Gosh today’s walk was full of potential hazzards.we were warned of potential risks from radiation, unexploded munitions, mine shafts, rip tides and unstable cliffs. It is amazing that we made it through the day.
It also rained and we got quite wet but that is ok because we are very tough and the forecast is better for tomorrow. Also the sky is red which is a good sign.
Amazingly we left the campsite just after 8am for the second leg of the trip. A long day that had me on my last legs by lunchtime.
It all started well with a lovely amble to a lovely little beach with rather nice coffee shop. Then a lovely potter up and down to the ‘ town’ of Watergate, a tourist spot with, cars, people, nasty hotels etc. it does have a nice beach though.
From there all too son we were in Newquay, the tack capital of Cornwall. We weren’t excited about Newquay and it certainly lived down to my expectations, too be fair I was a bit tired and grumpy but honestly I could not get out of there quick enough.
Luckily Sarah found a short cut outa there and we got to the footbridge across the river at low tide, crossed the river and found paradise. Well Crantock, a very serviceable campsite with bar that has the best retro sound track including Lovely Day.
Padstow to Porthcothan – 11.4 miles
Finally on a perfect summers day I find myself back in Padstow to pick up where I left off last year.
Having learnt many valuable lessons from the last adventure I once again find myself with a very heavy pack ( in part due to a possible over supply of cake) and only a vague idea of where I am going. Thankfully Dad has dropped me off and is able to point me in the right direction and Sarah has come along for the first week to keep me on track.
The most obvious thing about today’s walk is that it is that it is a lot easier terrain than last year. It is more of a general undulation than a serious hill climb. There are also lots of people, I had grown accustomed to having the path to myself last year but this year it was full of people, dogs and butterflies.
We also passed some amazing beaches and stopped on Harlyn Bay for a 99. We could have cut off a corner at this point be stuck to the coast and made it to Treyarnon at a reasonable hour to go searching for a campsite. We found one but had to walk another half a mile to find the office, they thought they were full but then managed to find us a spot and it even has a sea view ( because it is not like we get to see much of the sea during the day).
Showered, with the tent up it is now time to cook up my slightly out of date dried vegetable korma and possible tuck into the sloe gin. Life is grand
So the bag is packed. I wonder what I have forgotten. I may have over catered on the cake front but I am sure that will be addressed within a day or so.
The logistics have been somewhat complicated by a birthday party in Devon next weekend. If everything goes to plan we will catch a train from St Ives on Saturday. We have first class train tickets already bought because that was cheaper than second class. Hopefully we will be able to eat the cost of the fare in complementary biscuits and charge our phones too.
My plan is to pay something every day, keeping you up to date with the ups and downs and ups and downs and…. well you get it.
Almost ready for the great South West walk part two. Doing some last minute training and carb loading in Wales.
So the walk is done, 100km over 8 incredible days.
My plan is to write a bit more about the whole thing – it was kind of tricky to write posts on a phone with very patchy phone coverage. I will also post some more photo’s although there are a lot of ‘amazing costal scene’ ones which might get a little tired.
However before I work out what useful things to write and then find the time to sit down and do it it is worth saying that this is an amazing walk. Almost all of it is through beautiful scenery (a couple of bits were just nice). The path is really well maintained and extremely well signposted (which is a massive help for me – I can get lost in a supermarket).
The campsites are mostly really good with pretty decent facilities and they are right on the trail so no 3-5km detours just to get somewhere to camp.
The other thing that made it super special for me was that I hooked up with a bunch of people walking the same way who were just lovely. We al walked at our own pace but met each night and discussed the options, how we were going and so much more besides. It made a great walk perfect.
So what next? Well my kit is cleaned and put away and now I have to work for a bit, but it is not too long before I can return to Padstow and restart the South West Coast Path in Cornwall – anyone want to come along?
There was a definite feeling of excitement around the camp on the last night as we all tucked into any treats we had saved and discussed the final, and longest day.
Much of the excitement was focused on a little dot on the map, not the end of the walk but the little town of Princetown. The book informed us that this was a place to find food and beer and we began to think of pies, burgers and pretty much anything that is not squashed, stale or out of a tin foil packet. I was leaning towards a pie and a beer.
It may have been for this reason that I found myself leaving camp at 7.50am on a clear and cool morning.
The walk was gentally undulating and a couple of my walking companions caught up with me just as I walked into town. The first excitement was the rubbish bins, none of them on the trail so dumping excess weight was an excitement. Next I took advantage of the flushing toilet with running water before emerging to be told that both the shop and pub were closed.
Seriously a pub with no (available) beer, surely it would open soon. I checked on the interweb and it said it opened at 12, 2 hours was a long wait. Then I checked with the woman walking an adorable miniature sausage dog and she said ‘ she may open today’. It wasn’t looking hopeful but we waited and watched the small town go about it’s business. 12 came and went and we had to accept that there would be no pie and no beer.
Even without refreshments the last 7 km was glorious, with views of the 12ish Apostles and an incredible blue sky.
Finally I arrived at the end of the walk and was cheered in by my fellow walkers.
At the end is the 12ish Apostles kiosk, the least said about that the better (it really is quite nasty). I had warned my fellow walkers of it’s limited appeal but the confided that it was even nastier than they expected, I will have to work on my negative descriptions of tourist infrastructure.
That said it was a fantastic walk made even better by the wonderful company of old and new friends.
I am a rufty tufts out door type, I have walked and cycled and camped lots so nothing bothers me right?
Wrong, last night a little mouse took a liking to where I was sleeping, it spent a few hours running up my inner tent, which is made of the thinest mesh, I was convinced it was going to nibble its way in and join me. I told it to go away, shook the tent and eventually left my torch on to discourage it.
Last night was the first night on the walk I wasn’t cold, instead of being woken up by the cold the mouse took on the role of night time annoyance.
I fessed up to the rest of the crew that I had been scared of a tiny mouse and Cindy, who is a hard core walker, said she had a visit too and it kept her awake. So none of us are really that hard core.
Tomorrow is the last day, just 16 Km to the end, unless I just keep walking. I would happily keep going and I don’t really want to finish but I do really want a shower.
I got up early and wrote a post but then it seemed to have disappeared so I will try again. I have been hopping around the camp distributing little Easter eggs. Craig who walked 26km yesterday and has a similar amount to do today was particularly pleased to see them.
Yesterday we did 2km on soft sand it was a tad hard going but thankfully the rest of the walk was beautiful and we have a camp with the most amazing view over the water.
Today we head inland and out of contact of people and roads, looking forward to that