Day 56, Launceston to Michaelstow, 22 miles. 'The Weather Turns.'
Eurgh. That's my summary of the day, because aside from an hour either side of today's walk all I got was torrential rain - I hadn't experienced weather this bad since day two way back up in Wick - as a result my description of today's hike will be brief and cynical, and I'll be using pictures of Launceston from my rest day to fill in the visual blanks.
Don't let those blue skies fool you, the photo above is from yesterday where, in typical fashion, it was a gorgeous summer day and I had no walking to do. The first few miles of today were fine, if a little chilly, but as soon as I got around three miles outside of Launceston the sky opened up and rain fell in heavy, unending sheets. I cannot really convey just how soaked I was today, I honestly would have been drier had I jumped in the shower in full hiking gear - it was astoundingly unpleasant.
My original plan had been to cut straight through Bodmin Moor and check out Dozmary Lake (reportedly the lake into which Arthur threw Excalibur) and some awesome looking waterfalls (Golitha falls), but to brave the moors in this weather would have taken an effort of will that, sadly, I did not possess. Therefore I was stuck on the lanes once again today and they offered little of interest and almost no shelter from the rain which continued to fall as the morning turned slowly to afternoon.
If the photos seem at odds with my description of today then I can only apologise - there really was very, very little to see as I plodded moistly on. Eventually I reached the town of Camelford and stopped into the pub for some hot food and a pint of Tribute, my favourite of the Cornish beers. Whilst I felt better for being out of the rain, I knew i would have to head back out into it sooner rather than later, so you can imagine my surprise when I left the pub to overcast, but dry skies. Though this only lasted for an hour or so, but I made sure to make the most of the lack of rain and managed to arrived at my accommodation, a converted shepherd's hut, before the rain kicked off once more.
All in all it was a thoroughly unpleasant 22 miles or so and everything from my pack was completely soaked. Fortunately my host for the night had left me a wood burning stove, a bucketful of logs and coals, and some delicious homemade biscuits, so I spent the evening meticulously drying all of my possessions, accidentally burning one of my pairs of socks, and consuming round after round of tea and biscuits until I felt rather unwell. The rain that fell during the evening was if anything even more intense than it had been during the day and I genuinely worried that the roof over my head would give way - fortunately it did not and I managed to sleep through most of the storm. I can only hope tomorrow will be drier.