Another absolute stunner of a night’s sleep but yeah nah, didn’t need any of that beer yesterday. It’s not like we drank a lot but my entire being made it very clear that my age doesn’t begin with a two anymore. Or a three for that matter. Fortunately today didn’t need to be a rush. In fact what we wanted to do is not catch the ferry, we wanted to stop short, we didn’t have to be in Falmouth until Monday.
We woke up absolutely gagging for socially acceptable drugs but that’s standard when we’ve applied motor impairment beverages to our faceholes the night before. I more or less live off giant cans of Red Bull at home and Tarrant can barely form sentences before her first coffee but we were both doing quite well weaning ourselves off the caffeine. Today though, today my brain needed that jump start but going off the map it didn’t look like there’d be anything until Portscatho. Fine, we could cope. I’m not twitching, you’re twitching.
The first village we stopped at, well it wasn’t really a village. It was a fucking castle with a beach, toilets and various cafés but there was no indication as to when they would open. I’d wager 10-ish on a Sunday in May. The bogs were open though so we made full use of those and I treated myself to a little wipe down with a wet cloth. We bumped into Alan again who was on a mission for actual food. Probably a better idea than our standard breakfast of a Pepperami and something with a sugar content.
Then it was just a plod. A very beautiful plod along Cornwall’s devastatingly gorgeous coastline, but a plod nonetheless. At least my eyeholes had something to keep them happy even if the squishy grey shit in between my ears couldn’t quite get going. We passed through East Portholland which was just a collection of houses, probably holiday lets right by the beach. What a place to live though! Might have to murder the odd tourist to stay sane but hey.
Portloe might have been our saviour but the pub didn’t open until midday and we didn’t fancy loitering for an hour so up the hill we slogged. That was another thing that got to us today. Relentless hills. Nothing too epic, they were just constant and that does do your head in eventually even on a good day.
Dear reader, the day was not good. The weather forecast had changed to say lots of rain at 3pm. The actual weather completely disregarded that and started hurling wet shit at us from 2-ish. Oh good. We wrapped ourselves in our crisp packets and pressed on to Carne beach to utilise their toilets and fill up our water bottles in the sink. There was a van selling teas and coffees and if the sky wasn’t slowly saturating us we’d have been all over that but we wanted a roof like the snobs we are.
It was one of those days where you feel like everything is being picked up and moved further away. Earlier in the day I became convinced Portloe was a myth. I kept expecting to see it round every corner only to be faced with more headland to climb over. We knew Portscatho had a pub and pubs often serve hot drinks but it just didn’t seem to be getting any fucking closer. We’d been able to see it for what felt like three fucking days. Was it a mirage? A mind game? Were we living in an elaborate simulation and the simulation had glitched?
Eventually, finally, we rolled into Portscatho and the Plume of Feathers pub which was absolutely rammed and a little bit too warm. As we dripped into the pub several pairs of eyes turned to look at us and suddenly it felt like everyone was making comments on how soaked we were. I felt very self conscious. A barman told us all the tables were booked but we could sit in this little alcove thing. I felt huge, drenched through with my big daft backpack, like I was expanding like a gas to fill every available space. Everyone was still staring. That’s it, I panicked, I freaked out and told them thank you but it was fine and dragged Tarrant out of there before I had a minor meltdown.
So we were still wet through and still uncaffienated. We spotted a church as we got to the edge of the village and thought fuck it, we’ll pop in there for a minute to get a bit drier, and what a lovely church! More of a modern place, carpets and everything. And and and! A coffee machine with a sign saying it was free to use, just make a donation if you can. What an absolute literal godsend. We sat there for a while and actually wondered if we could get away with a cheeky bivvy in the corner.
We chucked a couple of quid in the donation box and reluctantly tore ourselves away from the nice, warm room with a roof and a coffee machine, intending to pitch the tent up on the first acceptably slopey patch of ground we could find and just hope Alan hadn’t beaten us to it. Turns out there’s fuck all too beat us to. The sheep nabbed all the good fields, the flattish bits we could find were covered in long grass which could house all manner of undesirable things we wouldn’t find out about until we sat on it, fields were cordoned off with electric fences.
We couldn’t really go a huge distance further. We weren’t running out of daylight, we were running out of trail. There’d be no ferry until tomorrow so we’d have to find somewhere no matter how inappropriate. We ended up in the corner of a field about three trail miles (but actually about half a mile, the trail drags you the whole way around the coast of the peninsula) from the ferry. In hindsight we could have popped the half mile to St Anthony’s Church to see if it was left open all night but a pitch is a pitch, even if we’d definitely spend most of the night clawing our way back up our mats, and it’s only for one night.
Dodman Point, Cornwall to Bohortha, Cornwall, England
Stayed at: Wild camp in the corner of a field. Proper stop where we drop pitch.
Useful shit to know…
- Toilets are at Porthluney Beach, East Portholland, Portloe, Carne Beach, Pendower Beach, and Portscatho.
- Loads of toilets but no shops until Portscatho. You’ll have to make sure you resupply at Mevagissey. The shop in Gorran Havan isn’t very well stocked.
- We refilled our water at Carne Beach. The toilets at Porthluney Beach have proper taps too. I’m not sure about the others. We did cross a couple of streams you could filter from but they were all in the earlier parts of the day.