Jun 15, 2008

Attack of the Bodmin Charvas

Last bit of the blog (and some more photos) from me!

Day 68-Wednesday June 11th 2008:

After a lovely night's sleep at the factory, the boys woke up to find that Jonathan had arranged a big (and free) breakfast for them in the factory canteen...good man! It was the beginning of a relatively easy day, as after the long hot walk yesterday, the Johns decided to be a bit more leisurely. They didn't bother setting off until 11:30am (lazy people!) and walked a slow steady pace until they reached a place called Five Lanes, on the edge of Bodmin Moor at about 5pm. They got chatting to the landlord of the King's Head pub (which has a bit of history to it-it was occupied by both the Roundheads and Cavaliers during the 1642 Civil War and is apparently haunted by the ghost of a woman named Peggy Bray) who just happened to be from Gateshead...and being a friendly Geordie, naturally offered the lads a camping spot in the pub garden! Tea consisted of fish and chips from the local chippy van, so it was a nice day all round.

Day 69-Thursday June 12th 2008:

Unfortunately, things were to become rather less enjoyable the next night...but we'll come to that in a moment! Thursday was spent walking across Bodmin Moor, with a visit included to the Jamaica Inn-made famous by the writing of Daphne DuMauier. While there, they indulged themselves with a Cornish breakfast (apparently like an English breakfast, but with some unidentifiable pudding in the mix!). They also came across a man called Mark, who had just started a cycling trip from Land's End to John O'Groats and had only been underway one day. It started to make our boys feel a lot better knowing that their journey was so close to the end in comparison to his! John S is still suffering with his feet-he has an open wound now across the toes of one foot. However, in what can only be imagined to be an act of divine providence (just as he started to wish he'd packed a first aid kit for the trip) the lads happened upon a brand new first aid kit in the middle of the road...and John S now has a lovely fresh dressing on his foot. In another stroke of luck, John D also found himself a brand new hat on the side of the motorway. It does unfortunately have a big black tire mark across the front, but nonetheless, John is wearing it with extreme pride!

And now to the drama....! In early evening, the lads found themselves some ground on an industrial estate to camp on. Everything seemed normal and quiet at first and they got ready to settle down for the night. However, at around 10pm, a load of young lads (who shall be referred to as 'charvas' for the remainder of this blog!) arrived on the industrial estate and began driving at high speed around the estate. They began to drive nearer and nearer to the tents, clearly trying to elicit some sort of response, and when the Johns weren't provoked, the charvas jumped out of their cars, started shouting at our lads and then finally started pulling out the tent pegs (yes, really!). At one point, the police showed up to shoo them away, but that didn't do a whole lot of good, because as soon as they left the charvas returned and the whole thing started again. Eventually, it got to about 2am, and the Johns realised any attempt to sleep would prove pointless-so they packed up and started on their way. The charvas actually attempted to follow them, but the Johns found refuge in an all night ASDA, where the manager Alison filled them up with cups of tea until 5am. I'll bet at this point they were wondering if the whole walk had been a dream, and they were actually in Benwell instead of Bodmin...who would have guessed that there would be a charva attack in Cornwall?!

Day 70-Friday June 13th 2008:

Could it be that the date provides us with an insight into why the events of the previous night occured? Perhaps poor Bodmin suffers an attack from 'the Beasts of Bodmin' (as the Johns have named them) every Friday 13th?! Anyway, after their sleepless night, the lads unsurprisingly decided to have another easy day. They walked for a few hours until they reached a place called Indian Queens where there happened to be a campsite by the name of Gnome World (very strange names they have in those parts!). As a well deserved break, the lads had decided to camp there for a couple of days and recover.

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