Well today was a shock to the system after the relatively flat days we’d been having. Okay yeah, so we’d been bouldering and picked our way across ankle breaking terrain and climbed some ridiculous hills but it had mostly been quite forgiving with large stretches of flat trail unfitting of the South West Coast Path, luring you into a false sense of security.
We knew the stretch between Port Isaac and Tintagel would be quite brutal on account of information we’d gleaned from the mighty Interwebs but we’d failed to find any information on the Rumps Point to Port Isaacs section. Dear reader, I am here to tell you that it is hideous. It’s reminiscent of the relentless hills of Dorset and Devon, it just wouldn’t give up. Up and down hills with those steps built for giants that you just have to kind of haul yourself up with whatever is available.
Admittedly we stopped for a nap. It was too good of a napping spot to pass up. There was a conveniently placed bench at the top of one of the many, many inclines we’d tackled and right next to that was a little patch of grass, too small and slopey for a tent, but perfect for two knackered lesbians to just lie down for twenty minutes. But ultimately it took us five hours to cover the 6.5 miles to Port Issac and that’s lethargic even by our quite lethargic standards.
We’d intended to resupply in Port Isaac. Oh my god it was so busy, it overwhelmed me a little bit. I was so hot, all of my fluid was making a break for freedom through my face, I was so tired and dosing myself up on codeine so I could actually walk on my knee was doing nothing for my energy levels. I was also really hungry and I’m generally a bit irritable when I’m hungry, but in the way The Hulk is a bit irritable when he turns green, so when I saw the hill we had to walk up to get to the Co-op I was so irrationally fucking angry. Seriously. I stomped up it insomuch as one can stomp anywhere on such a violent incline, stopping every five paces to declare, “This is BULLSHIT!!!”
I was acutely aware that the next resupply option would be Tintagel and whilst we’d started our day intending to get close to it was looking very much like we wouldn’t even get that far. We were meant to be meeting an Instagram friend this evening too. We’d have to rethink some timings. We did make it up the hill to the particularly expensive Co-op and plonked ourselves down outside it shovel a Meal Deal into our chops. All healthy eating intentions had gone to shit, just hand me the damn carbs and back away. I even opted to sit in the shade.
Shit didn’t get any easier after Port Isaac either. In fact it got harder, I swear. One particular hill had me clawing my way up it with my hands. I’d have sat down and cried but people wanted to get past me. Okay then, new plan. We’re not getting anywhere near Tintagel tonight without dying so we’d get to Trebarwith Strand, meet Beca (of @muddy_bootlaces fame on the ‘Gram) there then we’d go and look for a campsite. This was much more doable.
One thing there’s a bizarre abundance of along this stretch is joggers. Actual people actually running up and down these hills. I can barely get up some of these steps and these people are not only jogging them, they’re greeting us as they run by and they don’t even seem like they’re out of breath. As we stood at the bottom of a wall of steps preparing ourselves for the ascent, a bloke passed us and joked, “It’s a job for ropes and crampons around here isn’t it!” then proceeded to run up the fucking steps. Absolute maniac.
Just before you get to Trebarwith Sand there’s a lovely bit of flat land followed by a particularly steep downhill with a not-too-awful switchback up the other side, then there was a massive expanse of flat. The best bit was by the cliff with a spectacular view across the Atlantic and surely we’d be able to fit two tents here. The rest of the field was flat too. There was a bit of cow shit but it was all really old and dry and not that much of it at all. There’s a steep descent into the village but we didn’t mind coming back up here if we knew there was a place to pitch.
We got there with 45 minutes to spare before we met Beca, fortunately there’s a pub here so we made use of their toilets, WiFi and tasty cold post mix. We’d been trying to meet up with Beca since we got to Cornwall but we’d not managed to make it work until tonight and it was so good to catch up and hang out. She brought all manner of exciting things such as ingredients for fajitas and fancy motor impairment beverages. Food, guys! She made us actual food! Proper bit of trail magic for us tonight.
We’d pitched where we’d recced and we were just sitting around and chatting when Beca spotted cows. Fucking seriously? The farmer released the cows? There’s no way this field had been used for livestock this year and suddenly there’s a herd of bovine and I swear they’re all looking at us.
To add insult to injury there were sheep too but they don’t have a tendency to glare at you whilst mooing aggressively. Beca is as scared of cows as I am. We absolutely noped out of there to a flat piece of ground at the bottom of the switchback which wasn’t too far to go to finish our evening of beers and chats. But I guess you could say we got moooooved on…
Rumps Point, Cornwall to Trebarwith Strand, Cornwall, England
Stayed at: Wild camp in the valley before Trebarwith Strand
Useful shit to know…
- There are 20p toilets in Port Isaac. The toilets at Trebarwith Strand seem to be free but donations are welcome.
- There’s a drinking water tap in Port Quin. Apart from that you do cross a few streams.
- There’s a pub at Trebarwith Strand which has WiFi and will fill your bottles too.