Day 5, Tuesday 27 May, 2014 - Penzance to Okehampton

Dist : 168 km
Riding time: 8:10:24
Total time (including stops) : 11:45
Riding time: 8:10:24
Stops: 5
Ascent/descent (m): 2,424/2,301

I arrived in Okehampton later then planned at 19:00, after 168 km today. 10 km out I went for the extra chocolate rations for an energy boost.
The GPS was showing the hotel being in a little village 11km before Okehampton. I soon found out it was the White Hart Inn, not Hotel as I had booked.  I had done a quick search and put the wrong address in the GPS.
So it was back on the bike for another tough 11km of climbing and final descent into the town. The hotel was on the way in and my bike was locked securely in the laundry.

Dinner was 2 cokes, 2 salads, garlic bread and a lasagna. I'd had a poor version of a hamburger at 13:00, so a decent pasta meal was welcome.

The riding was as expected, sharp ups and downs. Going thru Bodmin moors was on the only available road, the dual carriage A30, which to date I had done my best to avoid. The two Aussies killed last year on their first day on the A30 was mentioned by a few people I spoke to. The GPS did a good job finding the back roads, including some old roads that had to be entered via a gate. It's possible to start from Penzance on the A30, and it's fast and shortest route, but there are many warnings on the internet of the dangers and lunacy of riding with trucks and high speed traffic.

Highlights:

1. Launceston castle ruins- stumbled across it and spent an hour looking around the interesting Middle Ages ruins.

2. Cornish villages- some as close as 1km apart. Many have mining history and some of the big tailing mounds still exist and reclamation is under way.
3. Signs that display 14% descent. Enjoy it whilst it last, because physics dictates there will be a climb to match.
4. The sun was out. 40% chance of showers predicted, but it was a blue sky most of the day and generally a light tailwind.
5. Cafe Nero in Truro. A great hot chocolate at last.
6. Buying a 3G SIM for my phone with one month's unlimited data on the '3' network.
7. Talking/texting with the family. iMessage and Skype are great for keeping in contact.

 An old mine as would be expected in Cornwall - This one is between Redruth and Camborn.

An old mine as would be expected in Cornwall - This one is between Redruth and Camborn.

 Cornwall country side - my first photo of green pastures. The locals told me that this corner of the UK was the sunniest and warmest spot in the country on this day.

Cornwall country side - my first photo of green pastures. The locals told me that this corner of the UK was the sunniest and warmest spot in the country on this day.

 Launceston, Cornwall - an unexpected castle to look around.

Launceston, Cornwall - an unexpected castle to look around.

 My first major hedgerow- done without power tools

My first major hedgerow- done without power tools

 Prior to this I'd taken a 11% descent sign photo. The only down side was that the roads did not allow full advantage of the descent, due to the twists, bridges, narrowness and surface. The brakes get a workout.

Prior to this I'd taken a 11% descent sign photo. The only down side was that the roads did not allow full advantage of the descent, due to the twists, bridges, narrowness and surface. The brakes get a workout.

 Another scenic village (Camborne) - the sun is still out, so I was a happy cyclist.

Another scenic village (Camborne) - the sun is still out, so I was a happy cyclist.

 By this point I was running low on energy, so went for the Aldi dark chocolate.

By this point I was running low on energy, so went for the Aldi dark chocolate.

 Another county, another photo opportunity. The Sony Action camera in the back pocket was handy for a quick photo, either stopped or on-the-go.

Another county, another photo opportunity. The Sony Action camera in the back pocket was handy for a quick photo, either stopped or on-the-go.

 Penzance to Okehampton

Penzance to Okehampton