Posted by: natsevs | February 7, 2010

4 weeks in.

Tonight i’m in Falmouth staying with my cousin Simon, Falmouth seems pretty nice, will be walking through most of it tomorrow and i’m looking forward to stocking up on some good snackage in the morning. Today has been a slightly pointless day of walking, i was on the roads most of the time getting around the Falmouth estuary so rarely saw the sea if at all. The day started basically retracing my steps from yesterday, which is ever fun, and then continued with a lot of road walking. By the finish i was wondering why i hadn’t just got the ferry from St Mawes, although faced with the same choice again i’ll probably take the same option to try to keep as much to the coast as possible.

When i left Plymouth on Tuesday i did take the ferry across. It was that or walking 2 days around rivers so i feel i was justified. Plus i’m never keen on spending ages walking through urban areas. I therefore began the day entering Cornwall, my 4th county so far in my fourth week. Around the headland i came into Cawsands and Kingsands which are 2 villages which look to me typically cornish, hugging the slopes of their coves so that all the houses face the sea. Pretty quickly the weather was becoming worse with horizontal rain and wind that could take your head off. I found Whitsands Bay with all the chalets dotted about the heathland quite strange and the path was properly annoying, weaving in and out of the chalets, up and down the hills. So i eventally decided to walk the road which mirrored the coastline far more accurately. I was then faced with a firing range. Don’t worry though, this one was far easier to walk around than the one before Lulworth and pretty much kept me along the coast. A highlight of this day was in the small town of Portwrinkle with the wind howling around me a police car pulled up next to me and the officer inside told me to be careful and ot get hypothermia. A lowlight was the too expenisve b&b i stayed at with tiny meal portions. The lack of hot chocolate sachets and biscuits is something i have touched on already.

I was up at 6.10am the followng morning for a radio interview for a cornish radio station, i say up, i went straight back to sleep until the more rasoable time of 8 o’clock. After breakfast i somehow ended up back in bed watching tv, no idea how that happened. Got myself motivated and was off by 10 with a big bar of cadbury’s caramel which was on offer for 99p, happy days. Oh and a lion bar, obviously. On the way to Looe i came across a spiral labyrinth after the path was diverted. A diversion which took me to a field full of horses, these ones were not the wild confrontational kind though. The path signs had stopped and i had a fair few options so i asked at the stables and the guy was pretty helpful. He let me walk through the yard where more horses were running around scared, possibly more dangerous than the confident sort. There was one of these who walked alongside me the other side of an electric fence the whole way down the lane. He was a big fella as well, all of them were quite impressive looking animals. Once in Looe i could stock up on food again which i always enjoy. In the co-op i came across a hot cross bun loaf which really tempted me but i decided to wait to try one when it could fully be appreciated. I got snackage there and then headed to a bakery for some scones and a pasty. But thats all uninteresting food talk. Polperro was a really interesting little village with a massive sea wall and a house covered in shell art. They also had a path along the rocks which i took but led me to a scramble up the cliff to the actual coast path. I finished in the middle of nowhere, in the rain, on a kind of flat spot next to a bench. A lot of my stuff got uite damp.

It was just as miserable in the morning but the rain held off for a little bit so packed up as quickly as possible and was off at 8.30. At the bottom of the hill was a sign saying Polruan was 3.5 miles away and then 100 yards on another told me it was 4.5miles which always inspires confidence. Once there i took the ferry over to Fowey and onto the headland where i was joined by some massive cows and came to a quite impressive lighthouse. I could see St Austell, my destination from this point but it was on the opposite headland and a fair way off still. The wind and rain combined was tiring me out quite a bit, the path was slippy and the wind really strong resulting in me looking like a human spinning top a lot of the time. After Par beach there is quite a detour around some massive industry which made for some quite uninteresting walking. I came inland to get to St Austell so that i could get some camping gas and visit a supermarket. I was very exciting about the supermarket and spent an hour choosing a lot of junk food to eat. I did get some orange juice and an apple as well though. I spent the evening having my feast with a cider in front of rubbish tv. Lovely.

It took me a while to find the camping shop the next morning but eventually found it hidden in an indoor market, run by lots of little old ladies who were very helpful. Eventually got off around 10 and not long after getting out of St Austell i stopped to check my route and sat on my bag as usual. Apparently i’d put a bit too much pressure on my platypus because when i stood up a load of water flowed out of my bag liner, always a good start to a day. I got back to the coast at Porthpean after a few roads and footpaths. Finally got some nice weather for most of the day, didn’t need a coat at all and was considering sun lotion. It didn’t last and the day moved into the familiar rain and wind which absolutely soaked me and my stuff. At around half 4 i came to Hemmick, just beyond which were some fields with stone walls to hide behind. Just as i was considering stopping here the sun turned up, as did a rainbow. I’ll go for it, i thought and carried on to see how far i could get before this new light disappeared. I eventually stopped at around half 5 overlooking Porthluney cove on a hill. The hill didn’t make for the best camping spot but it looked like the best i’d get. In fact down the hill was a car park with grassed area, shelter and toilets. error of judgement then. The hill was quite muddy but nt actually too bad and i was able to cook my self some supernoodles before the rain came back.

That night was freezing because of an icy breeze creeping under the cover sheet.  I forced myself up at 7.30 and was off by 8.30 as i had to meet a photographer in Portloe at half 9. A combination of steep hills, baking sun and a misjudged distance meant i was half an hour late but he was fine about it and a pretty sound guy so all good. The photos though will be even worse than usual because i was no doubt looking very haggard and sweaty after trying to get there on time and having a wet and muddy night. It was the nicest day weatherwise i have had so far, unfortunately i was short of water for much of it. By the time i got into portscatho, around 2pm, i was very in need of a drink so treated myself to a proper one. A guinnes and crisps in the sunshine sorted me out a treat, plus i got my platypus filled up. I had a nice chat to a couple completing the South West Coast path a week at a time ad was the on my ay again. At St Anthony’s head the sun was just going down and the views were stunning and carried on that way as i walked towards the opposite bank to St Mawes. The Lighthouse and trees all adding to an impressive evening skyline. Unfortunately i had to tear myself away from the view and carry on walking to get as far as possible yesterday evening, ending p a few hundred yards from where i had been a couple of hours earlier. I eventually stopped in a field just beyond Bohortha, preferable to the graveyard i had passed through not long before. The field was nice and flat but this morning i was encuraged to leave it quickly by a surprisingly not too unfriendly owner.

That pretty much brings me up to present, I’m heading down to the lizard tomorrow so will soon hit the most southern point of my journey. Another update will be coming next weekend. Thanks for all the comments, i enjoy reading them when i’m cooped up in the tent.

x

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Responses

  1. Another funny blog nat! and simons post, obvs.

    missing you! xxx

  2. Inspirational as usual Nat, keep up the good work. Hope you enjoy going around the southerly and westerly tips of Britain in the next few days. No doubt you will feel a massive sense of achievement when you you.

  3. Blogs are really good Nat enjoying the read and the comments about FOOD! However I’ve decided that Simon’s Lion Bar challenge sounds like a laugh riot! and I would be interested in following the trials and tribulations of that mammoth task. Keep up the good work mate, the pictures look amazing and its good to see that people are looking after you along the way.

  4. Looking forward to you getting past the bump of Wales and heading into the North West – will wander with you for a little bit at that point if you don’t mind a companion (that brings food, drinks and anything else that’s needed!)

    Enjoying the show from the comfort of the office till then.

    Oh, and Simon – bring it on!!! If you manage 17,820 Lion bars an hour – I’ll pay for them 🙂

  5. I am right behind your challenge Simon, it’s uplifting.

  6. NatFace, as you are struggling through this epic adventure, I’ve decided that I should do something, to honour everything that you are striving to achieve. I am going to eat the coast of Great Britain, in Lion bars, in a year.

    I’ve worked out that I’m going to need roughly 78,053,187.5 lion bars. Based on a 12 hour day eating routine, Im going to polish off 17,820 Lion bars an hour. You are my inspiration Nathaniel. Live the Dream.


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