Today’s distance walked – approx 11.4 kms (7.1miles).
Ascent – approx 591m (1939ft).
I woke up early to thick fog and a tent wet with dew. I left the campsite at 7am and by the time I’d walked back to town, found the path, taken a wrong turn, retraced my steps, and found the path (which the other one led to anyway) it was 7.30am before I was really on the trail.
The trail felt a little more remote than the past couple of days, my legs felt good, and I enjoyed the trail. The fog slowly lifted and as I got to Great Lantic Beach it was half bathed in sunlight.
This stretch of trail is pretty popular, so getting up early and having it all to myself is such a treat.
I stood on Pencarrow Head looking back to Gribbin Head behind me to the West, and today’s walk ahead of me in the East. I listened to the waves on Little Lantic Beach below, and thanked my lucky stars for perfect mornings like this, for my health and for trusting my gut to quit everything (again) and embark on this year of adventure. If Breast Hill (Lake Hawea) was my golden moment of Te Araroa Trail New Zealand, Pencarrow Head was it for the South West Coast Path. This morning, it was just me the cliffs, the waves, and the birds. My head was completely clear.
I left Pencarrow Head at 8.30am and paused again at West Combe at 9, where I had the beautiful cove all to myself. I took a leisurely pace this morning, and took my time on the (many) hills. It became really hot and humid, and there was little wind. I was glad today was another really short day to rest my legs and feet, and I was in good time to make it to Polperro by mid morning.
I reached the gorgeous picture postcard village of Polperro, and checked into my b&b The House on the Props, right in the centre of the village (a luxury, but I really need a decent sleep!). The owners are both pastry chefs, so I knew it was the place for me! I had a cup of tea and a magnificent slice of home made apple pie with clotted cream, before checking into my room. The room was lovely, a view of the village and very narrow street below. I took a shower immediately, and it was nice to be able to use the lovely smellies in the bathroom – shampoo, conditioner (!) and shower gel.
In the afternoon Mike (fellow traveler who I met a couple of weeks ago near Pendeen Watch) popped over in this truck and we spent a great afternoon together admiring the views of the coast and harbour, and eating. Mike certainly knows how to feed a hiker, and brought along a lovely picnic of oatcakes, brie, a lovely selection of fruit, chocolate and a cheeky beer.
We finished with a cream tea in the village, then watched the sun sink low over the harbour. Before he left, Mike pursueded me to take the leftover picnic (it didn’t take much…).
I went to bed a happy tramper, after a great day on trail and off, on a wonderful bed with feather pillows. It doesn’t get much better than this 🙂