Thanks to Tyler's prodding to bike extra miles the last few days, we had a short day ahead of us into St. Ives. We took our time in the morning; I leisurely broke camp while Tyler made honey butter sandwiches for breakfast and practiced his Arnis stickwork. We were eating our sandwiches when the very sweet campsite owner came to talk to us about our trip, and we had a nice chat about cycle touring. Years ago he had toured in Spain. On our way out, he pointed us in the direction of the coastal path for a scenic twenty-minute walk down to see the ocean. It was stunning as usual!
The weather was perfect today and we intentionally went at a relaxed pace, occasionally stopping to attempt an identification of "Ground Elder," "Pignuts," and "Cow Parsley", and finding it difficult to distinguish between the three. About ten miles outside of St. Ives we stopped for a snack by the side of a busy road. Sitting on our walkstools enjoying our break, we discussed how we were both feeling very tired for some reason. It finally occurred to us that we hadn't had a rest day in over a week! It's amazing how the days all run together. We were both looking forward to some down time in St. Ives.
Continuing on the final stretch towards our destination, we rounded a bend and all of the sudden could see St. Ives in the distance. It was an incredible site of sparkling ocean and a hillside full of houses and shops. It reminded me a bit of southern France or Italy! We stopped to take some photos and then hopped back on our bikes to go whizzing down the cobblestone streets towards the harbor.
Tyler quickly spotted a bar with free wireless internet, so we stopped, bought a chocolate milkshake, and made the most of it. We went through all of our unpublished journals for a last round of edits and Tyler posted them, adding the appropriate photos. The process of posting three journal entries took about two hours, most of that time consumed by uploading photos. The bar had a spectacular view though, so we didn't mind at all, and it felt really good to be all caught up.
When we were through we looked up campsites online and were happy to find one very nearby, within easy walking distance! We pushed our bikes up the steep hills and through the narrow winding roads until we found our way to a huge, luxury campground. Though crowded with tourists and bank holiday-goers, we were still able to pitch our tent in the relative quiet of the backpacker's section overlooking the ocean. We set up camp in a record twenty minutes(!), changed clothes, and headed back down the hills towards dinner by the harbor. On the way back down the ridiculously steep streets we petted a beautiful, friendly black cat, and talked with a man about his gorgeous gladiolas.
As we arrived in town we realized we were quite low on cash and starting hunting for an ATM. After a few minutes of unsuccessful wandering we asked a shop-owner who pointed upwards and said "just follow that string of lights (hanging above the street)—it will lead you to an ATM and all things prosperous!" We had fun following the lights from street to street, joking about finding "all things prosperous" and sure enough, we were led to an ATM. Money in hand, we were excited to pick a place to eat as we don't eat out frequently and whenever we do it is a real treat. We settled at Kingfisher Fish & Chip restaurant, where I devoured a massive plate of haddock and chips, while Tyler quickly finshed his half-chicken and chips.
As I write this journal, we are sitting in the restaurant charging the laptop and the camera. Our food is long gone, and we're starting to get the distinct impression that they want us to leave… I think we'll make the trek back up to our campsite and head to bed, listening to the sound of the waves.