A lovely chat with Julie and her sister over breakfast about the day to come. They are walking the opposite direction so know where I’m going and vice versa. The morning started with a great warmup walk along the firm sand for a couple of miles. Blue skies and very few people apart from the odd dog walker and a happy girl on a pony.
It was a steep climb up to the end of Penhale sands, but was it worth it. I felt like the only person in the world at the top. I’ve not listened to any music yet, but the glory of it all called for something - Stormzy’s Blinded by your Grace really fitted the bill. It released a lot of the emotion that’s been pent up over the last few days, a combination of tears and joyous exhilaration. Utterly blue skies and white crashing waves, with the time to enjoy it all. I felt so lucky.
After a coffee in Holywell I took the shortcut across a lovely moorland called the Kelseys and saw the most vibrant fields of poppies. The photos barely do them justice, and what you can’t hear is the skylarks. Again, if I’d stuck to the conventional path I’d have missed it. I could probably go all philosophical about that.
I stopped to have my rather squashed sandwich as I approached West Pentire. Katie and Trish approached me to say that they’d seen the sign on my rucksack and they’d like to donate. It’s such a boost when people do that , and it’s good to have a chat too. Just a shame that my enthusiastic hair stole Trish’s limelight!
It was lovely to explore the sand dunes at the back of Crantock beach, though I remembered Julie’s comment from this morning that it felt a bit Lawrence of Arabia. With extra hills.
The ability of plants to thrive in the least promising environments was demonstrated by what looked like wild coronilla glauca all over the sand. Sadly my very fancy hat is now also somewhere in that part of the beach, the first thing I’ve lost.
To cross the Gannel river the strategy depends on the tide time. If the tide is low then there’s a bridge, if it’s high there’s a ferry. As I was waiting for the ferryman to potter over I was given money by a holiday maker saying what a good cause the air ambulance is. But sadly, in the excitement of getting in the boat I didn’t write his name down. Let’s call him Phil. The ferryman is extremely skilful dealing with the tide rushing in and the river flowing out. He give me some top tips for avoiding the worst hills on the coastal path and wouldn’t take my money for the fare. Thanks Mark.
Another steep climb up to a very appealing cafe - this has been the day for beach cafes. Whilst having a rest another solo woman walker arrived, the first I’d seen. We talked enthusiastically about routes and walking experiences, possibly not what the family sitting in the intervening table were expecting as the accompaniment to their quiet cup of tea. Lucy kindly sponsored me using the text code, and we discovered she lives down the road from me, and played football for Tasha’s team.
Then a walk down the road to Newquay where I bought a not quite as good hat and dealt with that disappointment by having an excellent Bounty ice cream. For the haters of Bounty out there, you’re just wrong. This has been the longest day so far, and although I could feel it in my legs at the end, especially on the long pull up from Watergate Bay, it’s noticeable how much fitter I‘m getting. And the pictures show how much more sunburnt I am, despite the factor 50.
At the last hurdle in Trevarrian, I couldn’t find my accommodation, but Keith, Sheila and Humphrey stepped in to help and sponsor me at the same time. The sign on the rucksack has generated so much money for TVAA already. And though it is not why I’m set out to do the walk, that does feel really good. Even without the rucksack sign, just chatting to people over dinner about dogs led to Tony sponsoring me.
It’s all felt good today. I’ve felt much more stable both physically and psychologically. And the last 5 days have both gone really quickly whilst at the same time seeming so long in retrospect that it feels like a month since I started. I find myself both caught up with the minutiae of looking after myself and getting to the right place whilst also being absorbed in a much bigger picture. Writing this blog has really helped me to process it all, if others find it interesting then that’s a lovely added bonus.
Distance: 15.8 miles
Total ascent: 1851 feet
Calories burnt: 2270
Local tipple - half of Rattler cider, extremely strong!
Dinner at the Traveller’s Rest, Trevarrian - eccentric….
Vegetarian linguine with halloumi
Number of hats that I thought I’d lost, remembered that I didn’t lose it last time therefore I wouldn‘t have actually lost it, only to discover that I had indeed lost it: 1
Video of the day: https://www.relive.cc/view/vevWQe8Wny6