God it was hard fucking work dragging ourselves out of bed at 5am after two days off but we wanted to smash some miles out today. It didn’t help that our pitch was separated from the communal fire pit by a wall and a group decided they wanted a drunken fire at 9pm, just when we went to bed. One of their group didn’t so much as laugh but cackle and she seemed to be able to time it perfectly for just when I was nodding off. Ah the joys of campsite camping at the weekend.
As we packed up the robin that had spent 2.5 days shitting all over our tent flew down, plucked a slug that had been bothering Tarrant from between her feet, flew about a metre away and watched us for a few seconds as the slug writhed in its beak before fucking off. Way to redeem yourself, little guy!
It’s rare we deliberately try and do twenty miles but we wanted to try and get close to Land’s End in two days. I do not like doing twenty miles. Not a single fibre of my being tight twenty miles would be an enjoyable venture, I’m not going to lie, but how nice would it be to rock up to Land’s End early doors before the Landmark monstrosity opened its doors to the coach tours? Let’s see how this goes then.
It actually started off quite well. There were a few hills and rocky bits but nothing too hideous. The most difficult thing we had to contend with was every molecule of water in our body trying to make a break for freedom through our faces. Shitting hell, it was hot and humid today. I mean, I’ll take this over pissing rain any day but you could flood nations with the sweat pouring from me.
Kynance Cove, it turns out, is a low tide only affair. There’s a high tide alternative but we risked it. Very nearly got wet feet. That wouldn’t have been the end of the world but I think other options if you try it at proper high tide would be “dashed on rocks” or “swept away to watery death.” I’m not sure you’d be offered a choice either. Your demise wouldn’t be an a la carte situation.
After Kynance it gets so lovely and flat. Like, vast swathes of flat. Flat flat flat. It almost felt criminal walking past it without pitching a tent but we’d only done a couple of miles and we’d been far too kind to ourselves the last week or two. It’s so fucking enjoyable when you can focus on cramming the coastline in your eyeholes rather than trying not to die as you slog up another hill. It’s packed full of sexy chunks of corrugated earth crust around here, you don’t know where to point your face first. How am I supposed to do twenty miles when I have to stop every fifteen metres to take a photo?
We bumped into a couple of women we’d met before, Danielle and Jayne, who are section hiking the Cornish coast in whatever order they please which would make my brain itch but it’s a fun way to do it. They told us the next section was gorgeous and oh my gosh, they weren’t shitting us. You walk around the corner and Mullion Cove, guys, you’ll trip up over your own jaw if you’re not careful. It’s absolutely stunning. Obviously the blue skies and that epically clear, blue water helps but it probably turns heads in the rain too.
Lunch was consumed in an ideal spot complete with bench overlooking Polurrian Cove, a space to dry the tent and a substantial amount of eyehole fodder. There was a bonus dog on the beach too for me to make squee noises at from a distance. Once we were at Poldhu we grabbed a cold can of Coke each but not even the sugar in that could jump start my brain. I was so tired from the lack of sleep. We ended up napping for twenty minutes on the side of the trail. Well, I napped. Tarrant lay awake swatting at all the creatures crawling on her.
By the time we got to Porthleven to pick up groceries we’d smashed fourteen miles. Six more to go. We had to walk past a beer garden full of people enjoying tasty, cold motor impairment beverages in the sun. The temptation was torture! Fuelled by Red Bull and grim determination we pressed on, but whilst it had been a lovely, forgiving terrain until now it suddenly got a whole lot lumpier. It had cooled down a lot so we dragged ourselves up hills with our poles and shuffled back down them whilst apologising profusely to our knees.
We got to Praa Sands and thought fuck it. Next acceptably slopey place we find we’re taking it. There wasn’t fucking anything for ages, we ended up doing 21 miles before pitching up just after Prussia Cove which was far busier than the middle of fucking nowhere on a Sunday evening had any right being.
We’ve done over twenty miles about three times now and I have enjoyed the last five miles on exactly zero of those days. We’ll still try and smash it tomorrow though. But once we’re through Land’s End I’d very much like to revert to our usual style of hiking. It’s meant to be a meander, not a march, and I do like to do my part keeping the local economy afloat with the odd pint.
Day on South West Coast Path: 30
Distance walked today: 21 miles
Total walked so far: 542.92 miles
Weather: Hot and humid until early evening then it cooled down.
Coldest temp last night: 12.94°C inside / 9.25°C outside
Trigs bagged: 0
Trigs to date: 33
“Have you read ‘The Salt Path?'” (Running Total): 7
Jump to “Useful shit to know…”
The Lizard, Cornwall to Prussia Cove, Cornwall, England
Stayed at: Wild camp just past Prussia Cove
Useful shit to know…
- Toilets are the The Lizard village and at Lizard Point. Porth Mellin, Poldhu and Porthleven also have toilets.
- We crossed plenty of streams for refill options but there are also pubs in Porthleven and and cafés at Poldhu and Porth Mellin.
BUDGET for one person (based on two sharing)
Groceries, Porthleven: £12.68
Can of Coke from a beach café: £2
Grand Total: £14.68