Day 10 – Tintagel to Boscastle (and a rest)

Isaac (aged 16 months) has not been sleeping well in the caravan, and has regularly been waking up screaming for anything up to half an hour at intervals between 1 and 3am. After yet another night of this, both Arran and I were hollow-eyed and exhausted, and I started the day’s walk (target destination Bude, over what the book descibes as “one of the most strenuous stretches of the whole End to End trail”) feeling like my legs and feet were made of lead.

Despite another beautiful sunny day and a nice start round the clifftops at Tintagel, my energy level and motivation did not improve. Even the relatively short descent into and climb out of the lovely Rocky Valley felt like a mammoth task and took me about an hour; the rising temperature did not help and my right knee in particular was very sore and reluctant to do any steps. My legs and arms were also covered in angry red hives from yesterday’s walk and I was itchy, sweaty and thoroughly miserable. I began to think that the day’s plan of walking to Bude, over some of the more demanding parts of the Coast Path, was simply not going to be feasible without a bit more sleep, and was starting to question the wisdom of attempting LEJOG with two small children in tow. I dragged myself round the coast to Boscastle, walked down into the harbour, and decided to have a cup of strong coffee in the hopes of boosting my flagging spirits.

Two large cups of coffee at the Harbour Light cafe opposite the Witchcraft Museum (friendly staff and an ace bacon sandwich) made me feel better, but no more energetic, and after about half an hour sat in the sun, eyeing the path out of the harbour with growing reluctance, I decided that it would be more sensible to have a very short day and continue from Boscastle towards Bude tomorrow. Feeling immensely relieved, but also guilty at wimping out, panicky at the thought of falling further behind schedule, and questioning my ability to do the walk at all, I sat on a bench in the shade drinking water and waited for Arran to rescue me. I had a long (unplanned) nap in the afternoon and went to bed early.

Highlights: The clear blue water round Tintagel Head, which looked so inviting I wished I could shed my boots and simply swim the rest of the way; the cheerful stream in Rocky Valley; a lovely waitress who was amazed at the thought of anyone walking anywhere along the coast from Boscastle; the mixture of relief and disappointment at the abortive day.

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4 thoughts on “Day 10 – Tintagel to Boscastle (and a rest)

  1. Poor you! Hope Isaac starts sleeping better soon and that you are feeling refreshed after a shorter day. Keep your chin up, you can do it, it’s bound to get easier as your body adjusts.

  2. Rocky Valley is indeed lovely, but I know what you mean about getting out of it. And knowing what lies north of Boscastle you were right to stop there under the circumstances – as I’m sure you found! You’re doing majorly well – lovely to see the blog back again; have been keeping an eye out!! Keep going 😉 am with you in spirit (if not in body – frankly, I’m not sure I’d be able to keep up!!!) xx

  3. Wow, the witchcraft museum is still in Boscastle? I haven’t been there for like 25 years and I remember seeing it. [And yay blog entries to read again]

  4. I was concerned about the delay in postings, but understand the wifi issues. Don’t worry about a schedule. You’ll get much stronger as the days go on, and you can make up any lost distance then. Take a rest day if you need to. Even a short day will provide the necessary rest. From my own experience I typically hit the “runner’s wall” between 14 and 17 days out. Push through them, and it becomes just like any other job.

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