South West Coast Path: Falmouth to Portloe

In which: Good Friday is very quiet ● a ferry is run for me ● a small ferry is busier ● the walk proper begins at last ● there is seven hours of wind and rain ● batteries and posts are passed ● Portcatsho provides the only urban interlude ● Greek kayakers are encountered ● the boats of Portloe are spotted with relief

Date: 3 April 2015
Time of walk: 0730 to 1605
Today’s walking: 22.8 km
Progress along SWCP: 22.4 km
Estimated ascent: 810 metres

In the morning I cut across the peninsula I’d wandered around yesterday evening, popping into the little Tesco Express to top up supplies for the day’s walk. The weather was bleak, if initially dry.

On the pier, waiting for the ferry to St Mawes
On the ferry crossing from Falmouth to St Mawes. On a Good Friday morning, I was the only customer, and the staff at Falmouth had called the ferry across the water especially for me.
St Mawes Castle
Safely at St Mawes, and waiting for the Place Ferry to take me on the next leg
Looking across to the peninsula of St Anthony Head, with Amsterdam Point in the middle of picture, the bay of Place House to its left, where the ferry will take me.
The Place Ferry – unlike the big ferry from Falmouth, there were several of us in this much smaller ferry, though the weather was worsening
Making our way cautiously from the Place Ferry towards what on another day might have been dry land – but by now everywhere was wet, as seven hours of rain started.
Place House, and after the little walk across Falmouth, shopping, and two ferry rides, the walk proper can begin at last – though it’s to be a while before I round the headland and reach the outward-facing part of the coast.
A last look back to Falmouth as I round Carricknath Point on my way towards St Anthony Head
Some of the late 19th-century military battery at St Anthony Head. Finally I’ve reached what in some ways is the start of the walk proper, along the coast path facing out into the ocean.
A former wreck post
The village of Portscatho is the only urban interlude on today’s wet walk, and appears quite suddenly, though wasn’t a surprise as I’d been waiting for it.
As I walked this section, there were several kayakers in the water, and I passed a van with Greek registration plates, promoting kayaking – it seemed a long way to come for some pretty miserable weather.
Approaching Portloe, and finally the rain has stopped and the wind is easing.
The tiny harbour of Portloe
The Ship Inn, my resting spot for the night

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