Tea and pastry on the Pulteney Bridge.
Lots of entertainers
Little flush for little jobs, big flush for bigger ones.
We change trains twice; the entire trip from Penzance to Bath takes 5 hours. We are heading to an AirBnB, which of course is up a hill from the station.
And then another hill.
But what a view!
We're staying in a room at the top of the house with the red door.
View from our window.
We shower then head back down to the town center for dinner and a ramble, taking a thermos of gin and tonic with us.
We take a bus to Sennon Cove, planning to walk the 5 miles to St Just. The sea is wild here!
Huge waves pounding the breakwater. Bob takes picture after picture and then a few videos.
Bob decides to get closer. I assume I'm about to witness his death and become a widow and will have to fly back with a casket.
The sign reminds us why we're here.
The path goes across the beach and then up the hill and down to the end, and around to St Just.
But every part of my legs hurts and we contemplate not hiking.
I consult the path book, hoping for some reassurance that I can do this: I'm still traumatized from yesterday's hike. There are no buses for 5 miles so there's no changing your mind.
I tell Bob I can't do it and we dump some whiskey into our coffee and lean back on a boulder and just sit there.
A Yetti for Molly!
Taking the last bus to Penzance. By not walking we'll be in time for Sunday dinner.
The path goes down forever. Now we're a bit worried that it's getting dark, and that we've missed the last bus.
And then back up. But when the trail starts heading back down and around, we decide we're finished. Enough. It's raining too hard to get photos but picture this: crossing a huge cow pasture skirting between cows and animal-sized cow patties; climbing a fence into a second field; then a third and fourth. The last one has a bull and I'm terrified. Finally we find a road with not a sign of life anywhere. Eventually we flag down a car and get a looong lift to the bus stop, where we've missed the bus by 5 minutes. Luckily a kind man takes pity and offers us a ride to Penzance. We srrrive at our boarding house (AirBnB) sopping wet from head to toe, and undress in the shed. The coast path has beaten us down.
Sunday morning it's a brand new day. We take a suitcase of clothes to the laundromat.
Free advertising for phil's company.
Wet. Cold. Slow.
Damn cows leave us alone at first.
Then one gets a bit agressive and I hop the wall.
Then can't find a way over that doesn't involve a huge pile of wet cow crap.
Eventually, I just yell at them--something like EEYAA! EEYAA! which I think is what cowhands yell--and they move on. I am so not in the mood.
Finally, we see the promise land: its the lighthouse just over there on the far right! We will make it after all; we're not going to die in the dark on the coast path among the cows. Thank God.
But then we discover there's a huge walk down and back up. Fooking coastal path always does this, especially in the rain, when you're mentally and physically already checked out.
We've come to Penzance to finish up a gap from Zennor Head to Sennon Cove. Today we walk the part that has no bus service on Sunday--Zennor to Pendeen Watch. We know big rain is coming and we know it's rated "strenuous" in the books, so we expect some difficulties.
See how pleased we are with ourselves? We won't feel so cheerful at the end of the walk.
The rain is stabbing our faces like tiny needles.
The wind is fierce.
The path is slippery, meaning we have to walk slowly and carefully.
Lots of old mines in this area, with signs saying to stay on the path to avoid open shafts.
It's here that we somehow miss the path. The trail in this area is very poorly marked, often not marked at all, and although we have two maps and GPS, we get lost.
Surely the Famous Five used this! But still, we are lost.
Still lost. Have had to backtrack once already.
Back on the path; we stop for lunch. 3.5 miles to go.
We are out of water and Bob feeds our only apples to the pony.
That's Coverack just over the hill and around the bend!
The tide is out and I'm thrilled because now maybe we can see--and walk on--the Moho, which is where two continents collided and the earth's crust and mantle meet. I'm thinking it's an actual ridge or scar or something.
Unfortunately, the Moho is this whole stretch; not a ridge we can touch. Bummer. But Susanne gets her suit on, and Bob and I strip down to our skivvies and we all go for a swim in the gloriously invigorating and freezing sea. It's the first time for Bob and me; we will bring suits from now on!
Then we have the Best Cream Tea ever, at the Bay Hotel.
Walking to the bus stop; end of week one. Tomorrow, Saturday, we leave Falmouth. Susanne will go home; Bob and I decide to go to Penzance and so book an AirB&B for two nights. Our goal is to close up some gaps we left on the path, though we may just hang out and visit pubs.
We completed the loop! 13+ miles with time to swim in the sea and enjoy the best cream tea we've ever had.
Ferry across to Helford
Gillan Creek, where we take another ferry.
The halfway point, Porthallow, is somewhere up there...
This. Hill. Was. A. Bitch.