Day 13 – The Last Day on Land: Reaching Land’s End
Today our team completed the JOGLE leg of the Pedal 4 Parks expedition. Over the past twelve days they have cycled an impressive 1,200 miles on land, seeing the beautiful green spaces the UK has to offer and interviewing some of the people who are trying to make a difference. It was as if the sun knew today was an important day for our team and it decided to come out in full force to cheer them on towards the finishing line. The route today covered around 75 miles, taking the team from the Northern to the Southern coast and then along to Land’s End.
The Cornish coast is full of wonderful bays and beaches at every turn, so it was hard for the team not to stop off and get an ice cream every chance they got! Most of the morning was spent cycling towards these beautiful beaches, cutting through the Cornish capital Truro to eventually reach our first checkpoint, The Lizard. The Lizard, not actually named after the reptile-like shape of the coastline, is the most southerly point of British mainland. Natural England, The National Trust, and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust are all working together at the Lizard Peninsula to ensure the landscape is protected. The Lizard National Nature Reserve is now one of the largest nature reserves in the UK and is home to a variety of rare plant and animal species. Beyond its environmental integrity, the Lizard coastline offers some stunning views of the ocean, so it is definitely worth the ten minute detour if you are in the area!
After stopping for a bite to eat at the Lizard, it was off to the next stop. Today our team were lucky to visit some of Cornwall’s most renowned and beautiful attractions with St Michael’s Mount being next. If you’re travelling along the southern Cornish coast it is hard to miss the small island and its stunning medieval castle. The island is accessed by a short causeway, but you have to be careful you aren’t trapped by the tide as the path is sometimes covered by the water. When our team arrived the tide was out and we were able to walk right up to the island!
From the beach at St Michael’s it was time to make our way to Land’s End. On the way the team cycled through Penzance, passing the harbour where they would soon be making their return from the Isles of Scilly. The closer we got to Land’s End, the more remote we felt. The number of houses became significantly less and the coastline began to surround our cyclists, indicating how close they were. Our support and film team had raced ahead to see the cyclists as they crossed into Land’s End and importantly cheer the team on as they hopped off their land bikes for good! After lots of hugs, photos and ice cream, the team quickly became aware that they were looking across the water that they would soon be cycling across. The Isles of Scilly are around 28 miles from Land’s End and it was quite unsettling that we couldn’t see them from the mainland!
Fuelled by excitement and hunger we soon moved onto dinner, which was again provided by the fantastic Chorley’s restaurant. Tonight they served up a BBQ meat feast alongside a delicious stir fry for the veggies in the group. As expected, the dinner tasted amazing and was the icing on the cake for our final day cycling on land. With the sun shining and the beautiful Gwynver beach in front of us, we had a stunning view to look at while we ate. Some of the team were so welcomed by the beach that they went for an evening swim, fully embracing the adventure!
As the sun is setting there is still a lot to prepare for tomorrow as we need to work out what bags are coming with us to the Isles of Scilly and what can stay on the mainland. Our cycling team will be up at 5am to get down to Sennen Cove and start preparing for the 12 hour water cycle! Then our support team will need to rush back over to Penzance to catch the ferry and touch down in the Isles of Scilly. Tomorrow promises to be an exciting and emotional day as the team pedal those final miles of the expedition. We have already come so far and we cannot thank our sponsors and supporters enough for following us on this eco-mission. Without the shared determination to make a positive environmental impact through our film, none of this would have been possible. This is as much your journey as it is ours, so well done us!
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