Thursday 26th October 2017
11 miles today, 32.6 in total. Once again a misty morning turned into a clear day, but each day is starting a bit colder and the days are getting noticeably shorter.
The walk from the camp site to the starting point involved yet more steps,
and some schoolyard humour.
I started at St Ives waving to family members on the harbour web-cam while talking to them on the phone, then waving to a second group of people who assured me later that they were waving back. The badge on my hat is my ‘logo’ from the fundraising page.
The women working in the Aspects Holidays office looked a little bemused, and my explanation didn’t really help.
So then it was off along the harbour, past the lifeboat station and out on the SWCP around St Ives Bay.
So many beautiful beaches, and even at the end of the season there were people surfing, walking and enjoying the last of the sunshine.
Part of this route is also known as St Michael’s Way – a pilgrimage trail.
Undecided about which way to choose I was stopped by an American woman who warned me that the Coast Path was very muddy. I looked at my still wet and slurried shoes from yesterday and decided that I’d cope. The sealskin socks were doing a good job of protecting my feet from the worst of the sludge. The woman was right about part of the path, but with a bit of judicious pole-hopping I managed to avoid the worst of it, and my shoes gradually dried out through the day.
I’m getting used to the ups and downs of the coast path, but there was a bit less of it today as most of the path stayed above sea level around the sand dunes of the Hayle estuary, and out towards Lelant.
On this section, passing the golf course, I found a sign for coffee and cake, and discovered the old Methodist mortuary chapel that has been converted into a Heritage Centre.
It made a good place to stop for ten minutes and there was a lot more than ten minutes worth of stuff to see, worth a proper visit one day. The coffee cake was nice too.
The tide was out at Hayle and the mud flats provided a bird sanctuary. There were a number of keen photographers with long lenses and notebooks, all pointed at the wildlife. I think it was here that the funeral cortege came past with the motorcycle-sidecar hearse.
Once through the town I set off up the hill (there is always another hill!) towards Gwithian.
The footpath I’d chosen to use went around a field of brassicas, and the farmer had put a pile of earth across the footpath. Was this an attempt to stop walkers? I walked around the earth. Then I saw that all around the edge of the field was chicken wire, lying on the ground. I wondered if it was intended to stop the many rabbits I kept seeing from eating the crops. Then I watched as one of the bunnies hopped across the wire to get to the vegetables and my ear worm changed from “The Grand Old Duke of York” to the story of Peter Rabbit. Except that Mr McGregor was noticeable by his absence. His influence was visible in the big notices telling walkers the footpath had been re-routed. Once I got out to the other side of the field it was downhill into Gwithian, to meet Mr at the pub for a quick drink before walking on to the car just outside town. And… he managed to buy a fan heater today. Light and heat. What luxury.