Wednesday 30 May 2007

Cornwall: South West Coast Path, Land's End - Bude [18th-30th May]

[Update 1]

After eventually arriving at Land's End, it was starting to hit us that this was serious now! After all the planning, we'd suddenly been dumped at the end of Cornwall with nothing but one set of clothes, a small tent held up by our walking sticks and a dog. We just looked at each other and laughed, feeling excited, nervous tired and a little alone.

After a chilly first camp at Land's End, we discovered a little gap in the market for a dog and backpacker friendly site. It was a horrific price for an overnight stay in a tiny tent with the worst shower, ever. Luckily the man we saw let Daisy stay but another staff member didn't seem to like it in the morning. Oh well!

Off we went to get our obligatory photo at the Land's End Sign. We saw that a runner had previously broken a record running a similar distance in just 9 days! That's about the same mileage in a day that we'll cover in a week. Thankfully we decided to ease ourselves in gently covering about 10 miles, leaving the crowds behind and eating a lovely first Cornish pasty 1 mile in.

At the old tin mines we found a much friendlier camp site where we perfected our wine bag 'luxury item' for a pillow, and fell asleep to the sounds of birds, and Dutch men singing, and playing the guitar and make-shift drums.

The next few days were blustery but dry while we found our walking routine, realising that despite of our new lightweight style (including the tags cut off of everything) the books must be right, this really has to be the hilliest section of the whole trip, those sand dunes are mean! Luckily the scenery was just stunning and took our minds off the sore bits - thank goodness for Sudacrem, even Daisy found a use. There were countless sandy coves, crashing seas, seal heads bobbing near St Ives, exposed cliffs, wild flowers, birds, adders - eek, fluffy caterpillars - loads, and ridiculously pretty villages in steep valleys (stop buying holiday homes and wasting them)! We had to watch out for the seagulls though now that one has flown off with Will's razor and toothbrush. Look out for one with a polished beak in between Newquay and Padstow.

Then the inevitable...rain. One of the loveliest sounds at night on the tent but walking in when accompanied with wind is just awful. Goretex can only work for so long and I forgot to waterproof bag my Thermarest mattress - oops.
Our spirits were lifted though at a blustery Tintagel where a local restaurant delivered home made pies and chips direct 'to the tent' :-). Tintagel has also got the best melt in the mouth fudge at Granny Wobbly's Fudge Pantry!

Daisy has finally been worn out, a task never thought possible, emptying her out of my sleeping bag each morning is hard, but once she's out she's off. We had to lose her pannier bags though as she kept banging into things and getting tied up - a shame as it was a good conversational piece. She's only escaped the tent once, waking up a Newquay camp site, but they deserved it anyway for keeping us awake all night. Small farm camp sites are the best!

We've met some lovely people along the way, including Sue from St Ives (good luck in Australia) and Mr and Mrs Living (go on, get that camper van) who kindly sponsored us, and the Maer campsite - thanks!
Crossing a little stream and leaving Cornwall was weird, so many memories - yet more to come ahead. We just need to up our protein!

[Keep up the hard work! I've been assured there are some photos to follow at some stage.]

Tuesday 15 May 2007

Check back for updates soon!

Just a quick introduction from myself...I am Nikki's younger brother, and I will be keeping this blog and the sponsorship page up to date on their behalf, while they are away. I will be receiving updates (and hopefully a few photos) through the mail to write up for everyone to keep track.

Any comments from me will be [bold, in square brackets] just to keep things tidy.

Bye for now!

Monday 14 May 2007

Lands End to John O'Groats

Nikki, Will and Daisy
Hi there, and welcome to our blog.

We are just about to set off on a three month unsupported backpack, 1200 miles across the country from Land's End to John O'Groats, raising money for the Rowans Hospice in Hampshire.

We are leaving on 17th May and the walk should take 12 weeks, walking on average 15 to 20 miles a day (with the odd rest day)! Primarily a hill walking route, we will be taking in national trails and avoiding roads where possible. We will be totally unsupported, which means we will be carrying everything we need, cooking and camping under the stars in our lightweight tent. Our progress can be followed here so keep an eye out for updates.

We would be really grateful if you would consider sponsoring us, rasing money for the Rowans Hospice in order to keep their important services free. For more information on the charity, visit If you would like to sponsor us please visit and please consider fowarding on to any like minded friends that might be interested.

Thank you for your interest and support!