|Day 9 – April 13||Boscastle to Bude|
|Weather: Sunny and windy||B&B: Sunrise Guest House (£30)|
|Departed: 09:10 Arrived: 17:30||Walked: 6h 38m Rested: 1 hr 45m|
|Distance Today: 18.2 mi / 29.29 km||Total Distance: 130.45 mi / 209.94 km|
|% Complete: ~ 11.85%||Pint of the Day: Black Sheep Golden Sheep (thumbs down)|
|GPS Track for: Day 9|
It was another fantastic day on the SWCP however it was a punishing one too. With combined ascents and descents topping 10,000 feet it is a day I won’t soon forget.
I had a good sleep at the Riverside and if there were any ghosts I was way too tired to play frightened hotel guest. The Riverside was fine however I missed the friendly aspects of a b&b.
The ascents began immediately as I climbed out of Boscastle and didn’t end until I reached Widemouth Bay 5 hours later. There were some ridiculously steep slopes and hundreds of steps to deal with. Cancel your gym memberships and move to northern Cornwall to experience God’s stairmaster — Buns of Steel guaranteed or your money back!
As I was going up and down and then up and down again I couldn’t help but think that the only thing comparable to this stretch of the SWCP is trekking in Nepal. Altitude isn’t an issue here but the relentless rollar-coaster ride reminds me of days on the Annapurna Circuit or on the stretch between the Arun Valley and the junction with the main Everest Base Camp trail. And to be honest I can’t remember my feet being as sore as they are right now (but maybe that has to do with being 10 years older).
The views continue to be spectacular but to be honest I’m reaching the point of diminishing returns when it comes to coastline scenery and I’m looking forward to the change coming in a few days time.
I took two proper breaks and a dozen or so impromptu ones as I paused on a step to catch my breath. The first break was at Crackington Haven where I splurged on a Magnum Ice Cream bar … no calorie counting required on the SWCP. I also stopped at a modern pub near Widemouth Bay where they were kind enough to fill my water bottle. I also tried a pint of Golden Sheep, a blonde beer that I didn’t really enjoy (first thumbs down of the trip).
The walk from Widemouth Bay to Bude was only a few miles and “easy peasy” (according to a walker I met along the way). Indeed it was but by then I was dog-tired and it seemed to take forever to get to my B&B.
By most accounts, including one guide book author, the walk from Boscastle to Bude is the most strenuous on the entire LEJOG. Tomorrow’s walk to Hartland Quay will be just as strenuous but slightly shorter. I decided to celebrate my accomplishment by splurging on a big feed at Bude Tandoori. It’s a very friendly place and I highly recommend it … the vegetable curry that came with my Lamb Biryani was fantastic. I also liked the fact that the restaurant was only 100m from my B&B!
My only recommendation to other walkers (other than Bude Tandoori) is to consider taking two days to complete this walk. I had optimum weather conditions and it still took me over 6.5 hours (rests not included) to get it done. If the footpath is slippery I think you’d need to add an hour or two.