LETJOG – Day 6: Sunday 23 May – BUDE to HORNS CROSS (19 miles)
Perhaps it’s the case that the better measure of stamina in an endurance test such as LETJOG lies not in the triumph of one day’s accomplishment, however significant, but more in the collateral after-effects. Certainly, I felt, as I plodded heavy-legged, under-lunched and soaking wet up the steep grassy hill to this evening’s refuge, that another 19 soggy miles on the back of yesterday’s long hike was more than a 60-year old body deserves!
But then came The Coach & Horses, at Horns Cross. Landlords Tina and Chris welcomed me in with a ‘Dartmoor Jail’ pint, shrugged off my concern at the puddle ponding at my feet, and insisted on giving me the fireside seat. Introducing me to locals Kenny and Sean, we swapped stories of great walks and of their own memorable acts of support for charity – thank you all for supporting LETJOG too!
So circumstances and outlooks can change very quickly: wet to dry, solitude to company, fatigue to conviviality. This is the lot of the long-distance walker, and it is, I would guess, a large part of why we take on these challenges and adventures. And as I was trudging those final wet miles today I reflected with gratitude on all the wonderful comments and support I am getting from so very many friends and family. Thank you all so much.
A couple of milestones reached – this morning I passed 110 miles, being 10% of the LETJOG journey. I also crossed the upper Tamar, leaving behind the cliffs and coves of north Cornwall for the rolling dairy pastures of north Devon. Rachel and I have come to love Cornwall over the last decade through our annual October break in St Agnes with good friends, whilst my affinity for the moors, coasts, and red-hued soils of Devon goes back 40 years to my OODS (Out Of Doors Society) walks of Exeter University days.
The rain precluded much opportunity for photos today, but here’s a couple: