Fowey to Mevagissey: via the Eden Project - Southwest England in April - CycleBlaze

April 9, 2014

Fowey to Mevagissey: via the Eden Project

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551 metres (1807 feet) up, steepest grade 18%


Breakfast was cooked by Tim and served downstairs in the tearoom. Grilled mushrooms and fresh fruit were a nice addition to the standard full English. We looked forward to a shorter ride today and left Fowey at about 9:30 for the 12 km ride to the Eden Project near St. Austell.

The centre of Fowey along the waterfront
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Looking south along the waterfront to where the River Fowey joins the sea
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On the quay in Fowey, getting ready to start the day's ride
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The Eden Project is an “eco-attraction” of artificial biomes built in a reclaimed china clay pit and housing plants from all over the world. It opened to the public in 2001 and has been a major visitor attraction ever since. We arrived about 11:00 after cycling and pushing our bikes up several hills on the route. The Eden Project encourages visitors to arrive by bicycle and provides free storage lockers for panniers. After stashing our gear and locking up our bikes we walked to the entrance to purchase our tickets. The normal adult admission price is 23.50 pounds ($43.00 CAN) but as senior cyclists we got in for 14.50 pounds each—quite a reduction.

Bike path leading to the Eden Project
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The project consist of various sized domes made of hundreds of inflated plastic cells supported by steel frames. The two largest domes are the major focus of the project, with one emulating a tropical environment and the other a Mediterranean environment. The tropical dome was very impressive, with mature rainforest plants, flowers and trees along a path that sloped upwards for a panoramic look down at the jungle. It got hotter and hotter as we climbed up toward the heights of the dome. We took a break for lunch in the cafeteria dome before heading to the Mediterranean. This was more airy and less crowded with visitors and cooler than the tropical dome. Luckily while we were there the sky was mostly cloudy—-it would have been uncomfortably hot in the domes on a sunny warm day.

Looking down at the domes of the Eden Project from near the entrance
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At the highest point in the dome the temperature and humidity were quite high
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After our visit we collected our bikes and panniers and pedalled off downhill and then pushed steeply uphill away from the Eden Project on our way to Mevagissey. Of our total distance for the day of 30 km, we pushed the bikes for probably 5 km. Our total uphill was only 550 metres, but the route was constantly up and down and the grades were often much steeper than we could manage with our loaded bikes.

The final horrendously steep hill was in Mevagissey, to reach our lodging for the next two nights. It was hard to believe that even cars could make it up the rutted tarmac of this hill. Luckily it was quite a short distance to the Bacchus B&B, and well worth the effort. Our bright room with its own entrance had a view of the rooftops of Mevagissey and the harbour in the distance. The breakfast room was just across the driveway and open all the time for guests with milk in the fridge and tea and coffee-making supplies. The town centre was a short walk downhill, and our host, Tommy, suggested the Fountain Inn, a traditional old pub, for dinner. We had scallops and chips as well as desserts—chocolate profiteroles for Eva and fruit crumble for Al. Tomorrow will be a day off the bikes with a walk to the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Today's ride: 30 km (19 miles)
Total: 91 km (57 miles)

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