Picking up from where I left off last month, Hayley and I headed to Porthcurno and the South West Coast Path. The forecast told us of thunder and lightning, but as we only have a few days here, we thought we’d walk whatever the weather. To our disappointment, there was no thunder… only blue skies and sunshine. It was lush. Porthcurno is almost Land’s End, and is actually further south. Those who have visited Land’s End will know that it is better dodged, since the opening of a tasteless theme park, featuring such attractions as a tardis. We dug out one of my dad’s many maps and found a circular route taking us roughly six miles, including the inexplicably good Logan Rock.
Before getting our heels into the path we climbed the steps to the Minack Theatre, an open air theatre, carved into the rocks. I once watched a play here, which was upstaged by a man in a rowing boat, who was being followed closely by a shark.
From the Minack, we got a view of our entire walk. The Logan Rock was our goal. We headed back down the steps to Porthcurno beach. The sun was hot and the rocks were inviting. We had a go at some bouldering. I got quite high and then found it quite difficult to get back down! We played around, taking photos on a large boulder, using up most of our energy before even starting the walk. Coming from the city to the sea is exhausting. Salty air saps your energy like a tranquiliser. When combined with beer and a large lunch, this can be lethal.
Hot, sandy and a bit knackered, we went in search of the path. Once again, I was reunited with the acorn. I love being able to trust that the acorn will always take me somewhere beautiful. The path up from the beach was steep and narrow, as is most of the SWCP. We walked past millions of little thorns adorned with bright yellow gorse flowers. On one bush, we spotted a very fat beetle slowly wiggling its antenna.
Along this stretch of the path, there are lots of little lookout shelters. There is also a white pyramid that we thought was a wigwam until we got close to it. Considering how much shorter this stretch is than the section I walked to Kynance, there is a lot to see. It seems quite varied and ever so dramatic. The next beach on from Porthcurno was Pednvounder, try pronouncing that in your finest Cornish accent. The beach was empty, probably because it is hard to reach. The path leading down looked precarious at best so we stayed on the path and looked over, appreciating it from above.
Around the cove, we came to a gate, put there to keep in the Dartmoor ponies that graze on Treen Cliff. The ponies were very friendly, coming up to us to lick our hands and chew our pockets. We named one Marley, due to a dreadlock in his mane. I can’t imagine it’s a lot of fun for a pony on a cliff in a storm, but these looked quite content, lazily munching the salty, clifftop grass.
From the horse’s field we could see straight down to Logan Rock and the towering rocks on the next headland across. We noted a sign that read, ‘Iron Age Cliff Castle’. Treryan Dinas is an enormous pile of rocks, once used as a cliff-fort. Standing at the bottom of this monster, it is easy to see how it would prove awkward to attack. The waves smash against the rocks here with incredible force, sending spray 50 feet in the air. We carefully clambered up the rocks, following some sort of path, until we couldn’t get any further. We sat and watched the waves. A seal bobbed around in the wash. Just as we started to make our way back from the Logan Rock, the rains came. Within minutes we were soaked and being blown around like ragdolls. It was that sort of day. The Logan Rock is not the name of the whole thing, but actually the name of one particular rock that supposedly… rocks. There is an interesting story of some sailors trying their best to move it in a spate of 19th century vandalism, who when successful, caused ‘ellup with the locals and were forced to put it back as it was.
The way back took us across potato fields. It meant that we didn’t have to walk back the way we’d come, but it was slightly less exciting. A few dog walkers and families walked past us in the other direction. Finally we ended up at a signpost.
We didn’t go into the Telegraph Museum, but we did walk down into the tunnels to see how deep they went. The ceiling dripped and claustrophobia began to kick in. We thought it was time to find a pub and retrace our steps on a map.
Another great day on the South West Coast Path. Hopefully, if Storm Katie doesn’t hang around too long, we’ll get to the Bedruthan Steps this week.
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