This was the smallest day's walk on the whole tour. I had determined not to overtax myself the first week, aiming at about 45 miles per day. As there was no convenient stopping place for the first day at this distance, I had decided when making out my list, to reach St.
Austell and have an easy walk on Tuesday. Besides, Plymouth struck me as a good town for a meeting. Hence the arrangement.
From a record-breaking point of view it was throwing time away to stay here. However, this is overrunning the story.
Before retiring for the night, we decided, in view of the possibility of another hot day, to make an early start for Plymouth next morning, and take a long rest during the heat of the day, if necessary.
The great bane of long distance walking is blistered feet, and hot weather has a very bad effect in this direction.
We planned the start for 5 o'clock, but 15 minutes prior to this I was on my way once more.
Past experience had taught me that it is most difficult to find the way out of a strange town in the early morning when very few people are about.
To avoid any possibility of making a mistake, I had instructed my cyclist to find the way out before he went to bed.
St. Blazey was the next town to St. Austel, and when the first man my attendant asked, informed him that it was "straight out" to this place, he concluded that his instructions were all-sufficient. He had yet to learn that the inhabitants of towns are often very much at sea as to where they live.
As a rule, there is no "straight out" of towns.
Scarcely had I gone 100 yards “straight out," when the first check met me in the shape of a stone building. The road here forked.
A sorter at the Post Office put me on the way again with another "straight out". Another half-a-mile, and another division of the road.
I took the right-hand way, which was wrong. My cyclist, following later, took the left: he was right; but we had lost each other. A mile or two later my mistake was apparent: I had reached the seashore.
No one seemed stirring at this early hour, and things were unpleasant to say the least. In my dilemma I looked around, and just as I had resolved to awaken someone, I caught sight of a man in uniform with a telescope fixed in my direction.
Quickly I made for him, and was a minute or two later undergoing the scrutiny of the coastguard.
When he was satisfied that I was not a foreign spy or anything dangerous, I was directed, very politely, on my journey. No "straight out" this time, but: "Take the road to the right, round by the chapel, and the next turning to the right."
A miserable drizzling rain commenced about this time, which added to my discomfort. My cyclist early became aware that he had missed me, and. whenever possible, left news of his whereabouts.
At Lostwithiel (8 ½ miles) the inhabitants are evidently early risers, for they were astir when I passed through. Reliable news of my attendant was obtained here. The rain had now ceased, and by the time I had overtaken my cyclist, pushing his machine up a hill about 1^ miles long, my clothing was dry once more.
All was now right, except that I had covered two or three miles that did not count.
My appetite was keen indeed, and so my friend was instructed to go forward and order breakfast.
By 9 o'clock we had both settled down to a substantial meal, provided by a kindly baker's wife at East Taphouse.
There was no particular hurry today, and so we had a rest of 1 ¼ hours, and then made for Liskeard (19 ¾ miles for the day).
At Polbathic, 9 miles from Plymouth, dinner was served. Here for the f1rst time I tasted "Devonshire Junket," since when I have been loud in my praises of this delicious food.
At Tor Point we were delayed twenty minutes waiting for the ferry. The day's walking was finally ended at 5.45 p.m.