Day 4

on May 10, 2010 | 2 comments

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Carnon Downs to Fraddon

Firstly, before I forget in my completely knackered state, I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has sponsored me since I started this crazy walk, and all of you who sponsored me before I left. It really is appreciated and to finally break the £1000 mark, well, it inspires me to walk on and on – thank you!

I’m glad to see the page hits going up on the site. I hope that means that you’re all enjoying these little (or not so little) write-ups and that the effort in the evenings isn’t wasted, especially when I could be doing something a lot better for me, like sleeping?! Some of the previous posts have been labours of love considering that they’ve been typed up on my netbook and then painstakingly typed in on my iPhone with it’s ridiculously small keyboard as I’ve had no Internet connection on my netbook. The other night I spent two hours typing it all up and getting it posted…I must be mad!

Now that that’s all out of the way I guess you want to know what’s happened since yesterday’s update?

In the end, last night, after sorting out my blog post for the day, I just couldn’t face putting my boots on again and walking “just 10 minutes” up the road. I say “up” as it was up another bloody hill. I could just about handle hobbling to the toilet let alone up the hill, over the roundabout, down the hill again…just to do it all in reverse to get back to my bed! So, I laid my head down. I was so exhausted by this time and before not very long I was fast asleep, after an initial bit of tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in, what with my nightmare feet, ankles and knees! Remind me again why I’m doing this?

After dropping off so early, and being so tired, I was really hoping for a good, long night’s sleep, but no. I promptly woke up at 1am, wide awake – damn it! For the rest of the night I slipped in and out of consciousness until my alarm went off at 7am. Not a good night at all.

Lying in bed first thing this morning I didn’t feel a great deal better than I did last night, but as I dragged my sorry backside out of bed I’m pleased to say that my body had in fact recovered quite well from the rigours of the day before. Ok, there were a few aches and pains after another day of hills, and yes, my blisters still hurt – especially my toe – but I started to get ready with a faint air of optimism for the day ahead.

I spent 20 minutes putting on plasters, tape etc. to try and make sure my feet didn’t give me too much pain throughout the day and I put thinner socks on my right foot to try and stop the pain in my toe. I also re-laced my boots to try and stop the boot from pinching the front of my feet. I guess this is a learning experience?

On top of that I’d thought about a new “foot regime” during the day. I thought it’d be a good idea to stop every couple of hours to take my boots off for 15 minutes at least. This would allow the blood to flow back to my feet and for my socks and boots to dry out a little bit before heading off again. Only time would tell if all the effort in taping up my feet and the new rest regime would do the trick for my feet. I couldn’t have another day like yesterday that’s for sure. I guess the first part of the route in to Truro would be the test to see whether or not I’d recovered ok and that my feet were indeed up to the task in hand.

Breakfast was completely divine this morning. After not having had dinner the night before I was somewhat on the hungry side and Margaret and John did me proud. I was so stuffed by the end of it I wasn’t sure I’d be able to walk anywhere, but it was very much appreciated.

While on the subject of the B & B from last night, I’d like to say a massive thank you to both Margaret and John for putting me up at the last minute. I’d also like to thank them for donating £5 of their charge to sponsor my walk. John and I were talking over breakfast and we got on to the fact that I was raising money for the British Heart Foundation. He lost his mother to a massive heart attack too, hence the donation. It was most unexpected and very much appreciated. They won’t be able to read this as they don’t have a computer, but I want to thank everyone who so kindly donates to such a good cause.

At 8:50am I headed out the door to start my walk in to Truro. Not a lot to report about that stretch other than the fact that the A39 is an awful road to walk along. Thankfully there was a footpath but all the traffic; I’d kind of gotten used to dodging the odd car every now and then and the volume of traffic on that road was a real return to reality for me.

Soon I found myself in the middle of Truro, and as I’d lost the tip to my walking pole yesterday, and I was running low on blister plasters, I thought I’d take a detour through the high street to see if I could find somewhere to buy these things from.

Surprisingly, Millets actually came up trumps with the Leki rubber tips – most unexpected – and having to wait 15 minutes for the guy to eventually not sell some boots to a lady gave me a nice break from the pack. The plasters were sourced in Superdrug. The girl behind the till gave me a bit of a quizzical look when all that was in my basket were pack after pack of blister plasters; you would have thought my pack would have given the game away and the reason why I needed them wouldn’t you?

As I was in the centre of town I thought I’d take a quick look at the cathedral and then it was back on to the trail for the day.

The first stop of my new foot regime was in a little place called Idless. I found a bench, dropped my pack, took my boots off and enjoyed the cooling breeze on my feet and the bird song from the trees.

It’s funny, after the sheer panic of not bringing my iPod with me on the way down to Cornwall, I’ve not actually listened to it on any or my walks yet. Granted, if I did I’d probably be dead by now, walking through lanes just wider than a car. If I couldn’t hear what was coming toward me or from behind me then I’d be right up shit creek I can tell you. It’s hard enough without earphones in let alone with them in and Slayer blasting into my ears!

I digress. I’m not sure how much longer these stops are going to make the day but if it helps my feet to get through the miles then it’ll certainly be worth it.

I was looking forward to the next section of the walk as it was through St. Clements woods, just past Idless. It would make a nice change from all the road walking I’d been doing. As it goes, it wasn’t the nice break from everything I first thought it would be. The entire walk through the woods was up hill – I should have guessed. It just went on and on and on; very draining. The path wasn’t that nice either for the majority of it as it was more like a flint stone road through the woods which wasn’t any more comforting on my feet than the tarmac of the roads I thought I was leaving behind for a bit.

There’s not a great deal to report for the rest of today’s route as it was all down one small lane or another, most of which just merged in to one with the odd stop every couple of hours to rest my feet, which I’m pleased to say survived a lot better than yesterday. I hope this was down to the taping up and new rest regime. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

I managed to do the entire route today without the slightest hiccup so I guess that’s something to be happy about instead of back-tracking my way to the correct path?

Also, the weather, although looking like it was just about to rain a few times through the day, actually turned out very nice indeed. So much so I think I caught the sun on my face as I completely forgot to put my hat on. Must do better next time.

I couldn’t manage to find somewhere to stay at today’s intended destination – Indian Queens – so I stopped in at the Premier Inn in Fraddon, about a mile down the road from Indian Queens. Fortunately they had a room (checked in at 4:35pm), even though it wasn’t exactly what I would “Great Value” – that Lenny Henry’s a damn liar I tell you! Still, it was only a mile short of my intended 18 miles and I didn’t end up finishing my walk and then having nowhere to stay. It’s not like I won’t be doing that mile tomorrow morning first thing now is it?

So the room, very nice that it is, I wouldn’t exactly say that £61 was really great value, seeing as I’ve stayed in some very nice places over the last few days for half that price, including breakfast. As it goes, I do get a breakfast tomorrow but that cost me another £7.75, but it is an “eat as much as you like” breakfast so I guess I’ll be filling my boots to make sure I get value for money. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they charge for Internet access too, which I fronted up as I wanted to speak to the girls over Skype, and it makes posting these updates a lot easier.

I made a video call with the girls, which really lifted my spirits I can tell you. They interact so much more when they can see me than when we just speak on the phone. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it some more over the coming weeks.

I also made video calls to Russ and Rachel, and another one to Matt. It’s been great to catch up with a few people today.

Dinner was in the Brewers Fayre next door to the Premier Inn and to be honest, it wasn’t the best food. That said, as I didn’t have a dinner last night it tasted absolutely marvelous, and the two pints of Tribute certainly helped to wash it all down – first beers since I left Penzance if you can believe it? The Whitebait starter was ok but the steak and chips, well, it wasn’t a patch on the one at the Turks Head in Penzance the other evening.

Still, I’m sat here with a full belly and this post is almost finished with. Time for me to have a soak in the bath – two nights on the trot – and then it’s off to bed to try and sooth my aches and pains. All the hills are now beginning to take their toll on my legs and back. I would say hopefully tomorrow will be better but I’ll be starting the walk heading right up another hill. Oh well, could be worse I suppose?

Photos and Route Details

If you want to find out more about this day you can see the photos I took or view the route details.


  1. Matt

    May 10, 2010

    Enjoyed the skype chat tonight bruv and yes you have caught the sun so get that bloody hat on tomorrow we both know you dont tan just red then back to white again 🙂 loving the blogs they make great reading keep em coming bruv!!

    • Ian

      May 10, 2010

      Hooked on your blogs already cuz – sat waiting for it tonite ha ha. You’ve done extremely well so far, give yourself a pat on the back. Going to write a song about your exploits some time soon ! Cheers and hope you get a good nights sleep. Ian