Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Day 6 : Launceston (Day of Rest)

Saturday 20th January 2007

Distance Walked: 0 miles
Start Time: n/a
End Time: n/a
Elapsed Time: n/a
Weather: Cold and sunny. Then wet. Hail.
Distance walked so far: 129.4 miles

Launceston is a hole. Or rather, a hole with a hill. And on the hill, there sits a ruined castle. The castle is a round, pretty little thing, but not something in itself that would draw the crowds, which is probably why it was closed for winter. Having limped up the hill, and determined not to waste the trip, I went for a full tour of the town. Two minutes later, I did it again, just to be sure. Oh well.

I stocked up on bandages, creams, gels and drugs with which to admonish my aching limbs, and finally tracked down the Tourist Information Centre, which predictably was also closed. My plan for tomorrow was to walk the Two Castles Trail, another of these fabricated long distance routes that use occasional footpaths, but mainly country lanes, to encourage the tourists to wander through the splendour that is the countryside. This particular trail joins the towns of Launceston and Okehampton, or rather the castles within, but no one in Launceston seemed to be aware of its existence or had any information about it. I hobbled back down the hill to the pub and applied my unguents with fanatical devotion, speaking incantations to increase the potency. Then I waited for the healing to begin.

The good thing about The White Horse Inn is that the food they serve is fantastic. Go there for the food, certainly. Then leave immediately, for, unfortunately, the accommodation is located directly above a fault line, a crack in the fabric of the earth, out of which pours the foulest, loudest music known to man. And Saturday night is karaoke night. The only reason to attend is that you know that, no matter how tuneless the contestants, the sound is so deafening that you will lose consciousness before brain damage sets in.

Sleep wasn’t really an option, which is why I was more than a little disappointed when, as the music finally stopped sometime around 1am, a couple bundled upstairs into the room next to mine and proceeded to have a loud drunken argument before, DURING, and after sex. They then both threw up, and immediately went straight back at it. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard anyone having sex (and I admit there’s a certain thrill at the sheer unexpected naughtiness of it all, like you’ve caught a glimpse of the Queen on the toilet) but the excitement is soon replaced by a grim tedious exasperation, especially when it’s obviously so inexpertly executed and, moreover, unappreciated by both parties. I piled the pillows on my head and held my breath until I passed out. This wouldn’t happen to Michael Palin.

Song of the day:

Dead Kennedys
“Too drunk to fuck”

But in my room /
Wish you were dead
You ball like the baby in Eraserhead /
Too drunk to fuck /
Too drunk to fuck /
Too drunk, to fuck /
It's all I need right now /
Too drunk to fuck

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