Day 3: Lows, highs, going under and up again
One of The Brash clan’s favourite places for a family meal, whenever we are in Cornwall, is The Rising Sun in St Mawes, and in honour of their hospitality, we had booked a meal there the evening before. But the timings and circumstance mentioned in the previous post, compounded by the incompetent farce of a local taxi company meant we had to make do with ‘homemade’ that night.
Determined not to miss out, though, we started day three with a slight detour on our first cycle and had breakfast in The Rising Sun (just after the sun had risen). It was good to see our friends there and thank the St Austell Brewery for their support with a few ‘pint in hand’ photographs outside.
Planning has to be dynamic!
In any journey, there will be a variety of highs and lows. Interestingly, the whole episode with missing dinner was more of a low for me than some of the physically and emotionally challenging days to come. It was the idea that months of planning and lots of promises could come to nothing – over nothing. I suppose, for me frustration is more exhausting than exhaustion is frustrating… If that makes any sense?
The key lesson here is that change is inevitable. I could do this whole thing again (seriously ‘I could’), and take into account all the planning lessons I learned this time round…. and something else would still go wrong. In any plan, you have to allow for change. It is the only way! A good plan has to be dynamic!
Back to the beaten track…
The next ‘planned’ part of the journey was a 6km kayak across Falmouth Harbour, but a 25 miles per hour headwind soon put a stop to that. I had discussed with Penny that if there was ever a marginal decision, regarding safety, that I would back off. Now, ‘marginal’ is a broad and relatively subjective concept, but on this occasion, I made the same choice she would have done. After all I had promised her I wouldn’t kill myself on the journey (and she would have killed me if I’d broken that one).
The result of my ‘wise decision’ was a detour resulting in a 130km cycle to Land’s End. Dave was still with me at this point so it was nice to get out on the road again with him and take out my frustration on the pedals.
Same place, different feeling…
I was met with an odd and entirely unexpected emotion when I arrived at Land’s End. The last time I was there it was something of a victory, having just completed a cycle from John o’Groats, this time, it was merely a pit stop. Having missed my first kayak that day, I was looking forward to the second one. It came at the end of a delightful couple of hours in bright sunshine ‘with a tailwind’ cycling up to St Ives. This was an 8km kayak and it was supposed to be an easy one… almost Hawaii Five-O style. The first 98% of the crossing was perfect, then disaster struck… again.
As I was paddling home onto Godrevy Beach, a big wave sideswiped me into the blue. I managed to get back to the shore OK but my kit was wet and my phone (including GPS and satnav) was ruined. The obvious business analogy here writes itself. I was on the crest of a wave, sitting well above troubled waters, enjoying the sunshine, almost across the line and then taken off guard and capsized. In simple terms, you cannot afford to take your eye off the goal just because the going is good.
From that point on I had to rely on my backup kit, including second rate tech and slower connection speeds. Just another complication on what was turning out to be quite a challenging and educational adventure. The day ended via Padstow, running and on two wheels, and finally arriving for dinner in Rock.
St Mawes to Rock
Total = 186km; Cycle = 174km; Run = 3km; Kayak = 8km; Swim = 1km