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Sarah’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 10 Mar 2007

Location: Penzance, England

MapWell I was intending to be in Truro tonight and instead I'm in Penzance, these things happen, but I'll come to the reasons for this later. Instead lets start at the beginning, a novel idea I know. After a solid 10 hours sleep I woke up feeling really refreshed, well after that much sleep how could anyone not. I left nice and earlyish, and rode for about five minutes until I got to the end of the hostels drive, it was quite a long driveway, but nice to ride along, the Estury was covered in mist and beautiful to see. After getting to the end of the drive I rode for about a minute up the road before gettin off to push my bike up the rest of the hill, I had predicted this yesterday as I coasted down all the hills I'd been able to. Thank god this hill was not so big and after reaching the top of it I got to speed down the other side of it, which was longer and had taken me ages to push my bike up the day before. After that I actually got to pedal for a bit cos the road was relativly flatish for a bit. Then I decided to try a bit of a different route from the way I went in, as usual with this kind of idea the first turn is signposted but none after that. Eventually I figured out that I couldn't be far off as once again I was pushing my bike up a massive hill, and I did coast down an equally massive hill the day before. This hill took ages to get up but it was through some beautiful bits of forest. Lots of creeks and moss and lovely twisty trees. At the top of the hill I found out I hadn't gone wrong after all, I was almost at the Eden Project which was my major landmark for my journey, once I'd passed it I was two thirds of the way back to St Austell and from there the new bit of my journey would start. Once I was past the Eden Project it was all downhill, Literally, I got to coast down another huge hill which was really fun. Finally there was only one more hill between meand St Austell, and it was only a nice little one and this is were trouble struck. As I was peddling up the hill naturally I changed gears and my chain slipped. So I had to stopped, lift my bike off the road take all my bags off and fix the chain. While I was doing that This old man walking past stopped to check that I was alright, which was nice, and he told me his whole life's story and called a whole lot of people over to help me even though I had already fixed it, so spent a few minutes chatting to a few of the St Austell locals before setting off again. For awhile everything was fine but then I came to another and the same thing happened but without the audience this time. And then I was off again, and the same thing happened. I think I must have gotten mud in the gears, or they were jolted out of alignment over some of the rough ground. Anyway I was a bit pissed off. I didn't want to spent the rest of the day fixing my chain every time I had to change gears and I didn't want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere so I decided to just catch the train to Penzance and see If I could find somewhere to get my bike fixed there. So I made sure I had a bed in a hostel and I hopped on a train. After about an hour I arrived in Penzance and instantly knew I loved it. There was salt in the air and th squark of seagulls. I had just missed the reception of my hostel so I sat on the Prommenade and watched the tide come in for a few hours until the reception opened again. It's still out of season here so I have a seven bed room all to myself which is really nice and the hostel is only a few minutes from the Prommenade. After dumping all my stuff I headed back to the Promenade intent on finding some hot chips. Eventually I found a Chippy and got some nice greasy hot chips to eat on the foreshore. I think there's something missing when there's no open fish and chip shops on the water front, nore Ice cream shops, not on the Prommenade anyway, there are some near the railway station opposite the carpark, what a waste. Anyway chips in hand I wandered back along the prommenade, buffeted by wind but enjoyng myself. Eventually I got a bit cold so I headed back to the hostel to relax for the rest of the night. I didn't find any Pirates!!!