27th March 2018
Penzance to St Just via Carn Brae and Land’s end
Distance: 25km, includes a few unintended deviations & turn backs
Weather: Showers of drizzly rain until about 10am, then mostly sunshine. Cold wind until mid afternoon.
Morning rain had me holding back until 8.45 to leave. The Met Office forecast was spot on as previously.
My early mistake today was being tempted by a path alongside a stream.
I assumed the valley would join up with the footpath at valley top. Instead it took me towards an old hill fort (Lesinger Round), now obviously a local dog-walking area. Then I got stuck & had to plod a muddy field and along a road until back on route. The Round from the road:
My 1:25K map on phone has spoiled me (*essay below).
There followed some interesting navigational challenges and mud. Fascinatingly – a double-walled lane (those thick Cornish walls you see by the roads here) surrounded by ploughed fields was a wildlife haven.
A “Chapel, rems of” outside Sancreed:
Eventually I reached the seriously impressive Carn Euny.
(Walking pole is 1m high with tip buried)
Apologising to a couple for my making the place look untidy eating my lunch at 11.30, the chap said he had been a local for 30 years & never knew the place existed.
Then another mud-lined route to ascend Carn Brae, with a panoramic view across the peninsula.
A bit of road walking & I headed to Escalls to cut off some road, finding unnavigable footpaths & coming close to filling my boots with a mix of mud & cute-calf slurry.
Stopped for hot cross bun refuelling. Set off & chatted to Mr Nicholas who had seen me stop earlier.
A cheerful fellow, he pointed up to a passing airliner & asked me where I thought it was going. “America”, I replied. He said “Maybe Canada. Look it’s going about 500 mph & hardly looks like it’s moving. What a marvel.” And so on. He asked me where I was off to, marvelled again & shook my hand. A man who was born 2 miles away from where he is retired, never been away.
The final trudge down the road to Land’s End, disappointed by the map that suggested I could join a footpath.
A great complex of buildings, and behind it the official Land’s End markers.
Researching elsewhere had the official farthest point SW near Dr Syntax’s Head, so I took a selfie there too.
Around the headland, sunshine on breaking waves.
Walked some of Sennen Cove beach until I had to head upwards.
Rocky tors along the coast
until finally a tad inland to the hostel just outside St Just.
My parcel was waiting for me. Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat will make me 3Kg heavier tomorrow. But my first reaction on opening the box was “Food!”, as I had eaten almost all my provisions.
*I have decided that navigating by 1:25K map on my phone, with a GPS fix, has thoroughly spoilt me. My 1:50k printed maps would have had me way off course several times. Conversely, it’s been far more obvious when footpaths have been obscured/ neglected or blocked across farmland. To really confuse things there are waymarked paths on the ground not marked on maps.
People: Surfer dude from South Africa here for the season teaching; a chap volunteer hostel painter- he met an E2Er a few days previously; Sophie, Falkland Is & 3 years in UK walked from Zennor today