SWCP Day 24. Black Rock, Porthlune Cove to Carlyon Bay

Today’s distance walked – approx 31 kms (19 miles).
Ascent – approx 1308m (4291 ft).

I had a terrible nights sleep on my wild camp spot. I was on a huge slope, and no matter what I did to rectify it i.e. put all my belongings under my sleeping pad to try to level it out, I still ended up slipping off. I got up at 5.45am and left at 7.15. It was a sunny, breezy day and cooler than yesterday.

Hemmick Beach
Hemmick Beach

The ups and downs began immediately. The views were much the same as yesterday with the trail going through or beside fields on low sea cliffs.

Little fox in the foreground
Little fox in the foreground

I had a nice animal experience almost immediately, seeing a young fox in a sheep/cow combo field. Speaking of wildlife, I don’t think I’ve mentioned the number of butterflies and moths I’ve seen every day – there are heaps! and they are all different sizes and colours, blue, red, orange, brown. I saw a huge green moth today too. As I was going up to Dodman Point, I had to encourage and wait patiently for 3 cows to get off the very narrow trail I wanted to walk up. I talked them into coming down and going the other way

Towards Vault Beach
Towards Vault Beach

The long climb up to Dodman Point was well worth it, with excellent views from the top. As I dropped down around the headlands there were lovely views of Bow and Vault beach. This part of today’s trail was lovely walking, the path was wide and open, despite the continued hills. I rounded headland of Pen-a-Maen to see the village Gorran Haven nestled in the cliffs.

Gorran Haven
Gorran Haven

I stopped in at the Mermaid cafe in Gorran Haven and bought a cream tea, my first of the trip. The scones were nice, but the jam wasn’t all that tasty, and there wasn’t enough clotted cream. I’ll have to have another one soon.

Portmellon Cove
Portmellon Cove

I left at 10am, and by 11am, I had arrived into Portmellon Cove, which was deserted. I realised that I came here a couple of years running in another life about 15 years ago, and recognised the little cottage I stayed in.

Mevagissy harbour
Mevagissy harbour
Mevagissy outer harbour
Mevagissy outer harbour

Next it was a road walk up and over a little headland to the beautiful little village of Mevagissy, which has a very picturesque outer and inner harbour. Angela and Bob who’s site I camped on in Mawgan Porth a couple of weeks ago recommended I have the fish n chips at ‘The Fisherman’s Chippy‘. So even though I’d just eaten a cream tea, I had some fish n chips. They were delicious.

Back to the cliff path
Back to the cliff path

I left Mevagissy at 12.30pm. In the afternoon the weather turned rough and even more windy. The hills continued, and the trail became a bit tedious again. I think I need a rest soon! I passed through Pentewan at 2pm and refilled my water there. The trail was still hilly from here, and they’re were numerous sections with lots of steps. There were a couple of nice sections of woodland. It rained a little in the afternoon, and I took shelter under the trees for a rest.

More climbs, more steps
More climbs, more steps…

I got into Charlestown around 4pm. It’s a pristine example of a Georgian port, and was built between 1791 and 1801 to export china clay. It remains remarkably as-was, and it’s often use for TV and film sets (Poldark, Hornblower). It berths a small fleet of ‘tall ships’.

Charlestown, as seen on Poldark
Charlestown, as seen on Poldark

I didn’t stop long as I was desperate to get into camp. A couple of Kms later I checked into Carlyon Bay Campingng Park, which had excellent facilities (including swimming pools) and is lovely. I’m definitely going to have an easier day tomorrow, I’m really tired and my feet ache!

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