Another memorable week end for our jaunty group of seven (missing our girls who were taking part in the Dartmoor Classic but wishing them all the best of luck). As usual, we handed our camping gear over to Geoff before heading up the hill to Upton Cross, left to Rilla Mill and along that lovely ridgeway to Pulsa and our first coffee stop at Subway. From here along the old A30, a surprisingly comfortable route, to Launceston and delightful lunch at No. 8 – the welcoming cycle café in Westgate Street. (narrative continues below pictures)
Now continuing along the former A30 to Sourton Cross – the temperature was soaring (David issued a warning about avoiding melting tar) and I personally found this section difficult, mostly through lack of training miles – although the trip was made a little lighter by a welcome stop for a chat with the comedian, Jethro, who lives there. I was very grateful to my companions for waiting and encouraging and delighted when we finally turned right and dropped down onto the Granite Trail. From here an easy ride along to The Fox and Hounds at Bridestowe above Mary Tavy – and relieved to see Geoff waiting with his traditional cream tea in their campsite behind the pub. Tents up; showers and then supper at the pub – very welcome.(narrative continues below pictures)
Next morning, Geoff and I took a stroll up the hill – beautiful views before breakfast, where there was plenty to say about the goings on through the night – an interesting experience staying in a pub camp site! An hour later we were grateful for the gazebo as a menacing cloud dumped its contents on the campsite and let us know in no uncertain terms that rain was definitely settling in. So, waterproofs on and we set off, again down the Camel trail to Lydford; into the village and then right at the war memorial and down the hill towards Chillaton. Very dark and wet and hundreds of Dartmoor Classic cyclists battling the weather in the opposite direction, many of them wearing only their cycle shirts. From Chillaton, up the other side and along to Horsebridge for the most welcome and delicious coffee break. The stop coincided with the rain drying up and the sun coming out so that we could continue happily along to Stoke Climsland, up to the main road and left along to Kelly Bray for our lunch stop at The Engine House in brilliant sunshine. The last stretch was our ride down through Golberdon and up the very steep hill to Pensilva punctuated by many stops for a fleet of treasure hunters (personally, I was quite relieved to have to stop for them!). From Pensilva, back home via Crows Nest and St. Cleer.
Thank you to David for organising a fascinating route with interesting weather; to my lovely companions for so much fun and support; and to Geoff for the food and taking the tents.