Take special note of the condition of these boots, boys and girls,
because you may not recognize them by the time we're done:
Indeed, we were in for a bit of a slog at the start:
rain rain and more rain as we left the Old Vicarage.
The official Starting Shots (optimistic and dewy-eyed, both):
(Swaddled in performance gear from head to toe. Profoundly American, we're afraid.)
And so we left St. Ives (that's the Tate Modern near the center of the photo. ThreadingWater, you would have plotzed!)...
... and here's where things get a little more real.
You see, three weeks ago, they had what folks are calling a 'freak storm' (and for the Cornish to call a storm a 'freak' must mean it was seriously hairy. I mean, these folks withstand Force Kazillion hurricanes and barely look up from their pint of bitter!). Five bridges washed out, three teenagers gone missing when a car went off a bridge -- seriously bad news.
What that meant for us was a few miles of seriously sloggy path (at best) and a series of what the British (in their lovely, understated way) call 'diversions.' 'Detours' to you and me, 'diversions' to them.
Not so diverting when they add a mile and a half to an already long leg of a hike.
Less diverting still when someone puts... livestock! ... in the way. I mean, I ask you: COWS?
Dunno if you can see enough detail in this photo , but that's our trail off to the right there, in between a few large bovines and a couple of big rocks. Himself did his best to look calm and ... well, big, while I followed behind, practicing every bit of cow pacifying I'd ever learned from "All Creatures Great & Small." ["Kush! Koosh!"]
The cows? Could have cared less.
We cared a bit more when we had to walk the path where they'd been. Muck city. The boots were now pretty seriously different than when we started.
Four hours later, we'd covered 5+ miles of our itinerary (7+ actual miles, when you factored in the 'diversions'), with another 10 or 11 to go to our beds...
and so we took either the smart way out or the lazy way, depending on where your politics lie.
We hit the pub at Zennor, then got a lift*.
* Alan and Karen from Birmingham... we know it's a Universal long shot, but if you ever find us and this blog, please know that we thank you from the bottom of our little muddy hearts for taking us the rest of the way to St. Just!