We fully intended for today to be a short day on account of the fact we fully intended to leach the electricity in Costa Coffee until our powerbanks were fully charged. They’re pretty badass, they go from dead to full in 3.5 hours, but that’s a lot of caffeine and I feel like my kidneys would have opinions on that so I started strong with a hot chocolate complete with cream and marshmallows. Hey it’s all calories for the coming hills we had to climb.
We’ve been on this trail what, 45 days now? We’ve finally accepted the fact we have no fucking idea how long shit takes. We know we’re slow, we don’t care because it’s always been a meander, not a march. We know this stretch is an absolute bastard because people keep telling us it is. We know there are pubs but we didn’t know what time we’d be passing them so we didn’t want to rely on them for lunch or dinner.
There are no shops a reasonable distance from the trail until Westward Ho! so we decided to pack enough food to get us there, assuming we’d be there by Thursday, and that way we could just plod. Rest when we wanted to, have a couple of naps, pitch up when we found a decent spot rather than stressing about crazy minimum distances. If we strolled by a pub and it was softly calling our names, insisting we sit down for a tasty, cold motor impairment beverage we wouldn’t resist. This was a much less stressful way of doing things.
This section sort of breaks you in with a few warm up hills. It was bastard hot today too, we’d have to drag obnoxious quantities of water around with us too. We tackled the terrain until a particularly hideous decline took us into Duckpool. This is the kind of beach I could spend time at. All lovely and rocky, the sand only making an appearance at low tide. But I still don’t have the bollocks for a swim no matter how hot it gets. The hill out of Duckpool though, well shit is certainly getting real.
It wasn’t too awful for a while. The trail steered us past a fuck off big radio station at Cleave with massive satellite dishes. You can see these buggers for miles, they’re very much a part of the landscape. They’re also surrounded by lovely, flat ground but I think they’d probably have something to say if you pitched up right by them. I took a load of photos until I saw the “No Photography” sign, so I took a photo of that too. Such a rebel. I’ll be crossing roads on the red man next. (I won’t)
The hills kicked in again and I decided a nap would be appropriate at the bottom of one of them before we tackled the other side up up up. That fuelled me until about halfway up and the heat just battered me I think. We cleared a few smaller ups and downs then thought fuck it, let’s find a camp spot. There didn’t seem to be a lot of choice so we figured we’d nab the next one we found.
Down a big (of course) hill and around a corner, just off to the right with a lovely distance between us and the cliffs, but affording us some stunning eyehole fodder nonetheless was a perfect tent-sized spot. This would do then! It wasn’t even 5pm but that just meant we could chill for a bit in the sunshine.
It was a glorious evening, perfect for just existing and congratulating yourself on all of your life choices. Okay so we hadn’t even broken the back of the notorious Bude to Hartland section but at least we’d be well rested tomorrow to smash it out. Assuming that by “smash it” you mean shuffle up and down it whilst whining incessantly.
Bude, Cornwall to Higher Sharpnose Point, Cornwall, England
Stayed at: Wild camp on Higher Sharpnose Point
Useful shit to know…
- There are toilets in Bude at the tourist information car park, Summerleaze Beach and Crooklets Beach. There are seasonal toilets at Duckpool.
- There’s a water tap at Crooklets Beach but it doesn’t state that it’s drinking water. Maybe filter it. There’s a stream at Duckpool.