Monday 30th October 2017
Around 14.5 miles today, 70 miles in total.
This morning’s start was from Crantock, and the destination, via Newquay, was intended to be Bedruthan Steps.
From Crantock I followed the SWCP
across the River Gannel to find myself suddenly on a housing estate of bungalows in Newquay, a blocked footpath, and a diversion around the estate until I found the way back up hill into town.
I followed the signs to the public toilets at the Bus station, only to find they were closed due to vandalism. A lady waiting for a bus told me about a legal dispute between the bus company and the council that means the toilets have been closed for a long time, but she was able to tell me where the alternative facilities were located. This was my first experience of the ’20p-to-pee’ policy of so many places in Cornwall, and provided an unexpected tour of Newquay. This tour was extended later when building work had closed one of the access points to the path and I had to retrace my steps.
The weather was lovely so I sat in the sun to eat my sandwich, eyed up by a greedy seagull.
I was looking at the little bridge that joined a house on an island to the mainland and wondering how tradesmen get materials across.
The weather was fine and clear, and the sun shone. It was tempting to stay exactly where I was. But I had to move on.
This was set into the pavement in Newquay. Presumably there are others.
Finally leaving the town, looking back.
The grass area I was walking across had some interesting-looking mounds on it, and then I found this notice.
Most of the day was spent on the SWCP because the road and path run close to each other, but the road is horrible and the path is lovely. However, the SWCP comes with many warnings about crumbling edges etc. No, I don’t get blase about it.
This was only about a mile away from our campsite at Tregurrian.
I carried on walking up and down as one does.
At Mawgan Porth a woman accompanied by a young red-headed boy stopped me to ask if I was the woman walking to John O’Groats who had a husband and dog waiting for me in the car park at Bedruthan Steps. Her son said he wouldn’t walk all that way and thought it more sensible to take the bus. I agreed with him and said he wasn’t to do un-sensible things until he was as old as me. They told me I was about a mile away so, with no mobile signal. I sent a text saying I’d be there within an hour. Hmmm.
Too many miles were covered due to my assumption that the otherwise excellent National Trust signage would identify Bedruthan Steps.
I’ve since discovered that the NT doesn’t own ‘Bed Steps’ so there is no sign. I walked past the steps up to the tearooms without seeing them then carried on, too far and found myself at dusk realising I’d missed it and, not wanting to trespass, unable to find the official footpath out to the road.
A couple ahead of me were walking their dog and I asked for their help. They were local; explained another(!) legal dispute that has resulted in the existing signage, and suggested that retracing my steps in the dark for an hour would be unsafe, then offered me a lift back to car park to meet Mr and the dog. On the walk back to their car they told me that the area where I met them has recently been used to film Poldark. So I now have a mental image of brooding Demelza on the clifftop to add to the wonderful views. Nigel and Linda, I thank you for your kindness to this stranger and will remember your tip about Tom the postie when I reach Helmsdale.
By the time we got to the car park the temperature had dropped a lot and I suddenly felt very cold indeed. Our drive back to the campsite was accompanied by the heater on full blast with me shivering in the passenger seat. Most unusual.
One exchange en-route left me smiling. A couple from the Lake District suggested that when I come to replace my walking poles I should buy some like theirs. They had matching pairs of poles in their backpacks that looked smart, expensive and unused. The husband referred to my poles as ‘glorified ski poles’, which, of course, they are, and that’s exactly how I use them. His added expressed dislike for end-to-end walks left me thinking what a good job it is that we are all different, but I wasn’t convinced by the walking poles. 😉
Walking time – 6 hours
Distance – around 14.5 miles
Ear-worm ‘One more step’ and ‘One day at a time’