South West Coast Path: Mevagissey to Par

In which: I again wish I had shorts ● there are downs and ups and downs and ups ● granite takes a different shape ● a rifle range goes rusty ● natural beauty says goodbye, for now ● tall ships and china clays say hello ● a red oval completes the day

Date: 5 April 2015
Time of walk: 0815 to 1455
Today’s walking: 19.3 km
Progress along SWCP: 18.0 km
Estimated ascent: 780 metres

After descending from the overnight guest-house to the harbour, I’m now climbing again. Mind your head at the end, there.
Saying goodbye to Mevagissey
Looking down on the doubly named Sconhoe Beach and Pentewan Beach
The Terrace, Pentewan
Polruddan Cove
Down and up and down and up, etc…
Looking across a bay which has no name on any of my maps, to the headland Drennick in the middle distance, with Black head beyond it.
Heading down alongside a little stream towards Hallane Mill
After yesterday’s granite cross, today we have a big slab of the rock, a memorial to the poet and historian A. L. Rowse CH (Order of the Companions of Honour).
The headland of Black Head – definitely worth a short diversion from the Coast Path.
The map says “Rifle Range” here along the path to Black Head – presumably these relics are connected with that in some way not immediately clear to me.
And another up…
The sign isn’t a promise of things to come, but a look back, as I leave the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (largely equivalent to a National Park) that I’ve been in since landing in St Mawes – indeed, except for Falmouth, all the way from St Michael’s Mount. We’ll rejoin the AONB tomorrow after Par Sands, so it’s not all downhill, but it does hint that the best of today might be over.
But not much further we come to Charlestown, with a heavily tide-dependent harbour – see the people walking on the beach where boats have to come through.
Tall ships in Charlestown harbour
There was another out at sea, apparently just jilling about waiting for high tide to get into harbour.
It’s a shame when public facilities are taken out of public service – but who has bought them?
We start to enjoy some of the thrills of no longer being in the AONB
Having worked my way around the china clay dries and other processing facilities, with the Coast Path having to join the pavement of the A3082, I cross the railway line from the main line into the china clay works – presumably rarely if ever used nowadays.
Making my way across Par, past the sports facilities to the Royal Inn by the railway station, my resting place for the night.

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