We fell asleep to the sound of the waves crashing onto the rocks far below us and woke up to birds chirping in the hedgerow we’d pitched next to. Oh, and the sound of rain belting down on the tent. Considering we were on a slope I’d slept quite well, only waking up a few times to the rain, and to claw my way back up the tent.
The Path has a few of these things we’re calling Coast Tags. It’s where there’s a little sticky-out bit that the Path hugs, taking you completely and utterly out of your way to bring you back to close to where you just were. It happened in Plymouth, we skirted the ferry by mere metres before being steered around the coast to add a mile and a half before arriving right back at the ferry. Today we’d woken up half a mile from the Place ferry but the trail insisted we see this last little three miles before boarding.
To be fair, we’d gotten a lot further last night than we’d intended to. We had three hours to cover these three miles so I guess it gave us something to do. It took us through St Anthony’s Head which had toilets which were mercifully open. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions as I saw the open door, but then saw the sign saying they were closed for the winter, then realised they were actually open. It’s like as soon as my bowels realise there’s a toilet block they activate before the rest of me has ascertained whether we can even get into them or not.
We still had at least an hour to kill so we had a look at all the various World War shit they have strewn about the place then strolled around to the bird hide. We didn’t see any birds though despite some intense staring. Maybe even they thought it was too bastard early. We decided to head off and see if the church was open. Turned out it was, it was probably open all night, we could have bivvied in there I reckon. It’s a historic church cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust. They do great work actually. Again, I’m not in this for the religious aspect, I just fucking love nice buildings.
We got down to the quay in time for the first boat over to St Mawes. You have to walk down a wobbly pontoon to the boat which obviously did a great job highlighting all of my inadequacies when it comes to balance. I gingerly made my way to the boat thankfully without faceplanting anything and managed to keep the Pepperami I’d consumed to stop me from murdering anyone in place as the tiny little boat bounced along to St Mawes.
The Falmouth ferry picks you up from the same place. That’s a bigger boat. I’m still not sure if there’s a correlation between the size of the boat and how likely it is to relieve you of your breakfast. I was assured the back at the bottom was the least bumpy place so that’s where we sat. The water was a bit choppy today and this was the largest body of water we’d crossed so far but again, I was actually fine.
So we haven’t really done a lot of hiking and camping in rain. That’s not by design, we’ve just been lucky with trails in the past. It hammered it down a few times on the Hadrians Wall Path but we’d already booked bunkhouses, not campsites, for those nights. We don’t have proper rain protocols in place. Ha, listen to her. Rain protocols. Someone watches too much Iron Man.
But like, where do you leave your wet shit? Outside the tent to get covered in slugs? Or inside the tent with your lovely, down sleeping bag that’s rendered ineffective when wet? We’d not brought rain covers as everything inside our bags were in bags, we didn’t think we’d need them, but then everything in the outside pockets was left unprotected. Fuck it. We swung by Trespass and picked up a couple of backpack covers. Let’s see how they go. We were expecting a few wet days.
We were staying with a friend of mine tonight. Ben is at uni here so after a spot of breakfast at a little café we caught the bus up to campus. He cooked dinner which had all manner of exciting things in it such as vegetables. Apparently the peas in a Pot Noodle don’t count towards your five a day so this was revolutionary for my digestive system. It was also just really nice to catch up, play some cards, and generally have a roof for the night. Definitely having a lie in tomorrow. In fact, given the timings for the next ferry a lie in is essential.
Bohortha, Cornwall to Falmouth, Cornwall, England
Stayed at: Ben’s flat on campus
Useful shit to know…
- The Churches Conservation Trust run a scheme they call Champing, whereby you stay in an epic church over night. Church camping. Champing. It’s pricey but you get the whole church to yourself whilst supporting the work they do to conserve these wonderful buildings.
- If you’re going straight to Falmouth from St Mawes, ask for the combo ticket. Coast Path Explorer I think? At the time of writing it was £13.50 per person and it gets you on both ferries all the way to Falmouth.
- The Place to St Mawes boat can’t run at low tide. Check the website for schedule disruptions.
- The toilets at St Anthony’s Head are, apparently, closed in the winter. There are meant to be toilets at St Mawes but I’m not sure where. There are toilets by the pier at Falmouth.