We are literally the worst thru-hikers known to man. We’d never be able to do one of those time sensitive American trails where you have to complete it within a certain time window or you’ll freeze to death in a ditch. Beca walked with us to Tintagel (I hobbled, my knee still wasn’t happy and was taking longer and longer to get going every morning) and we hung out until the café opened at 10am then she headed back home and, well, we never left Tintagel.
We had a spot of breakfast at the café then wandered around the castle which is really, really ruined. There are a few boards here and there so you have a vague idea what you’re looking at but I just think they don’t know much about the castle. Legend has it that it was the home of King Arthur. In reality it was built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall in the 1230’s, probably inspired by the legend. It’s a wonder any of it’s left at all it’s so bloody old.
After we’d put enough castle in our eyeholes we headed to a pub to charge our shit up. It was really hot again which is lovely to sit in and slowly crisp your flesh, but it’s a bit harder to walk in so we had had an easier day planned. Also the pub was really expensive so I felt less bad about rinsing their electric and WiFi and washing my socks in their sink.
Tarrant checked the weather. It was set to piss rain overnight and the next few days. In fact the whole of the south of England was under a yellow storm warning. Sprinkle this with a dash of knee pain and you had a recipe for Fuck This Shit. We decided we’d let the fates decide; if we could get a campsite then we would. If not then we’d press on with the trail.
We walked to Headland Caravan Park which is conveniently located a few minutes from the village but they had a sign up saying they had no pitches. I tried to call in case they could squeeze in a small tent but there was no answer. Well that was that then. Off we would fuck via Spar for rations.
You know when you aren’t bothered whether you get the thing or not until you definitely can’t have the thing then there’s nothing you want more than the thing? That. I wanted a campsite and a shower. I didn’t want to be on a cliff when the rain came in. I’m not saying a campsite would be flatter or more sheltered but if we died a horrible death because a tree fell on us or we got struck by lightening at least we wouldn’t be caked in four days worth of sweat and grime and no-one could tut and shake their heads and say, “Well they weren’t really meant to be there were they…”
I forlornly scoured Google Maps for potential camp spots whilst Tarrant scoured Spar for edible shit we could reasonably prepare on a camping stove, then my phone rang. Obviously I froze in terror. But what if it was the campsite? It was, and they’d had a cancellation, and we would have a shower tonight! Woo hoo!
So yes. We’d intended to have a short day but perhaps not 2.35 miles short. Whatever. I’m not even going to pretend that we’ll make the time up over the next few days because to be fair we don’t really have any time to make up. We’re not on any manner of schedule and if we want to pitch at 3pm and do very little whilst being very clean then we damn well will.
Ooh also, in today’s episode of “Where Is Claire’s Appetite?” it appears my stomach can be coaxed into accepting noodles as long as they’re mixed with vegetables. We figured as we’re boiling water anyway we might as well get those bags of prepared broccoli and cauliflower and boil some of them in the process. Beca left us some dried tofu chunks which are actually life changing and with all that combined I actually feel like I’ve had dinner. Hopefully this will help with the tiredness too. But then again not pumping myself full of codeine so I can walk on my knee might help with that too.
Trebarwith Strand, Cornwall to Tintagel, Cornwall, England
Stayed at: Headland Caravan Park, Tintagel
Useful shit to know…
- Toilets are at Trebarwith Strand and they were open in the morning when we rocked up. There are toilets opposite the Beach Café at the bottom of the castle which everyone can use.
- The castle is English Heritage. It’s free for members but it’s a whopping £21 for an adult otherwise. It’s cool but I think that’s a lot for what it is.