29th March 2018
Weather: Rain at breakfast as forecast. Set off 9.15, taking a couple of showers until sunshine from 10.00 until a couple of light showers again 14:30. Heavy showers 16:00-18:00
A slow breakfast, knowing the forecast would stop the rain before 10. The company detained me anyway:
Caught my packed-up self “The man in Black” in the hallway mirror: (back pocket protruding with food box, gloves & water). Yes, there’s a change of clothes, sleeping bag, tent, sleeping mat & food in that small pack.
Had a brief visit to the church mermaid.
Then set off towards Zennor Hill. (Inland, not coastal route. Sitting cosily at home map-planning, a walk over Access Land to visit sites of Ancient Settlements as a change from the coastal route seemed a good idea)
If yesterday was hard walking, today was positively hostile. Access Land doesn’t guarantee accessibility! A promising path uphill deteriorated into a thrash through gorse and bramble, at 220m reaching a cluster of rocks with seaward views.
An easier path across to Zennor Hill, some pancaked rocks (is Logan Stone a generic name around here?).
Then a plodge along water-filled trenches through the densely packed gorse and bramble, tearing at my waterproof trousers. Reached some rocks above Sperris Quoit. Old habitation or mine spoil?
After a couple of onward feints at the mud-filled narrow gap between gorse recently traversed by a mountain bike, towards Trendrine Hill, I gave up. Retreating and eventually reaching a wider path that was basically across a bog for a mile & a half.
Back on boring farm tracks was a relief, for a brief while
A bridleway between Trelocke and Gorran was a veritable Krypton Factor challenge: a double-walled track full of water & mud.
A couple of escapes into fields (climbing a 2m wall!), narrow side-traverses and one miraculous both-poles-in-water-feet-uphill traverse… I somehow managed not to soak my feet.
I fear my boots are done waterproof: the gorse pricked my skin through the Goretex trousers, and I guess the boots have suffered similarly.
I haven’t had so much fun since the long trek back from Braeriach to Glen Feshie last August and felt relieved I did not have a less- experienced companion who may have despaired. I hope tramping the tracks of Exmoor will be drier, or I shall be despairing myself.
(Written in a cafe, Griggs Quay, Lelant, sitting out a prolonged heavy shower 15:40 -16:50 ish. Felafal & Halloumi burger and two cups hot chocolate. I had barely stopped, apart from gear faffs all day. The going was slow)
The plan was to camp tonight at Gwithian. After a trek through heavy showers into Hayle, and the “intertidal” coast path:
decided I was done for the day rather than arrive Gwithian rather late. Found The Mad Hatter b&b, somewhat appropriately.
The forecast was correct, at 19:30 a clearing sky for the evening.