Day 2 St Austell to Exeter
Our first full day on the road loomed and 100 miles was the target. This would prove to be extremely ambitious considering what Dartmoor had in stall for us.
The day started badly to say the least. In an attempt to fix my dodgy rear break I just made things horrendously worse by letting and the brake fluid out rendering my back break absolutely useless.
Despite this we remained confident as we had been told of a short cut by the owner of our campsite in St Austell. She assured us that this 'flat' route would mean that we would miss the busy roads and cut a section of our route down. Unfortunately this was far from the case, with scarily steep climes littering our path. We came to a picturesque Cornish village where we took a ferry across the estuary, with the view of an intimidating climb facing us as soon as we disembarked.
A welcome lunch break came in Tavistock, in our 2nd county of the trip, Devon. However, rather ominously it would be the final leg where we would have the help of our support vehicle to carry all of our camping equipment, clothes and food.
After lunch we set off with an additional 10kg of weight each. This newfound burden began to tell immediately making it substantially harder to pedal, especially uphill. This would be no more evident than when we reached the national park of Dartmoor. A plethora of horrendous climbs like nothing I had prepared myself for greeted us slowing our maximum speed down to just a few mph. Which each climb my legs grew more and more tired, with the lactic acid not helping much either. Finally after more than an hour of backbreaking work we passed the last big summit and began to descend very quickly. We both had great fun racing down the rolling hills as we hit speeds in excess of 50mph.
Whilst on Dartmoor we met a 65 year old man who's birthday wish had been to let him cycle the end to end trip with company of his daughter and sun in law, who kept up a great pace and were welcome company for a few miles.
Finally we reached Exeter feeling very weary indeed. With no campsites in site we decided to crash at a local youth hostel who's comfy mattresses were a welcome break from the confines of my tiny little tent.
An early night is on the cards for both of us as we have another big day ahead of us tomorrow, as we will be venturing into Wales.
I think we're both hoping that today was the worst day as I struggle to see how it could possibly get any harder! Hopefully we will experience our first flat road!