Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!

Tintagel Cliffwalk

by Tara

I woke up early this morning to the sound of songbirds and the hum of a distant lawnmower. The sun was shining through the tent, and it felt blissfully like summer had finally arrived. I let Tyler sleep while I took advantage of the free power and good internet connection to check my email and do some more research about edible plants. When he woke up, I sent him off to take a shower (he didn't smell bad— he just loves showers!) and I packed up camp as quickly as possible and got breakfast ready.

Breakfast today was chocolate crispy rice cereal (a huge bag for only 60 pence at ASDA) which we soon discovered was as gross as it was cheap. We ate as much as we could (to get rid of it faster) but ended up throwing most of it away. Oh well!

After breakfast Tyler got some work done while I walked around taking pictures. I've recently realized that we only take pictures of really "beautiful" things. I think we should have a record of the not-so-pretty things we use and see every day I took a picture of the drinking water hose where we filled up our bottles.

Tyler Working Drinking Water Incoming!

Water bottles full and laptop completely charged, we cycled off for a great day of riding. It was sunny and beautiful weather, albeit very windy and hilly. The highlights of our riding day were making it into Cornwall, and meeting a German touring cyclist named Kurt. Communication was a little difficult, but we definitely understood when he said that he bikes 70 to 120 miles a day! Phew! We were tired after our 39 miles today. Tyler semi-joking/semi-seriously wanted to "bike straight to St. Ives"—all 90 miles of it. I had to reign in his enthusiasm quite a bit and remind him that we are here to see the sites and enjoy the ride. To be fair, it is bank holiday coming up, which means zillions of campers and caravans and tourists, and we want to see St. Ives without all the rush. Oh well!

Welcome to Cornwall Kurt

Since we weren't going to bike all the way to St. Ives in one go, we decided to stop at Tintagel, where King Arthur was supposedly born, and where Tyler visited when he came to England about six years ago. We found a campsite overlooking the ocean and made our home for the night.

All set up, we were going to have a nice little walk through town (before dinner) to see the shops, but of course they were all closed for the night. Instead we walked on one of the many footpaths towards the craggy coast. Before I knew it, we were "off-road" walking along the grass cliffs, Tyler encouraging me to come further down. We were going to see the view from the bottom! He would scout out safe routes, and then come back to lead me step by step down the face of the cliff.

Tintagel Tintagel Coast Tara Walking Carefully Tyler Climbing

I was nervous about the whole thing, but usually Tyler's 'crazy' ideas are worth the ache of my stretching comfort-zone. And so we continued downwards, looking for hand- and foot-holds, taking it one step at a time. When we were near the bottom I sat down and enjoyed the spectacular scenery while simultaneously being terrified about the impending climb back up the face of the cliff. Meanwhile Tyler explored further, leaping from boulder to boulder as nimble as a mountain goat.

Holy Crap! OH HI!

After getting his feet wet in the ocean and climbing around the inlet to the other side he came back and we sat admiring the scenery for awhile. When it was time to go, he was behind me every step of the way, pointing out where to go as I climbed my way back up. I was absolutely terrified and freaked out but we made it back up the cliff without any problems. Walking back "home" we realized how hungry we were (why hadn't we eaten dinner first?) and how tired we were after having biked 40 miles and then climbed down and up a cliff.

Watching the Sea Tyler Walking Home

We made it home safe and sound, and utterly exhausted. Tyler cooked dinner while I bought us icecream from the campsite shop and then transferred our pictures from the day to the computer. It wasn't until I was eating my mint-chocolate-truffle ice cream bar and looking at the photos that I thought the evening's trek was worth it. My shaken nerves were calming down and returning to normal, and I was able to look proudly at the pictures and reflect on what I had just accomplished. I will most likely not do anything similar for a very long time (if ever), but now I can look back and say—"yeah, that was that time Tyler and I climbed down the face of a cliff just to look at the ocean while we were cycling from Scotland to Malaysia." :D

After dinner we fell promptly to sleep. The ground under our tent was sloped and we had to work to not slide down to the bottom but we both slept like rocks after yet another completely full day!