Hike 4: Land's End to Sennen Cove
It's our first rainy day and we decide to take a bus to Land's End. When we arrive we see all there is to see (not much), realize we have 45 minutes until the next bus, and decide to walk the short distance to Sennon, the next village over, adding another South West Coast Path section to our ever-growing list. We down a couple of bracing whiskeys before we set off. It's grey and foggy, with pin pricks of sleet.
No idea who these people are, but they show how blustery the day is.
Penwith House was originally built as a temperance hotel for Victorian visitors who preferred an establishment that provided no alcohol. The First and Last house is—can you guess?—the first house you see as you come ashore, the last as you leave. It's a cold blustering day—that damp kind of cold that chills you to your bones. Bracing.
Liquid heat for the cold walk ahead. It's 1:50 pm here; too early for whiskey?
The path ahead looks fairly flat—which it is—and moody, like out of a Bronte book—only not on the Yorkshire Moors, and way farther south, and much closer to the coast. But still. I can see a movie being filmed right here; something grim and bleak and lonely. Which may or may not draw a huge crowd.
The walk is only a mile and a quarter, but it's a mighty cold and long mile and a quarter; the coldest and wettest we've been. It's on this hike that we decide to bring rain pants next time—being of the nature to learn from past experiences.
We reach Sennen Cove. Spectacular.
The houses here look tough and brave. Like they've seen the worst a foul-tempered sea can throw have come out unscathed. I admire that in a house.
We find a tiny gallery in a strange round building, and go in to explore. The Roundhouse and Capstan Gallery was constructed in 1876 to house the huge man-powered capstan wheel, which was used to winch boats up and down the slip. I learn this from the man working the shop, and make a vow to include the words winch and slip in this story as I'll most likely never have another chance. The gallery sells fantastic Cornish arts and crafts, which we're happy to admire. It's warm and cosy inside. In the end we have to run like the wind to catch the bus, which only comes once an hour, and which we manage to catch by running wildly after it, arms waving frantically—the passengers staring blankly at us as the bus swings round. It is not our finest moment.
These are the sections we walk the first year, after which we head back to Cincinnati to plan next year's trip, at which time maybe we can close up some of the sections we've left behind.