In which: George joins me for the first time on the SWCP ● after 3 years I get closer to St Michael’s Mount ● the weather is glorious ● George keeps off the verge ● Lucy, Ellie and Hetty join me
Date: 17 April 2011 Time of walk: 0915 to 600 Today’s walking: 22.0 km Progress along SWCP: 21.9 km Estimated ascent: 940 metres
During a week staying at a cottage by King Harry’s Ferry near Falmouth, I managed to get three walks on the South West Coast Path, with Lucy acting as chauffeur as well as joining me for parts of the walks, and allowing the cavaliers to have shorter walks than George who was with me all the way from Penzance to Kuggar.
We descended to the beach for a short way, then the route ascended via a metal staircase which George repeatedly refused to countenance. A couple who were walking their dog suggested that I wait for them, and George would chase the other dog up the steps, but with George that seemed unlikely. In any case the other dog didn’t like the look of the steps either, and tried to climb the near vertical soil cliff instead. I was about to carry George when he summoned up courage and did the stairs at a trot.
There was a sudden and still disconcerting interruption of beach tourists at Sydney Cove with its Beachcomber Café. These arrivals in a different world from the cliffs of the coast path are odd, and make me feel strangely out of place (doubly so with a dog) and I often seem to press on through them very quickly. Generally having both food and drink with me for the day, there is little need to avail myself of their facilities, though I got a few ice-creams between Padstow and St Ives last August.
And so, unlike earlier walks on the South West Coast Path (chronologically, anyway), I didn’t retire alone to a B&B room but went back to our cottage with Lucy and the dogs – the B&B option is rather more lonesome but not having to think about driving and routes home, dinner for five, and plans for the next day has its advantages too. It was good to do the first SWCP walk with George for company, and great to have the five of us together for the last section.