Day Twenty-one: Climbing to Cornwall
Exeter to the bridge over The Tamar. 41.12 miles. Total: 930.06 miles
The journey west from Exeter towards Cornwall was always going to be a testing one. There was no way of avoiding the inexorable rise in height that we encountered in heading out from Exeter towards Okehampton and this proved both tiring and mentally testing. We headed out of Exeter along the road to Tedburn St Mary accompanied by Auntie Jo, who played an important part in entertaining and cajoling Izzy as we climbed and climbed - not overly steep but relentless. Various support vehicles met us along the way: Heidi, Martha and Hetty in the Volvo, Uncle Adam and Herbert in the Amazon and Granny and Grandad in their Discovery. Coffee after 10 miles was very welcome but the hills kept on coming as we skirted Dartmoor for lunch in Sticklepath, where Heidi had found a lovely spot in a small park. The afternoon saw more climbs: first out of Sticklepath, then out of Okehampton. Izzy stuck to her task well and we finally hit a long descent as the Cornish border neared. The relentless hills had taken their toll, so when we found another in our way Izzy decided that enough was enough and we had an unexpected break on the side of the road. It is to her immense credit that she quickly recovered her energy and decided that we should continue on until we had reached Cornwall. We covered the remaining six miles in good time, crossing the Tamar and passing the 'Welcome to Cornwall' sign just outside Launceston. Although shorter than planned, the day was a good one and we now have 90 miles remaining.