So after the optimism of my previous post hoping that I would make it the 9miles to Perranporth, well I did, only it was 3days later than planned. It turned out that I wasn’t better and needed to rest, so that I did. In 48hrs I managed to crawl out of my tent to check out an ‘Alternative Skills Fair’ at an Ecologic Park next to the campsite (where I learnt about a Cornish Apple Project) and to the local beach at Porthtowan plus the cafe for some toast when I was getting my appetite back. It was Monday when I got on my way to Perranporth.
- Day: 6
- Started at: Porthtowan
- Finished at: Perranporth
- Miles: 9
- Miles from LE: 60
- Duration: 6hrs (9:15-15:15)
- Trig points visited: 0
- Ales imbibed: 0
Set off just after the rain had stopped and the only thing I fancied eating were Tangfastics so that’s what I ate! Got to St Agnes in good time passing one of the many mine shafts that scatter the coastline around here. Very atmospheric and evocative given my current reading material of Poldark – highly recommended, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t like period fiction/drama.
The pub in St Agnes would’ve been awesome if I had felt better, lots of fresh seafood and attached to a brewery, what more can you ask for? Ah well, there’ll be others. Instead, I forced down some lemonade and a few chips and went on my way. Got to Perranporth YHA in the increasingly heavy rain but it wouldn’t open for check-in for a couple of hours so I went and explored Perranporth and one of its pubs. Once I finally got in I immediately fell in love with the hostel. It’s very small but perfectly formed and the format works so well. It’s capacity is about 20ish and it feels very much like a home from home with stunning views to boot (when the cloud lifts!).
Those 9miles took it out of me as I still wasn’t able to fuel myself properly and since the weather forecast was looking poor, I took another day off…! I know I know, if I keep going at this rate I’ll never get to John O’Groats, but I don’t plan on getting gastroenteritis more than once! Rather than slob about in the hostel all day feeling frustrated and lazy, I took a bus over to the county town of Truro and visited the museum and cathedral. In the rain on a midweek lunchtime it wasn’t all that, but I could see that the cobbled streets would be very charming on a busy sunny summer day. The warmth of the hostel and the other people staying there did the trick and when Wenseday came I finally wanted to eat something, so after a cereal bar off I went; ‘On the road again, I just can’t wait to get on the road again…’.
- Day: 7
- Started at: Perranporth
- Finished at: Mawgan Porth
- Miles: 15
- Miles from LE: 75
- Duration: 8.25hrs (9:15-17:30)
- Trig points visited: 0
- Ales imbibed: Sharp’s Own
The route began by crossing Perran Sands in the rain and over the dunes towards Holywell. On the beach I met a guy walking the entire SWCP who told me he had just met a couple who were walking LEJOG but that was an hour ago so they were now 2hours ahead. At my pace I wasn’t going to catch them up, ah well, so near and so far from meeting someone else doing what I was doing, perhaps there will be others?
Around the corner, I trimmed off my first corners of the coast path – Kelsey Head and Pentire Point…dun dun duuuur. Well I’m not walking the SWCP so I’m going to trim off as many corners as I want! In doing so I wandered in to a very quaint village called Crantock and found a cafe for I a bite to eat. I got chatting to the lovely owner/chef (Jon) and it turns out he spent his career in the outdoors as a montain guide, had done many solo walks and kayak trips around the Scottish Highlands and Islands, plus he’d heard of the Rockhoppers! Anyhoo, as I came to pay he told me he was enamoured by my story and so my breakfast was on the house! Well I welled up at this sign of generosity, it was such a nice gesture and sent me on my way towards Newquay with a spring in my step. (FYI – it was the Cosy Nook cafe, but don’t all rush at once with tales of long distance hikes, I don’t want the guy to go out of business!). Then I got to Newquay…
Perhaps a tad unfair, although this was one of my first encounters as I entered from the west. It was the largest town I’d been though thus far and it was a bit of a shock to the system. The streets seemed packed and there was so much hubbub, it put me in a spin, so I just motored through as fast as I could. This brought me to Watergate Bay, which was an unexpected find, it was absolutely stunning. From the top it appears to be a standard cliff top, but get down on to the beach and there is evidence that the high tide surges right up to the base of the cliffs and cuts away at the rock leaving caves at the bottom of this huge and dramatic cliff face. Standing at the bottom and looking up I felt so tiny and insignificant, it was just awesome. Plus there are streaks of purple running through the rock…I’ve never seen purple rock before.
From here it was just a couple of miles on to Mawgan Porth and my campsite for the night; Magic Cove. When I arrived the owners were out but I had couples coming over to help, almost tripping over themselves to offer me tea, coffee or anything else I might need/want – wow today has been all about generosity and has given me a nice warm glow inside! Well that and the first beer I’ve had in days!