The South West Coast Path ruggedness alongside a photo of one of Nephew Mark’s ink and watercolours taken from one of my photos of Polperro….. there’s a lot going on here. Read on.
For more of multi-talented Nephew Mark’s efforts refer—————- markbuck.myportfolio.com
That’s the same Mark who recently played Wembley…….see episode 82 ! and below.
And talking of precocious talent, I learned recently, of a six year old climbing Snowdon. That’s a lot of Chocolate drops. Well done Stanley!
Stan on top of Wales!
Annie, preparing for Great Birmingham10k Race with the Birmingham University Elite… and Rosie and Lauren Elite
PROGRESS round the S W Coast Path
Map by courtesy of English Nature. Crimson overlay by ME, showing my progress in Crimson Worms. My money is on the Northern Worm, it seems to have sneaked up on the Southern Worm but….
….the gap between Plymouth and Looe is due to be filled next Episode. Watch this space!
A little advertising……MAYDAY!
Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,
Three walking days this trip, returning to Lakefield CampSite (above) near Camelford in Cornwall, taking the tally of days walking round England’s perimeter to 236, whilst covering 3230 miles. My route is generally dictated by English Nature’s proposed England Coast Path due to be fully in place by 2020 . Navigation on the S W Coast Path is relatively easy, since there is a well worn track for well over 600 miles between Minehead and Poole. As the holiday season approaches more walkers are attacking it and it is often a case of follow-my-leader. It has to be attacked; if you don’t it’ll beat you!
Now the winter walking is almost over, I have developed a certain possessiveness and almost resent other intruders on my previously lone territory, particularly around touristy hotspots with people venturing out in inappropriate fashion; not so much baring flesh as tearing it on jagged rocks and barbed wire. Protection against the sun is difficult, with the powerful South Western sun reflecting off the water and silica sand, and reaching all the tender places where it’s not supposed to shine!
I have a confession. I was nearly forced to give up on this last trip. The South West Coast Path is an anachronism (look it up!). So beautiful; such colour, especially with new spring green grass shoots and bluebells, but decidedly deceptive, devious descents and ascents and no energy left in my legs to put one foot over the other. On the second day this trip, I had reached a point where the muscles were rebelling and nothing would work. Rests were more frequent. The stiles were higher and more cumbersome to negotiate. The sheep must be enormous here.
It was like trying to coax the last energy out of a fading battery. No way would I ever give up, but what could I do if nothing was working? It was late, too. And I was due a rendezvous with Vera in a Rock side street , next to a very hard place. I was losing it!
Serendipity took over. With added determination. The slope was now in my favour. As I came down to Rock bottom at sea level to catch the ferry to Padstow, the sly, cunning contours realised they were pushing me too hard, and ahead, I detected a relaxation of the slope profile. I could look ahead at the topography and it seemed much more gentle on the other side of The River Camel, at Padstow heading for Harlyn Beach. Perhaps I’m over the worst. There’s something going on here that I can’t explain. After all, I am in Arthurian Country. Very Spooky.
Unexpectedly, the ferry from Rock to Padstow was running a late service, and I paid the return fare and had a relaxing, soothing, thoughtful, restful trip, forth and back across the River Camel. I think I caught a glimpse of a sword in the water? Excalibur….Eureka! At the end I was almost restored and batteries recharged. And my Guini-Vera was waiting to transport me back to Camelford. Sounds a lot like Camelot….
-do you see what I did there?.
Has anyone seen my Holy Grail. It was around here somewhere?
I think I learned a lesson here – even on the walk, I should take more time out to enjoy the surroundings; whenever I walk against the clock, I lose something. So if I miss the finale in November I’ll be still out there walking some insurmountable hill, somewhere on the South West Coast Path.
Crisis over! I just lost my marbles , temporarily.
Best look at some pictures. They are exactly as they came out of the camera – the order doesn’t stand scrutiny. I had to dodge about a bit to accommodate Vera, buses and rendezvouss. Someone tell me the plural of rendezvous. Sounds like something Rosie would know?
And something for Rosie, Lauren, Rowan and Maisie. You must get down to see the Oss at Padstow. You will be fascinated. I got sidetracked by their preparations for Mayday and lost the S W Coast Path for a while. Perfect. More of that please! I found it again next to a café – and a recently escaped family group of ladies celebrating their freedom –
Despite appearances and my sticks rucksack and hat, I wasn’t stalking anyone…..au contraire: Three ladies escaping from eight offspring, invaded my space while I was searching for my place on the S W Coast Path out of Padstow, over a cup of coffee. I warned them standard husband procedure in these circumstances is to wind kids up, feed them raw ‘e’ numbers and sugary drinks, and let them run amok. Rosie, (not our Rosie), Anna (not our Annie) and the only Looe in Padstow will pay dearly for their escapade. Enjoy your freedom!
Lastly, commiserations for Jake; sorry about Spurs; they should have beaten Chelsea but just didn’t convert obvious superiority into goals. But they have just beaten Arsenal. Which after all is what really matters. Bit like Wednesday and United, in Sheffield, eh Rob?….but at a higher level.
Never mind, you can hope the premiership takes a dramatic twist……. When I’ve finished walking I’ll have to get out more – and visit The New White Hart Lane. But for now , next season It’s Wembley – just like Mark.
And as I write Auntie Annie is due to start the Great Birmingham Simplyhealth 10k Race as part of the Birmingham University Team. Picture please. It’s on Channel 5 !
Bring on the pictures – there’s a lot – I just couldn’t cull them.
Day 234 – Thursday 27th April Parked Vera at Treknow and back to the path exactly where I finished last time out. Over the stile, say ‘hello’ to the Path ‘did you miss me?’ and I’m back on the road again….
Leaving Vera at Treknow, soon come to Trebarwith Sand, Port William and Dennis Point. The only difficulty is dealing with a change of maps – is it 111, 109 or 106 – or all three!
Treligga Cliffs, to Dannonchapel and Jacket’s Point; then looking back – I’ve walked all that!
All paths lead to Port Gaverne and Lunch at Port Isaac – and a surprise….
…..surprise is lots of people at Port Isaac. I have to find my bus stop and bus time to get back to Vera parked in Treknow for now. The surprise crowd were camp followers of Doc Martin ,now being filmed in Port Isaac. It takes over the whole village. Excellent lunch was at Ruby Tuesday’s – after their dog – not The Stones. They also checked out my bus timing and place of departure. All went like clockwork as you can see from my on board bus camera. Thank you. Nice salad too! They did try to ply me with ice cream, but I didn’t succumb – or suck anything. One Cornish ice cream and I’m anybody’s.
The local bobby might arrest me….can you see who it is yet?
A trip round Port Isaac – so much going on I couldn’t resist exploring while waiting for my bus back to Treknow. The village is tightly packed and very uneven on so many levels. But The Village seems to act together – they all support The Filming and in the black and white days before colour was invented, they would all help when it came to launching the lifeboat through the narrow lanes – a very tight fit with men at the front steering and the rest behind pushing and shoving till they got it in the water . The safest place was up aloft on the path looking back at the harbour, although I didn’t appreciate how aloft it was going to be, later on.
Many thanks to Rock Television & Electrical Services for the parking facilities while I used up the remains of the day bussing to Polzeath and walking back to Rock just in time to meet the evening Padstow Ferry. Why not? a return trip to Padstow beckons.
Rock – around the Harbour to Padstow and return to Rock again. And back to the tent with twelve miles under my belt.
Day two (or 235 in total). Walking Port Isaac to Polzeath – aiming high – note all the climbs and feeling low.
Mr and Mrs Snap – kept me company over several miles – we shared the same colour – snap! And swapped travel tales.
It’s 11-00am and I need to meet the bus at Polzeath at two minutes passed four or I’m stuck!.
I’ll take that shuttle number just in case – is it a taxi or a boat?
It’s gone midday and I’m at Port Quin – plenty of time for the bus……
twelve forty five and passing Doyden…..
…. passing Trevan Point, Pennywilgie Point and Great Lobb’s Rock nearing two pm; slight concerns for the bus….
Right now all paths lead to Polzeath and the 16-02 Bus back to Port Isaac. Approaching The Rumps and scaling mini-mountains to view The Mouls (The Island) from Rump Point used up valuable minutes 14-48pm !
Overlooking Sevensouls Rocks to The Mouls (northwards) and Sevensouls Cove (westwards) at 14-56pm. Just over an hour. I got here and I must complete the survey despite the bus…. I climbed Rumps Point – the crag in the distance beyond the worn trail guess what? No battery charge left. No time to fiddle with chargers. No evidence!
Now all my time left was concentrated on making the bus stop at Polzeath via Pentire Point. From my lofty position I could make out the beach and a shortcut to the bus probably a mile or so in the distance – downhill. snaps heading for Polzeath…
and one really last shot at 15-35pm – all times taken from my camera!
One really last shot of Polzeath – can you see the bus stop – centre, very back of the bay!!!…….? 15-35pm. Plenty of time? What you can’t see is Pentireglaze Haven intruding at the left front of the sandy beach. When I reached it I was crest fallen – the detour to the left would make me miss the bus. So I carved a slippery path heading straight for the stop….
……which I found with no idea of the time, or whether the bus was early or late – or even running. Occupying the stop was a German Shepherd Dog and her local master, and neither knew about busses. But we all had a good doggy chat. She was a seven year English long haired German Shepherd with no sign of back trouble that afflicted Max. All timing troubles evaporated as I stroked her. Wouldn’t it be nice if I’d had Max or Jay or Sheba walking with me? But not Coco!
Guess what? The bus suddenly appeared; we barked farewell; and I was back on my walkies to Port Isaac. Sorry Flash and Cassie no doggy pictures – no battery!
So after Two days walking I had extended my Northern S W Coast Path Walk as far as Padstow, Let’s see how much further I get tomorrow. I promised myself no bus time challenges – ever again. But serendipity is still keeping an eye on me with soothing Ferry trips and playful dogs.
BYE BYE Lakefield
Day three (236) saw breaking the camp at Lakefield, Lower Pendavey, Camelford, (above) and heading to Harlyn Beach South of Padstow on the River Camel. I found a public carpark that specialised in left cars while owners walked their thing on the S W Coast Path. Open, but slightly unattended. A queue formed and I began chatting to the ladies in the car behind as we wondered what to do. They were on a similar mission but heading the opposite direction to me. Curiously, our respective buses were due to leave at the same time. Here we go again – timing issues. Whilst waiting we compared notes and chatted, embarrassingly about fading memory and how I forget
a/. where I’m going
b/. where I’ve come from
c/. Where I parked Vera
4/. Where I pitched the tent
v/. Why I take photos of all the above.
Here they are; namely Cilla and Della – I think? I noted their names, but can’t remember where …. if necessary, please correct by the comment facility on the blog. A very helpful attendant appeared and we paid up and were in business.
Aides memoires; Where I parked, how I got there and where I got to!
A trip round Padstow Harbour prior to setting off back to Harlyn Beach.
Looking back across to Rock from Padstow, where I ‘d walked yesterday. In comparison a gentle walk today, in more sandy , less rocky conditions, reaching the Lookout Station near Stepper Point.
let’s hope these benign conditions long continue – and no more beating the clock . Just a gentle stroll back to VERA , who is being looked after in Harlyn carpark.
AS I was preparing for my departure back home to Shropshire, a pedestrian was trying to attract my attention; memory cells whirling I realised it was Cilla or was it Della; shall we say Cedilla? Anyway, it turns out they had waited for their bus for some time after my bus left; they had been given the wrong time. But anyway, they had enjoyed their walk and returned just in time to say goodbye!
Just a complimentary word about the bus services in Cornwall. I have to say they are marvellous. The drivers are helpful and how they get their machines around the tight corners and narrow roads is beyond me. What helps me most is that the various services hug the coastline and I can hop on and off, and put an end to the circuitous walks. Ruby Tuesday Café in Port Isaac donated me the current Local Bus Guide, and it is excellent with route maps and timetables – and what’s more – I’ve got my bus pass, which is kind of worn down a bit!
Thank you Busses! And Ferries! King Arthur and everyone else…