chica bonita a la playa
chica bonita a la playa
  • day 5 to, wait what day is it?
    • 02/06/2013
Ok finally the magic combination of free WiFi and phone battery!

Apologies if the gps track has been sporadic but dame excuses.

So briefly, sown a few days sightseeing in falmouth, truro and st austell, went to breweries and the Eden project, which was nice enough but contained too many people. Also everywhere I went for two days a bus full of French schoolkids were there already!

Three days wild camping, some lovely spots, and two days "tame" camping, and now I've reached an empty youth hostel at tintagel.

Over the last couple of days I've met several other people walking the coast path, including a Welsh guy walking north two miles per day, a couple coming south with a dog that carried its own backpack, and a Yorkshireman named Arthur about to complete JOG to lands end, and also his sixth south west coast path.

I've got sunburn but only on the back of my legs and arms, insect bites on my hands from one bad camp location, but my feet seem to be toughening up and equipment is performing well, although I've got a list of things to send home!

Tomorrow I start heading east across the moors towards Exmouth. Change of scenery!
  • rain+beer
    • 28/05/2013
Yesterday was a wake up call, non stop drizzle which left me sodden upon arrival in truro. so a quick train detour to a hostel in falmouth overnight. met a lad called Joe there who is a month in to walking the whole sw coast path having started at poole. this was his first night indoors and he said he drew strength on the rough nights out by reading the memoirs of Antarctic expeditions! today mainly sightseeing in falmouth and then back in truro, nice cathedral and brewery. covered about 7 miles this evening on the way to st austell and stopped in a wood to camp
  • oday 3 & 4: st ives to perranporth
    • 26/05/2013
Didn't meet any men with seven wives so can't make any Mormon jokes. Day 3 was supposed to be short, 12 miles, but the pub in that village wasn't showing the champions league final so I had to walk another six to find one that was. Then camped on top of the moor under a nearly full moon with glorious views over a sleeping cornish coast. Watching the lights of a train snake its way across about 30 miles of countryside was pretty magical. The days walking wasn't so much, with the hereto commendable coast path taking an inland detour around an estuary involving a busy A road with no pavement. Bad coast path.
Highlights included playing "what's the time Mr wolf" with a seagull that tried to sneak up on my lunch, and watching the football with, bizarrely, a couple of 60 year old dutch guys who kept saying "oh my god, oh my goodness!".

Day 4 involved some tarmac slightly back to the coast, and tentativeness about blisters which hast become problematic yet although feet are sore. Finally crossed tracks with fellow coast pathers, both of whom started at penzance. One Welsh guy doing it in an amazing ramshackle manner, walking about two miles a day and then taking three off. That's the way to really appreciate your surroundings! The cliffs were somewhat littered with disused mine workings, interesting/ugly, and the coves filled with bank holiday tourists getting overexcited and covered in melted ice cream.

Hostel tonight at Perrenporth, balanced on the cliff edge!
Tomorrow I head in land towards Truro, and the rain begins
  • Finally LEJOGGING!
    • 25/05/2013
first and lastsignpost


so much for starting off easy. the road sign from Penzance says "lands end 5 miles" but by the coast path it was 15. I thought it against the spirit of the venture to shortcut the start, and indeed the coast path was worth it overall in terms of picturesqueness.
I was soon to regret scorning the poster I saw in the hostel listing it as "strenuous" as it seemed to alternate between scrambling over boulders, steep stepped ascents/descents, and threading through narrow groves of gorse and nettles.
I can't remember the last time I got stung by a nettle previous to this, but I could have done without it.
Approaching the southern tip the clifftops reverted to moorland with a howling gale blowing across them from the Atlantic and threatening to rain.
Finally the garish white block of the lands end hotel loomed into view, nearly there - and then promptly disappeared behind a ridge for another 45 minutes, so when I arrived there the gift shop was closed up, despite still being a fair few tourists milling around the phototrap signpost.
the infamous guy who charges for pictures had also clocked off. I got mine done by a couple of guys who were celebrating cycling down from bristol, just in time as my camera battery immediately went flat.
Next up was somewhere to sleep. the nearby clifftops were particularly inhospitable so I ploughed on hoping for something better but persuading myself that nothing was good enough for another 5 sore miles until I reached the YHA at st. just, and camped on the lawn cos it was full.
So 22 miles on day one. the long hours of daylight are a mixed blessing, allowing more distance, nay encouraging more than I should really do, as stopping early just means sitting around waiting for dark
I passed a few people who commented on the size of my pack and asked where I was headed, assuming thru hiking the coast path, and I was pretty embarrassed to be saying Scotland given is just started and no idea if i'll get near finishing.
I guess people appreciate the intention anyway. they all say "rather you than me". actually not all. some wistful.

Day two I've continued up the coast to st ives. Better paths but I'm bored of getting blown over on cliff edges already, even if I should just be thankful it hasn't tipped it down!
St Ives seems a much more bustly town, both with locals and tourists (innumerable "craft" shops) and quaint harbour front. saw some nuns frollicing on the beach. Yup!
wildlife count: one small lizardy thing, one small snakey thing, one fox, and several birds doing interesting maneuvers. alternately the warm sun making them lazy and the howling wind masking my approach.
17 miles-ish today. Some sore feet and aches to report, but probably less than expected all things considered.
staying in a labyrinth like independent hostel in an old theatre. pretty ramshackle (showers cost 20p upstairs, or free if you walk downstairs and round several corners?) but I need the rest rather than being woken constantly by the wind and early sun. fingers crossed my roommates don't snore.
A pleasing array of local drinks available so far, including Rattle Cyder, dartmoor ale and even a cornish lager.
I've only had one half decent pastie so far though and some below average fish and chips.
at co-op prices its cheaper to eat out than cook for myself given that I can't buy bulk. (excepting my lunchtime cheese and lettuce wraps)
I've just read "the shipping news" full of Newfoundland shipwrecks and cruel seas, quite fitting along this coast with many brave lifeboat stories.
decent book, although it does pivot strongly from doom and gloom to all being perfect.

Onwards up the coast to Perrenporth, I think slightly easier going? soon find out.
  • Silly Isles
    • 25/05/2013
horrible ferry ride going out. wish I'd flown instead, only takes 15 minutes instead of three hours of heavy seas, and freezing blustery winds.
I couldn't sit inside cos it made me feel sick.
However, upon arrival the clouds parted and I walked around the northern coast of st Mary's island in warm and sheltered sunshine.
What an oasis it is, bursting with a multitude of coloured wild flowers everywhere.
Also some nicely preserved / presented prehistoric remains, and beautiful azure blue waters in the shallow straits between the islands.
I nearly got "azure" on a triple word score the other night but didn't have an "e". very frustrating.
they obviously have some building controls there because it wasn't overly built over either.
interesting traffic light system where the footpath crossed the islands one airport runway.
accompanied on the ferry by four lovely German teacher training students on holiday who were staying at the same hostel. I thought an odd choice of destination but apparently cornwall is beloved by Germans due to a romantic drama tv show!
I have also met more Germans on the coast path than anything else. As usual they all speak embarrassingly fluent English with slightly americanised accents, and I don't know where the stereotype comes from of them having no sense of humour.
maybe its just this new young generation, I found similar in Munich last October.


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