst I could retrace my steps back along the road. Soon I met a farmer and asked him what the problem was, was it flooding? He said that 2 cars had ended up in the ditch because of the rain but the flooding may have subsided. I wandered along with the whole road to myself. When I reached the point where the accidents had occurred I met the man who had been the first to go off the road the previous night. He had encountered around a foot and a half of water, ending up in the ditch with his car now a write-off. No-one was hurt, thankfully, but his misfortune was my good luck. The road was now back to normal and I had 2 miles of A road all to myself. The rest of the walk was, essentially, off the planned route but I managed to link up again 3 miles before Liskeard.

John is due to join me this evening and he’ll walk the next 3 days with me. The pints-to-miles ratio might conceivably increase while I have his company.

Tomorrow’s walk to Tavistock is at least 19 miles. Fingers crossed it doesn’t prove to be a step too far. The blog might be a little curtailed for the next 3 long days.