Tynedale Hospice at Home Logo and Contact Details

Monday 3 June

Up ridiculously early at 5am to get a 615 train to Newcastle with connections getting us to Penznace at 1715 - a long journey. Mostly the journey was outstandingly beautiful, especially through Devon and Cornwall where we intersected with some of the cycle route back North. The change at Plymouth to Penzance put us on a packed to the gunnels train where there was standing in the aisles. My reserved seat was taken by a sleeping child whose mother (feeding another little one) was clearly distraught so I went to another carriage and got some surly youth to remove his large rucksack and surfboard from the seat next to him. This does annoy me - on a crowded train why do people think they can take up 2 seats? You can see the map of the journey via the link above (with a straight line for the bit where the phone battery ran out!)

We then faced a 13 mile ride from Penzance to Sennen B&B near Land's End after changing on the station. The day's earlier apprehension now turned to excitement, we were at the beginning of a significant journey and there was no turning back. Oh no the weight of the panniers on the back - is that the strange wobble I can feel or has my bum grown? Despite all the training and simulation the panniers had never felt like that! Warily we go up the road a mile or so with stunning sea views and weather. Summer is here - at home we have just escaped winter and reached Spring. We then hit a hill worthy of Northumberland and with our muscles still not warmed up and having been still all day, we decided to walk up the hill. Failure at an early hurdle! Can we give in now? Fortunatey it got a bit easier and we reached the B&B without further issue.

Now the fun begins. We had read a few books on LEJOG and noted how generous and helpful people were and some of the amusing and entertaining things that happened on the way. I never imagined this would happen to us but then we went to the Firt and Last Inn for an evening meal and a few beers where me met Angie Strang and 'Granite'. Granite (Graham) is the size of a house with hands like buckets and played rugby for the Penzance Pirates. 25 years go he helped save the club by undertaking a sponsored LEJOG walk in 40 days. He had lots of tips and encouragement for us and he and Angie both sponsored us without asking - tremendous. He also raised money for the Cancer and Leukemia in Childhood charity.

However, Angie thought it was fantastic that I looked like her favourite soap character of all time - Curly Watts. This has happened to me before, the first time I was stopped by a passing fan in Newcastle and asked if I was THE Curly Watts. See my Facebook page for a picture of Angie and Curly. Not stopping there Angie is doing much more. She is taking 1,000 leaflets from us advertising the ride and will be distributing them on the Isle of Wight where she is apparently on stage with Emimem and will make an announcement to publicise our cause for Tynedale Hospice - wow!

By the way, I may look like Curly but apparently Robert looks like a younger David Attenborough.

Well - what an inspired start - lets hope the forthcoming few weeks are as good. Join us tomorrow and place any feedback on our Twitter and Facebook pages and please don't forget to sponsor us if you have not done so already, many thanks.