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  • Writer's pictureJane Smith

Day 6 - Trevarrian to Padstow. Tough.

I was exhausted last night, feeling shaky and drained in the pub at dinner and then asleep by 8.30 or so. Although I slept well, I was still under par and wobbly in the morning. My appetite is normally voracious, but since the walk started I am really having to force myself to eat breakfast in particular. Which is a shame, as the breakfasts have generally been good!

And because I’m not replacing the calories I’ve burned I’m then feeling drained. It made setting off today very difficult, the toughest it’s been. So a steep pull out of Mawgan Porth was possibly not an ideal start. But at least it looked like that was going to be the hardest incline of the day. The weather was lovely again, not too hot but beautiful skies with a breeze.

And once at the top it evened out and I enjoyed the next couple of miles with only a few runners for company. But soon the wobbly feeling returned, and I decided that I needed to reduce the miles from what I had intended for the day. I took a detour inland to cut off a headland, only to find myself confronted with a field of lively cows with their young. So I worked my way back to the coastal path instead, adding miles instead of reducing them.

On the way round the headland I passed a class or primary school children with their teachers at the cliff edge. They looked like they were drawing. What an amazing place to have on their doorstep. And what an alarming place to bring 30 children.

A lovely coffee at Porthcothan was regenerative for lots of reasons, mainly to sit in the shade and chat to Cath and Irene (pronounced the Italian way!)

At least I think it’s Cath - I managed to delete her name in my notes, apologies if it’s something completely different!! They were so encouraging, and really helped me when I was feeling low. Thanks to both of you.

Coming out of Porthcowan I decided to radically change the route of the walk to reduce the mileage for today significantly. I don’t want to risk not being able to manage tomorrow by trying to do too much today. As long as I get to the next stop, there is no obligation to walk a particular route, so although the coast path is lovely, the rest of today’s journey was by road. It meant I could enjoy popping into little independent art galleries and have a stop for a drink in a Rick Stein owned pub on the way.

Because I’d got more time, I popped into St Merryn church. A beautiful 12th century building, it smelt amazing because of the floral arrangements for a wedding that afternoon. The florist and the vicar were very excited, and it made me realise with astonishment that that only a week ago I was at a very special wedding. It feels like so much longer ago than that.

The roads are narrow, so they require concentration, but at least this route reduced the day by 3 miles or so. To give me a boost, I fell on the playlist to which my friends and family have contributed. I asked for songs that might cheer them up when things are tough. It’s an extraordinarily eclectic mix, and I’m listening on shuffle. So today I had Le Freak, This train is bound for glory, Cleo Laine and Bach’s Bist du bei mir. Not knowing what was coming next made it especially entertaining. And I considered picking the wild fennel as an adhoc salad to accompany the music.

When I organised all the accommodations, where possible I booked direct to allow the business owners to get more of my money. With the London Inn in Padstow I was told that booking direct meant that I would get a free cream tea. I arrived sweaty and exhausted at the bar to excitedly claim it, only to be told that the pub had changed hands, and they no longer did teas. I think my face must have told a story - they gave me a sympathetic free drink instead.

Padstow is a lively tourist village, but with a busy harbour. There were lots of boat trips zipping across the Camel estuary, and the ferry running across to beautiful Rock beach too. That’s a decision - is it cheating to take the ferry instead of the 6 mile walk round the estuary? Whilst debating this I enjoyed another ice cream flavour that will divide the audience - peanut butter with chocolate crunch. Yum.

Although I’ve paddled in the sea, I’ve not yet swum. So with a bit of extra time this afternoon I thought I’d remedy that. The beach closest to Padstow is a mile or so from the village, and it was quiet and lovely, looking across the estuary. Swimming felt fantastic.

And then another fantastic thing - dinner at Rick Stein’s cafe. Not his fancy pants restaurant, but the lower key one. Which was a good choice given the eccentric clothes I was wearing. They couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly, their food was delicious and I had the added bonus of getting to meet Sandra and Robert on the next table. They were great company, and Sandra shared her tips on how to look 20 years younger than her actual age. Walking figured highly, together with having a positive attitude and being content with one’s lot.

Stats Distance: 10.5 miles

Total ascent: 1100 feet

Calories burned: 1520

Dinner at Rick Stein’s cafe - fantastic

Salt and pepper prawns with a salad dressed with soy and sesame

Bream with laksa noodles and sambal blachan

Number of coffee machines described as excellent by the pub manager before he tripped and knocked it into the air, leading it to fall into many pieces and cover my carpet with water: 1

Video of the day:

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