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Jay Walking

LEJOG: Recovery Day In Lifton

I woke at 5:30am despite having very little sleep the night before.  I was feeling pretty rotten, tired and slightly shakey, it was nearly 24 hours since I had eaten having vomited up my lunch yesterday.   I slowly got ready to get the 8am bus to Launceston, where I would look for an hotel or similar to stay.  If I could find nothing then I would try to get back home. I slowly made my way to the bus stop in Five Lanes and waited for the bus.

The bus turned out to be put on mainly for the local senior school aged children to get to school.  I was the only passenger who was out of their teens, the kids were much better behaved than I remember school day bus journeys being.  The official last stop was at Launceston College but the driver was headed on to town and kindly let me stay on board.  I was really grateful to him as I didn't have the energy to walk into town, still feeling pretty bad, and needing frequent calls of nature.

In Launceston I headed to the centre, brought some rice cakes and rehydration powder, which I hoped would make me feel better.  I had one dose of the rehydration powder slowly ate a few rice cakes, though the thought of food was still making me feel sick.  I sent  a request to an Airbnb that was in the next town, the local hotels were few and far between but also madly expensive, most of them being more than £300 for 2 nights, which was more than I was prepared to pay.  I now had to wait for the Airbnb host to reply meaning I would need to spend some time in town.

The square at the centre of the town had been set up with a lot of local producers setting up stands, a few selling local produce, others food and crafts.  At head of the square was a small stage with some fancy chairs set on it, there were also a few official looking people around wearing suits, so something was going on.  Luckily I sat next to the local madman who in his own fashion explained what was happening.  It seemed that Prince Charles was due in town a little later as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of him being made the Duke Of Cornwall.  My mad friend had been there since 6am go he could get a good seat, enough for me to affirm he was mad as I am not much of a royalist.  To get this from him had involved a potted history of the Queen, her father, her uncle who abdicated, Prince Charles's age, intermixed with random changes to the conversation which included bins having been moved, the madman showing me his microphone (and asking me what set up was best for it) and his worry that he would get moved on from his prime spot.  He moved from one subject to another and then back to previous via another one expecting you too understanding what his internal context was.

After this bizarre conversation I headed off to get a cup of tea, luckily the centre of Launceston seemed to comprised of cafes so there was ample choice.  While sitting in the cafe, the number of police officers about increased, there was sniffers dogs probably searching for explosive devices and probably more security that I didn't see.  Having  nothing else to do I headed up to the square around the time Charles was due to arrive, bringing the rain with him.

Prince Charles at Launceston

It was quite a busy affair, the square was quite crowded with lots of people and school children holding Union Jack and Cornish vigorous waving them.  Charles and Camilla went round different parts of the crowd, with him talking to lots of the stall holders and other people.  Despite the rain they took their time and people were obviously really glad to have the chance to talk to them.  I found myself wondering what a lifetime of such events would be like would it get boring, would you enjoy it or would it just be part of the job?

I headed off to another cafe to get a cup of tea, their food looked good but looking at the menu it all looked too rich for the delicate state of my stomach, so after my tea I headed off to look elsewhere.  I found the Red Chair Cafe which had a soup option that was the sort of thing I wanted, so I went in and ordered that.  I slowly managed the soup and later a tea cake, but that was all.  While sitting there I decided to give up on the Airbnb and book a B&B in the same village, which I did, setting off there straight away.

The taxi rank was empty as the roads were still closed due to the Royal visit, so I headed up to the road where the buses start.  I was expecting to find a taxi there but a bus to the village was leaving in 2 minutes so I hopped on that and a little while later I was in my room at the wonderful Tinhay Mill B&B.

I had a shower but looking at myself in the mirror, I was a bit thinner and had lots of large red patches on my stomach and chest.  They looked like sunburn but didn't hurt, plus I had kept out of direct sunlight when I had my shirt off.  I think this is one of the signs of heatstroke.  I spent the rest of the day relaxing, there was not much to do except read or watch TV, breaking another of my walking rules.