Liskeard to Tavistock – 22 miles (106.4 total)

John arrived on schedule yesterday evening and we enjoyed a good catch-up while still getting to bed at a reasonable time. He has been a pensioner a bit longer than me and still loves his walking.

John, my Walking partner for days 7, 8 and 9.

The weather was dry when we set off and progress was straightforward. Today was programmed to be a long day complicated by 2,824 ft. of ascent – the second highest ascent (tomorrow is the highest) before we reach The West Highland Way.

We started the walk wearing our rain jackets but soon found them too warm, so took them off and fastened them securely to the back of our packs. The bad news is that John hadn’t tightened his properly and we discovered sometime later that it wasn’t there anymore – John had been behind me. We had a good idea where he might have lost it but it was too far back to retrace our steps. Not a good start to the walk for him. On the bright side (note the pun) the sun came out, we had a beautiful afternoon and it didn’t rain.

I keep on meeting people who are interested in what we’re doing. I have hardly ever mentioned LEJOG, normally just stating my next intended destination. Once they hear the Scottish accent their curiosity prolongs the conversation. ‘ Whereabouts in Scotland are you from?’ ‘ Kilmarnock ’. Blank look. ‘ Near Glasgow ’. Their faces light up. Two ladies on horseback today played out this scenario, one of them then informing me that her niece had stayed in Aberdeen and moved to Glasgow for a time with her work. Yesterday an elderly lady, a passenger in a car I had to squeeze by in a narrow country lane, ended up blocking the traffic, so I wished her well and made to move on. The last words I heard coming from inside the car, through the open window, in a posh Home Counties accent, were, ‘ We’re Scottish too, you know, we’re Houstons ’.

I left John in the pub in Calstock (14.6 miles); that was a long walk for his first day. He got the bus to Tavistock. I soldiered on, ending up doing 22 miles. Now that was a long day. I reached the hotel at 6.35. Apart from a tightness in one shoulder, I feel fine.
John met me outside the hotel and couldn’t wait to show me the new rain jacket he purchased while waiting on me.