Day 1 - 5
Day 6 - 10
Day 11 - 15
Day 16 -18

 

Day 1
Land's End to Zennor - 16 miles

We were standing on the edge of Britain in our pants, and it was raining and blowing a hurricane. Cycling 1000 miles to the top of Scotland, without any money, clothes, or bikes began to feel like a very stupid idea.
Within minutes however, we were approached by some Australians who took pity on our scrawny bodies and donated a t-shirt to us. We then raided the lost property at The Land's End Hotel and were kitted out with cardigans, baseball caps, pinstripe suit trousers, t-shirts and a pink umbrella. We were then given a pair of trainers from a guy in the car park and a pair of socks from a fellow end-to-ender. Almost fully clothed, and with one shoe each, we were ready to hit the road.
We spent most of the day walking. We got some wellies from a farmer, trousers from the Coastguard, a frisbee found in the road and a picnic set from a lady named Liz (the latter, we carried all the way to John O'Groats for some reason). We were making slow progress and nobody had any bikes. Lunch came in the form of a bacon sandwich and all sorts of biscuits and sweets from people waiting at the local flying school/airport, after their flights were delayed by the fog.
We called into the pub in St Just that we’d been at the night before, and many of the locals were still there propping up the bar. We were bought 2 beers and given a huge pair of riggers boots which were covered in concrete and weighed more than the two of us put together. George was given a crystal earring by a guy named Eric. It was the first of 2 items of bling that he was given on the trip. It was very thoughtful, but it wasn't going to get us to John O'Groats any quicker.
The breakthrough finally came in the form of a rusty old BMX, which was pulled from the undergrowth by a young farmer named Ross. His neighbour, Sue, kindly gave us a WWF Wrestling scooter too.
The fog closed in, and it was dark by the time we reached Zennor and we had nowhere to stay. Harry Mann, a local farmer, offered us one of his barns for the night and we gladly accepted. Our roommate for the night was a gigantic prize winning bull called Surprise. For dinner, we paid a visit to a wedding reception down the road, and the caterer put together a hamper of pork, stuffing, cheese and bread. We ate it back in the barn with our picnic set. After an exhausting first day, it was time to hit the hay, literally.


Day 2
Zennor to Camborne - 30 miles

We had gone mouldy by the time we woke up. The damp and the flies had covered our clothes and faces in black spots. Surprise, the bull, had not been the quietest of roommates in the night, but we’d managed to get a pretty good night's sleep. Harry and Caroline gave us a huge fry-up and 2 Cornish pasties and we set off in a buoyant mood.
We stopped for lunch in St Ives, ate our pasties and had a ride in a speedboat. We lent our bikes to 2 children, who then tried to steal them. We’d become very attached to our bikes by this point and so we chased the peskey kids all around town until we got them back.
5 miles beyond St Ives, we met Roger Badcock, who was every bit as legendary as his name. Roger fixed old bikes, and we persuaded him to swap our machines for a small racing bike (nicknamed The Falcon), and a pink girl’s mountain bike (nicknamed Pinky). We were now able to start making real progress. If it wasn’t for Roger Badcock, we might still be in Cornwall.
We arrived in Camborne, and managed to get a room for free at the Vyvyan Arms, in exchange for our frisbee. Scott and Billy, the landlord and landlady, and all the locals were some of the most supportive people we met on the entire trip, and despite still having 950 miles ahead of us, they never doubted that we would succeed. After 2 Chinese takeaways and a couple of beers it was time for bed.

 

Day 3
Camborne to Nanstallon - 48 miles

We had breakfast at The Vyvyan where the crew gave us 2 new t-shirts, which became known as our ‘Sunday Best’. We set off towards Redruth and then cut back towards the coast. On a steep decent, Ben misheard George’s shout of ‘look at that crane’ as ‘do an emergency stop’, at which point George realised that the brakes on The Falcon did not work at speed and he smashed into the back of Ben’s bike. A nearby garage gave the brakes a tweak, and we were off again.
Next stop was The World in Miniature. It was exactly as described and we had a satisfying world tour in about 20mins. Donna, the manager, kindly piled us high with pasties, lucozade and pick 'n' mix.
The rest of the day was spent on roads with grass growing in the middle of them. Ben was beginning to get cross with Cornwall and its hills and at one point threw Pinky into the hedge, before realising he would be much slower without it.
We arrived in the quaint village of Nanstallon with no idea where we were going to stay. A man who had been mowing the church lawn helped us out with directions, and suggested a farm we could try. He then reappeared 5 minutes later and offered us a bed for the night. David, the lawnmower man, turned out to be a former Council Chief Exec who led the clear-up operation after the Boscastle floods in 2004. He and his wife Annie, treated us to a fantastic evening of food and stories. Annie then “borrowed” 6 pairs of socks from her elderly neighbour, whom she had decided had far too many pairs, and gave them to us.

 

Day 4
Nanstallon to Okehampton - 52 miles

After a nice long breakfast with David and Annie, and an introduction to their chicken, Diamond Lil, it was time to hit the road. We followed The Camel Trail for 6 miles. It was an old railway line and was the first flat ground we’d seen since the car park at Land's End.
By complete chance, we met Reg Savill along the way. He holds the record for being the oldest person to walk from John O’Groats to Lands End. He was aged 76 and a former commando. He still walks at least 10 miles a day with his wife and does 40 pressups a day (not with his wife). He is apparently mentioned in the Lands End Experience museum – “just down the wall from Ian Botham”, in his words.
We cycled on to Camelford, where we got ham and biscuits from the butcher. We then rode on to Launceston and ate our lunch at the castle after a tedious long uphill cycle (walk).
Okehampton was the next main town we came across, and it was to be our home for the night. We tried The White Hart first of all, and manageress Glen was only too keen to let us stay, providing we did a few jobs for her. These included washing the outside of the hotel (which incidentally should be in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest hotel in the world), picking up all the leaves from the carpark and cleaning up the gunk that had missed the bins. The jobs only took 1 ½ hours, and we realised it was a pretty good deal in exchange for dinner, bed and breakfast.
Arek, the Polish pizza chef, treated us to one of his specials, and then gave us Polish beers in his flat and played us some awful Polish music. We both crawled to bed at about 2am.

 

Day 5
Okehampton to Walton - 81 miles

The ketchup bottle exploded all over George at breakfast and ruined his Sunday Best.
Glen inspected our cleaning tasks from the night before and we passed with flying colours.
We had a brilliant morning cycling through tiny villages with pretty names. We arrived in the village of Thorverton shortly before lunch and called into the Thorverton Arms. We washed up a mountain of pots and pans, in exchange for probably the best meal we had on the entire trip. Freshly made lasagne, chips, salad and garlic bread. We were completely bloated but still hoped to do another 50 miles after lunch.
We reached Wellington more easily than we thought, so we headed onwards to Taunton. We passed through Taunton without breaking sweat, and thought we might make it all the way to Glastonbury.
It started to get dark, but there was nowhere to even attempt to stay. No houses, no farms, no campsites, nothing.
We eventually arrived in the village of Walton soon after dark. There was one campsite but Mrs Rogers, the owner, had no room (or sympathy) for us and was about to send us on our way, when we managed to pull our most pathetic looking faces. Mrs Rogers caved in and showed us to a self-catering apartment just for the 2 of us.
We walked to the nearby pub, where the same pathetic faces earned huge plates of ham egg and chips.

 

 

Day 1 - 5
Day 6 - 10
Day 11 - 15
Day 16 -18