“When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.” – Tennyson
I woke up at around 6am with the smell of bonfire deep in my skin. Sunrise was scheduled for 7:45 so I had time to slip out of my tent and find coffee, and my car keys. Pendennis Point is my favourite view in Falmouth and possibly Cornwall, although I’ve not seen all of them yet. I splashed cold water in my face, faffed around for a while until I was almost too late to make it there for sunrise. My windscreen was frozen. I didn’t have time for the proper solution, so grabbed a trainer out of the boot of my car and chiselled off the ice. It was good enough.
I got to Pendennis just in time to watch the sun emerge from the depths of the ocean. As it rose, the sky grew red. A thick rolling cloud billowed above, kindly leaving a sliver of sky for me. It was perfect.
Looking to my right, the lights of Falmouth were beginning to wake up too. I noticed a spider’s web basking in the morning sun. I struggled to photograph it well, then got cold and hungry. I left the south coast, happy with my sunrise, and hoped for a rival show from the north coast at sunset.
The north coast, or The North Coast rather, is very dramatic. There are bigger beaches, bigger cliffs and bigger waves. I first drove to St Agnes, then travelled along the cliff top, staying as close to the edge as the roads would allow. I wanted to find my Pendennis Point of the North Coast. Perhaps an old engine house from a tin mine, with the purple backdrop of the setting sun?
I settled on Portreath beach, with Gull Rock providing the drama. The thing is with driving, is it’s much quicker than walking. I had arrived two hours too early. I ordered a ‘crab & lobster burger’ from the café. I thought that sounded a bit posh for Portreath, and I was right. Firstly, the waitress seemed horrified that I might want to sit outside, in the sunshine, by the beach… She obviously then came to the conclusion that I was an animal and that I would like to eat my side of salad and coleslaw with my hands, as she failed to bring me a knife and fork. The food was rubbish. It tasted like slightly crabby cardboard. I’d love to know where the lobster comes in. Perhaps they grind the shells into a fine powder and sprinkle a bit on like some sort of posh dusting?
I just about got over the disappointment of my lunch in time to take some pictures of the beach before the sun went down. The moon was already out. A local chap told me all about how he used to climb the cliffs as a lad and how he nearly drowned himself in a cave.
The sun seemed to take a lifetime to sink into the water. By now the clouds had lowered themselves obtrusively. I did my best to capture it, but the local chap, the cliffs and the clouds were all too much. In the end I retreated from the beach and made my way up the cliff to the beacon. The wind was intense. The cliff was crumbly.
How lucky are the Cornish, to be able to, very easily, go from coast to coast, chasing the sun in a few hours?
Tomorrow I return to London and my wife, who I miss. Adventures with your own thoughts are great, but beautiful things are often better shared with someone close.