Day 2: September 11 th , St. Austell to Princetown
As we left the B&B the owner gave us a donation towards the Nursing Home where Linda works our sponsorship cause for the ride. On our way out of town we called at Tesco for our provisions for the day. Conversation with the first of many people who were interested in the tandem, having had one themselves in earlier years.
Day started hot and sunny and humid. Lots of water needed! This was a very hilly day involving lots of pushing. We soon came to the conclusion that it was ridiculous to wear ourselves out trying to cycle up the steeper hills, finding ourselves saying "I feel a walk coming on here"! Walking proved to be only a little slower than trying to cycle the hills but much less tiring. Fortunately we were prepared for this being a hilly section so the low daily mileage and the frequent pushing didn't put us off like it might have done had we not expected it.
Followed the A390 via Lostwithiel almost to Liskeard, picking up the A38 for a few miles into Liskeard, fortunately not for long. This was where we were led astray on a cycle path. These are a good idea when they are properly done but this one was worse than useless. It seemed good at first since it took us off the busy dual carriageway and followed it on a parallel track for a short while. However, it soon started to dive downwards, ending at a barrier which took us across a narrow lane going under the dual carriageway. What was facing us on the opposite side of the lane but a long flight of steps back up to the dual carriageway! Imagine trying to manhandle a laden tandem up these! This experience deterred us from using cycle tracks again for most of the rest of the trip.
It was on the outskirts of Liskeard that we noticed the first of many queues of cars. We couldn't understand why all these cars were queuing outside a supermarket but thought no more about it at the time. It was only when we heard the news later that we realised that the fuel blockades were the cause! This was great for us since, from then on for the rest of that week, the roads were exceptionally quiet. Great!
From Liskeard we took the A390 again to Tavistock. This looked like a nice place and we thought about looking for a B&B here. However, we decided that it would be better to get the climb up onto Dartmoor out of the way that evening rather than start with it the following morning. And what a climb! It wasn't the steepest we experienced on the trip but it was one of the toughest. As we gained height (pushing a lot!) the weather closed in and we ended up in thick mist on the high ground. Time was getting on so we started looking for B&Bs, however there's not much habitation up here. In the end we headed into Princetown, high on the moor.
We were puzzled by signs by the road telling us to keep out of the land on either side because it was government property. We only realised that it was Dartmoor Prison land as we cycled past the prison itself. There was only one B&B available with a room for us as well - just as well we got the room: the nearest place after this was miles away and we were tired out. Our room looked out over the prison, a rather austere looking building! A very nice meal at the local pub which was steeped in history, being one of the first buildings to be built in Princetown.
Day 2 - Mileage: Day 47; Cumulative 106