Had spent a chilled evening in our airbnb in Illogen, care of our lovely hosts Mike and Anna. Snacked on homous, olives, pate and pitta and of course lashings of wine. Polished off with a competitive game of scrabble.
It rained heavily during the night but we woke up to a drier morning … however, of course being Cornwall, this didn’t last. Mike drove us down some very narrow country lanes to the start of today’s 12 mile walk from Portreath to Hayle.
There was a stupendous climb on leaving Portreath, at many parts a hands and knees job! The first couple of miles was quite heavy going – ups and downs ‘a plenty! Steve has become quite the expert on weather conditions – in fact we’ve renamed him the ‘stormtrooper!’ He can spot a storm arriving from over the seas before the BBC get an inkling. And there were many spottings and horrendous downpours during the day – we got drenched and then the sun would appear and we’d dry off instantly, only to go through it all again almost on an hourly basis. But the mixture of weathers brought the most stunning rainbows.
After the initial climbs, the majority of the walk was pretty easy going and we were able to appreciate some stunning coastline scenery. Still didn’t see any seals but being periodically rain blasted didn’t support the observation process.
And then we came upon our beloved stretch of beach – from Godrevy, down through Gwithian Towans and on to Hayle. The weather was bleak on arrival so photos of St Ives Bay do not do it justice.
We trudged for miles over the towans, although overjoyed to be back in our old haunt, it was a long slug in what was pretty dreary weather. Many families still braving the storms to settle onto the beach for the afternoon, surfers still surfing!
At times the sun came out and brought back all those happy memories of our family holidays here. Memories of bodyboarding, fishing with nets in the rock pools, losing Tom, flying kites, sand-modelling, losing Tom, digging holes and trenches, playing cricket, picnics, doing cartwheels …. oh and losing Tom!!! Such simple and economically-challenged days but boy were they fun. Thinking of all all our fellow-campers today (you know who you are – we were so lucky in being able to share these experiences with many family members and friends.
Walking through the dunes got a little tight at times in terms of squeezing through narrow paths overgrown with brambles, grasses etc. I’m pretty petrified about adders so try my best not to think about it – but I take heed of Kaye and Greg’s advice offered to me when in Australia, and stamp my feet so that the snakes will know I’m coming and will stay away!!
It was fabulous to reach the town of Hayle which has changed considerably since I was last here – quite up and coming! We then decided to walk on … to our airbnb destination .. this took another hour!! But was worth it, quite palatial – we have two whole rooms – a lounge/diner/kitchen plus an ensuite bedroom. You can’t imagine how amazing this feels after nights in rooms where you have to take turns to walk around!! And the sun was shining. Every cloud, and rainbow, has a silver lining. 🌈☔️☀️