Day 19: Carnon Down to Lands End and back to Penzance (57 miles)

At the End

Another great start to the day. I felt invigorated and had a lot more energy. I think part of this was that I knew that I didn’t have far to go and so I could push myself without having to worry about saving energy for the next day. Amazing how much more power you can put out if you don’t need to worry about sustaining it.

I decided to follow National Cycle Network Route 3 the rest of the way. It took be along some back ways, on a few dirt and gravel paths and by a couple things that I never would have otherwise seen. Cornwall used to be a big mining area and the route took me by some of the old mines. It even went along the side of an old mine tailings pond that was posted with “Warning: Toxic. Do not enter” signs.

At the End
At the End

By early afternoon I had reached Lands End! A much more bustling tourist attraction than John O’Groats, but not much really there. I signed the register in the hotel and got my picture taken at the sign. Then I sat down for a celebratory half pint (still had about 12 miles to ride back to Penzance).

One group that had just finished had done the entire thing in 8.5 days! They had taken a different route from me and completed it in just over 900 miles, but that still means that they were doing over 100 miles a day! The most amazing thing is that they had decided to do the trip just four weeks before starting and none of them were cyclists. Of course they were fully supported and carried nothing on the bikes, but that is still an incredible achievement.

Another couple a met was just passing through on their way to Cardiff. They were cycling along the coast and were carrying camping gear. They admitted to halving to get off and push the bikes up some of the hills. Cycling was nothing new to them, though. The wife had completed the North Sea Route over a series of years (a bit each year) and the husband had joined her for some of that.

After a bit I headed back to Penzance on the A roads, which were much more direct and less hilly than the NCN 3. At Penzance I had a few hours to kill before my train at 9:45 and so found a pub to sit and people watch.

A great end to a great trip.

One thought on “Day 19: Carnon Down to Lands End and back to Penzance (57 miles)”

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