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  • Writer's pictureJane Smith

Day 9 Rest in Tintagel

I was worried last night, my left shin was very sore, and I was concerned that it was becoming a problem. Together with the blister, I wasn’t sure what today would bring in terms of my mobility. But a very early night and a relaxed start to the day seems to have helped, together with treatment from my super lightweight TENS machine that’s in my first aid kit (thanks Jenny, it’s been amazing!). No discernible problems. But I decided to really take it easy today, and have a proper rest.

I didn’t want to miss out on the castle though, it is the reason for having the stop in Tintagel. As a friend told me, Tintagel is great if you face away from the village. It’s touristy and King Arthur agogo. The castle is another thing entirely. Whether or not you believe the mystical stories about Arthur, there is no doubt this is a special place. It appears implacable and resolute against the elements, though in fact that is the opposite of what happened historically, with the castle becoming separated from the mainland by a rock fall.

Tourists reach the main body of where the castle stood by an impressive foot bridge which is not for the faint hearted.

Having been fairly isolated for the last 8 days, only meeting a few people at a time on the path, it was slightly discombobulating being with so many. But the castle is big enough to get some space and imagine what it might have been like when monarchs owned it, and then later as a backdrop to the various industries that took place at its foot. It’s magic. And so was the sea, the colours stunning today.

I walked up the steep slope to the village past the incongruous bagpiper in a Moscow T-shirt who was impressing the tourists. As an ex busker I normally support street musicians - this was a step too far. Instead I had a look at the Old Post Office, a small manor house from the 15th century that eventually ended up as the letter receiving office for the village. It was rescued by the National Trust 120 years ago. Looking at the small parlour, I was struck at the austerity of the lives of those who had been there, that their repose in an evening would be sitting on an upright wooden chair in a smoky room. Last night when things all seemed very difficult I would have found it hard to get comfort there.

Whilst in Cornwall I have managed to source two of the main food groups, pasties and fudge, which have been excellent sustenance whilst walking. Today I added the third, with the less conventional but no less delicious savoury cream tea.

And I’ve also sourced my suit of armour for the remainder of the journey.

And for the rest of the day I’ve been properly resting. Sleeping, reading, doing a bit of my Italian studies, talking to dear people. And then writing this blog sitting outside my B and B looking at this view, where I’ll be walking tomorrow. If you look very carefully, on the distant horizon you can faintly see Hartland, where I’ll be on Friday.


Distance travelled: 5 miles during the day

Local tipple: a can of Appletise whilst having a picnic

Dinner on the grass: salad, cheese, a piece of cake!

New song of the day:

MØL: Serf

Black metal is not a genre I listen to normally. I gave it three listens to give it a proper chance. Great guitar playing, fantastic drummer and definitely lots of energy! But really concerned about the damage the singer is doing to his vocal folds…

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