Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Day 4 - Land's End

From Here On, There Be Dragons.

I woke up early, and as I was checking out I bumped into a great fellow by the name of Curt. A californian florist from Illinois, if you can imagine that. It turned out we were going to the same place and there were not many buses to choose from, so we joined forces for the expedition.

The buses going to Land's End, though irrationally priced, like every British public transport so far (£2.80 one way, £5.20 round trip, £5.50 full day ticket. Say what??), are a lot of fun, as they're open-deckers. So for that price you get a full hour of dodging branches and having the wind destroy your hairdo and snatch things out of your hand. Cooool.

Once you get there, the first thing that strikes you is... well, nothing, actually. There is no single striking thing. There's a nice lonely lighthouse on some rocks out to sea (Longships I believe it's called). There's the Iles of Scilly (Scilly Isles!) just above the horizon. And rocky cliffs, and cliffy rocks. All very nice, but not in any way impressive. So what's there at Land's End that draws so many people?

Well, I guess it's Having Been There, and the famous Land's-End-to-John-O'Groats obsession. That was it for me, surely. Also, it's a nice location to go for some easy hiking. And it's as far away as you can get from England, in England.

For the hardcore tourist, there are of course other things to do and waste money on: the Mysterious Cave Adventure and such sort; the Official Signpost, where you can get an Official Picture, taken by a guy with "Official Photographer" written on his flashy jacket; Cornish Pastry, Cornish Clothes, Cornish Toilet Paper,etc.

Anyway, I tried to make good use of my time, and hiked about and took dozens of pictures of myself falling off cliffs. I liked the experience, though I realize it wouldn't have been as much fun if I didn't know where I was.

I got back just in time to hop on the last bus for 2 hours, and then on one to St Ives.

A seaside resort, St Ives is. Minuscule town full of shops, with a miniature port and a nice beach. "How cute", I said, and hopped on a bus back.

After a crazy run through the town, buying a travel power adapter for the weird outlets in use here, stockpiling food, going to the hostel and back with my sack, I arrived at the station sweating... and early, for the train was delayed.

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