Friday, 12 April 2013

Porthcurno to Penzance

The lay-day did our legs the world of good. There is a lot of up and down rock scrambling on this walk. Very much like the Mt Feathertop walk, as far as the terrain is concerned. Chris at the Seaview House in Porthcurno had looked after us wondrously well and also set us on our way with a cheery wave. [LOTS of cheery waving on this trip!]

The weather began nicely, but slowly gained momentum (in a negative direction) from the outset. We scrambled along the Path, noting the subtle differences to the north side of the peninsula - those being the more gentle farmland (south) compared with the granitey geology of the north. We admit to getting a little lost on this day as we headed a little too far inland than the Path warranted. Our legs were getting stronger, but extra distance was not welcome.

Settlements of note included a couple of tiny working fishing hamlets with fishing implements lying on their sides on the sand waiting for the incoming tide to turn them into boats, thereby facilitating the simple fisherfolk to go about their fishing activities with good humour. The tide was still on its way out, though, and fishing would not commence for some time. One of these cove hamlets had a huge windlass/capstan/winch that could only be powered by human force, as no engine or pony was in evidence.

One little descent off the cliff-tops took us through a little garden oasis, where a couple of farmlets in a row sat right down next to the sea. These had huge trees (we had left the treeless landscape of West Cornwall), under which grew daffodils, jonquils and much more besides. A lot of work had gone into these gardens.

By the time we got to Lemora the rain had reached its crescendo for the day. Some holiday-makers were huddled under a cafe tarpaulin drinking coffee. We felt sorry for them as we pulled our gortex hoods firmer over our heads and trudged on up the stony track. Poor buggers! Cupping their hot coffee mugs to freezing lips. At least we were warm!

Around the next headland was Mousehole (pronounced "Mowsel"). The tide was right at turning point here and we watched the sea begin its rush through the narrow, bricked, harbour entrance from the warmth of our cafe of choice up above. I'm not sure we were at all welcome here, as we were saturated and we left quite a bit of mud on the floor. Great cream tea though!

The last bit into Penzance was a doddle, with only a flat path beside the coast to deal with. The rain had abated to a stop and we could see St Michael's Mount off in the distance. Bob at Carnson House showed us to our rooms earlier than normal and we were soon changed and warm and heading off to the Turk's Head for a pint.

Tomorrow we head to Paris.


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