LEJOG03: Hayle to St Agnes

Still a day behind I’m afraid. I’ll make sure there’s something new everyday and hopeully catch up by Sunday when I have a rest day.

Day three was special for two reasons. It was the first day I was on my own, and the first day I carried my entire pack on my back. You might think i’d spend all day contemplating life and existence, and finish by recording the new pearl of wisdom that had emerged. I didn’t, I spent all day thinking about how I could make my pack lighter and I finished by buying a couple of tinnies from a corner shop.

This doesn’t mean the day wasent good, it was. The weather reverted to Sunday’s sunshine, except this time with a couple of clouds thrown in to make it more bearable. It was another day that made the decision to undertake this journey seem like a no-brainer.

I started out traversing Gwithian Bay, a spectacular golden sanded beach. Except that instead of spend the time on the lovely sand watching the sea come crashing in, I was trapped on the official (and insane) coast path route in amongst the sand dunes, being sent one way and another like a rat in a maze hunting for cheese.

I made it to the end and started to ascend onto the cliffs at Godrevy Point. Out to sea was a picturesque lighthouse on a large lump of rock. I’m pretty sure it’s were the title sequence to Fraggle Rock is filmed and it looked spectacular, glowing brilliant white on the sunshine surrounded by the intense blue of the sea.

I continued along the cliffs for most of the day. These cliffs were different from those I’d just been over. Instead of looking like jagged cubist paintings, these looked like the land just came to an end suddenly. The grass of verdent fields went right to the edge, and beneath it were sheer drops exposing the strata of the land beneath our feet. Sometimes the tops of the cliffs appeared to sag into the sea taking sections of grassy field with them until it as almost kissing the sea.

This made for much easier walking. Most of the day was spent right on the edge of these cliffs, walking along a mostly flat terrain. Every now and again there would be a massive descent and ascent as the path went down almost to sea level and then back up again where during a previous geological epoch there was a massive river or glacier. Now there was just a little stream at the bottom of these chasms, which almost sheepishly inhabited the place were once it much bigger and stronger ancestor resided. These were a bugger to walk, especially with the pack, but were infrequent enough to be manageable.

At one point I came off the cliffs for lumch at Portreath, a touristy little bay. It felt weird to be coming down from my world onto a packed beach. I felt incongruous trawling across the sand in my big heavy boots while around me were kids and teenagers sunbathing in next to nothing at all. I ate my pasty and let my jumper dry in wind, trying to avoid looking at people for fear I be lynched.

The afternoon was a succession of cliffs and little beaches, all looking amazingly beautiful in the sunshine. At one point I looked back across a wide bay made up of a series of little coves and saw that the sea had turned almost white due to the number of waves coming in. They were almost queing to reach the cliffs, three in a line at some points, and each wave would stretch out right across the great length of the bay.

It was a good job the scenary was so good because the walk was getting harder and the greenery was been replaced by more scrub and rocks. This made the warmth more intense because the grass had provided a cooling affect.

I finally got into St Agnes after 20 miles and 10 hours of walking, and then had to walk up a bloddy hill to get to my B&B! However it gave me the chance to examine this quite cool village, which as split over three levels going up from the beach onto the hills behind. The first was a California-esque scattering of bungalows sitting at various heights on the steep slopes overlooking the beach, with lots of arty galleries and workshops hidden away. The second level, where I stayed was more of a traditional and postcard-pretty village, hidden among the trees. And apparently further up on the level fields was a much newer development with a high street and every modern convenience. I’d have explored more of I wasent so knacked, hot and sore. Instead I retired to my laid back amd relaxind b&b with a couple of tinnies boigjt from the shop across the road to try and make my pack lighter and make the next day slightly more comfortable. I also needed to prepare for the next day as I’d heard that the rain would be returning, but this time much worse. I’d barely survived it last time, how was I going to cope now?

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