The all important weather forecast said it would be a sunny day but not too hot with showers later. For once they got it right. The sea crashed below the cliff path, very different to the gentle lapping of the Fal estuary a couple of days ago. The ‘soundscape’ of a coastal walk is always changing and atmospheric especially the occasional call of a peregrine falcon swooping.
There have been beautiful wild flower meadows and verges along the path the entire walk so far. I am pleased that I have chosen this lovely time of year for my adventure.
I am camped in a field above Megavissey enjoying the evening sun – missed the rain shower by having an early fish and chips in town.
Forty nine miles under my belt. I hit Mevagissey and hoovered a very welcome fish and chips. After a couple of cups of tea I plan to head off for another mile or so and pitch the tent for the night. Some of these pictures are from Dodman Point.
I was up early as I could see the rain clouds looming over Falmouth bay. The only thing worse than packing up a wet tent is erecting one so I made an effort to beat the rain.It worked. I managed to load all 14 kilograms while it was dry.
It was a great pitch; just past the lighthouse and on top of (literally) the WW2 gun battery. I slept like a log. I hadn’t realised untill I had a snoop around this morning that there were even public toilets around the path below me.
Today’s walking was mainly in the rain but I stopped for a great full english breakfast in a great new cafe in Portscatho. I then followed the tough coast path to Portloe with the driving rain in my face. Had my first cream tea in the hotel and came out to find the sun shining for the first time today. Couldn’t find a good pitch on the cliffs after Portloe so have made do with a rather sloping patch of grass beside the coast path – too tired to keep looking.
The GPS says that I have walked 38.2 miles so far. Thats ok – about 12 miles a day is fine considering the very hilly terrain
The builders arrived at 8 am and caught me pouring whisky. ‘You start early,’ they said. I was actually topping up my hip flask to tuck away in my backpack for emergencies.
Two years ago, in preparation for my LEJoG walk, I walked from Lands End to Coverack on the Lizard peninsular with my friend Anthony. We would have walked further but the unrelenting rain made the paths slippery and dangerous. More importantly the walk stopped being fun so we gave up after a night in the old lookout tower.
Now I am returning to try and finish the walk and continue on to my home in Southbourne Dorset.
Wednesday 9th May 2012
I set out yesterday at about 2 o’clock in reasonable weather but expected the odd shower. By 4 o’clock the rain set in and it rained continuously for 4 hours. The path had been blocked by cliff falls in several locations and the diversions were long – in one case 2.5 miles.
I arrived in the Shipwrights arms in Helford, wet and bedraggled, at about 8.30 at night. Luckily Kerriann, Anthony, Donna and Malcolm, who I had arranged to meet, were still there and bought me a pint. On the advice of the locals I set my tent up in the dark on some reasonably flat grass next to the car park. The team helped and I was soon tucked up for my first night in a tent for two years.
Ten and a half miles covered so far. 10th May
Woke up early as the sun hit my tent – what a lovely view! Overlooking Helford and the estuary – fantastic! Anthony and his dog Bowjey joined me for most of today’s walk and what a pleasure it was. The sun shone and there were no more diversions. The Lizard is stunningly beautiful, if a little more genteel, than the rugged north coast that I was used to when I lived in Cornwall. We covered the 10 miles to Falmouth in around 7 hours. We got some funny looks when Donna (Anthony’s wife who had come to collect him) came running up to me with a suspicious bag of white powder. It turned out to be the milk powder for my tea that I had forgotten to put in my rucksack!
Anthony and Donna left me at the ferry terminal where I caught the next boat to St Mawes and then another to Place. I walked a couple more miles and have pitched my tent on the cliff top near St Antony light house .
I’m now 25miles along my route.
Anthony took some great photos which I will add later.
Tomorrow I’ll be starting off on another walk. This time it’s only a little one – about 300 miles. I’ll start off in Coverack on the Cornish coast and walk to our house in Dorset. Kerriann will keep my blog up to date while I’m walking so do follow along if you so desire.
Our little rescue chorkie dog Hugo now has his own blog. he was recently in The Sun newspaper (and others) when he got himself stuck in a fence while chasing a three-legged cat and had to be rescued by the fire brigade.
If you’re interested you can reach it by clicking on Hugo’s Blog .
I walked into John o’ Groats this morning and completed my walk.
First I would like to thank Kerriann for all her help in this adventure especially driving all the way up to the North of Scotland in the motorhome to support me on the last leg.
Also all of you who have left messages of support on the blog or sent emails during the walk – on a cold damp evening in a tent in the middle of nowhere these messages make a huge difference.
Thanks to the great people of the mountain bothies association who give their time, efforts and money to provide free accommodation for nutters like me in the most remote and beautiful locations.
Thanks to Malcolm the map master for all of his hard work providing you and me with maps, statistics and forecasts throughout the walk.
Thanks, too, to the people who kindly put me up for the night, gave me breakfast and generally looked after me.
Thanks to The National Trust and all of the organisations that look after our wonderful countryside, especially those responsible for preserving our incredible network of footpaths. Thanks to the walkers, postmen, beach combers, dog walkers, dustmen, council workers, tourists, cyclists, lock keepers, drivers and everybody that took the time to lean on a gate and pass the time of day with me – it is you that made my journey very, very special.
If my walk has inspired anyone to set out on a similar adventure I am delighted.
If I can offer an advice or share any lessons learned on my journey just ask.
Lessons learnt or relearnt?
Have absolute faith that the universe will provide what you need to survive when you need it.
People are lovely.
Most hills are not as high or as difficult as they look.
We are capable of doing a lot more than we think.
We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.