Day 10 Trevaunance Cove to Car Park 4! (Nr Hell’s Mouth)

Setting off from Trevaunance Cove we could see that the path has been recently relaid with lovely Cornish granite (we assumed) which made the stretch an easy walk albeit upwards. I recorded that the sea was calm, there was a slight breeze and we could see some paddle-boarders making their way towards Trevaunance.

Almost immediately Hilary spotted this cluster of the delicate Sea Campion.

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Above us we came to St Agnes Head. The next National Coastwatch lookout on our adventure.

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St Agnes Head NCI Lookout

P1010214Watchkeeper on duty was Mike who gave us a warm welcome and a brief tour of the technology available to the watchkeepers and the scope of their view from this spot. Inside the lookout he showed off this remote controlled airplane which had recently been found nearby.

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I wonder whether it has been collected yet?

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St Agnes Head has another interesting collection box!

Our next milestone was Wheal Coates – a fantastic specimen of a mining engine house, well-preserved and popular with visitors.

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The sea along the coast from Chapel Porth towards Porth Towan showed an interestingly uniform pattern at the water’s edge.

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We were hopeful of covering the next distance along the beach with the dogs. However when we dropped down in to Chapel Porth we found we were out of luck. No dogs on the beach until 1 October! The young ladies managing the bookings for the Buntabout Surfing competition were enthusiastic in their support for the beauty of this coastline, even though we could not go on the beach with the dogs.

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We made our way up and out of Chapel Porth and as we looked down on the beautiful stretch of sandy beach we noticed that, in fact, there were dogs on the beach down there, so maybe we could have had our beach walk after all. Never mind. On my voice recording I commented on the long stretches of the low lying gorse and last knockings of the heather in flower. We passed huge stretches of it on our walk this time.

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The next milestone was Porth Towan and as we made our way up and away from the beach we spied this unfortunate casualty by the side of the track.

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We identified it as a young cormorant, but it may have been a shag, which would be a more unusual finding.

Next we came across this strange ‘chimney’ which seemed out of character with the other mining evidence in the area.

DSCF3588Plus a very recently cemented ‘tunnel’ coming away from its base, which we didn’t really understand its purpose!

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Beyond this we came to a small sandy cove referred to as Sally’s Bottom. There are a few ‘bottoms’  in this area, Sally’s Bottom is a reference to Sally’s Mine which lay inland from the cove, although there is little evidence now remaining. We reached her via a number of steps and counted 54 steps back up away from the cove. There were a number of occasions today when those pesky contour lines gave us a real workout! It was getting on for the difficulty rating of Day 1, although nothing has quite come close to that yet.

As we skirted the Airfield at Nancekuke Common we passed a bank of the ‘thug’ Montbretia which was past its best but must have been spectacular in full bloom.

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Periodically we would pass another ‘Bat Castle’ or two (see Day 9). Continuing evidence of the amount of mining heritage in the area.

Portreath gave us the impression of serious investment going on in the form of extensive new build work recently completed and ongoing. Although the same could not be said of this disused hut that we had passed on the outskirts of Nancekuke Common.

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We thought that it would be stretching the imagination to see this as a possible NCI lookout of the future, however usefully positioned!

Porttreath gave us a bit of a headache finding our way through it and back out again. Thank goodness for Hilary’s book describing the route!

Leading up to Portreath, and walking onwards away from it, we kept getting glimpses of a strange ‘bubble’ structure on the edge of the aforementioned airfield, which was being given a coat of paint from a versatile cherry-picker which was being manoevered around the ‘bubble’. Initially we had difficulty deciding whether it was being painted green from white or the other way around. Eventually the ‘green’ colour was completely covered and the white camoflage resulted in the ‘bubble’ almost completely blending in to the background sky.

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This beautiful waterfall revealed itself around Ralph’s Cupboard!

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And the path leading towards the cove by Samphire Island was a great example of the Coast Path at its best.

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Samphire Island – the nearer ‘lump’ appears to be joined to the mainland. We decided that the smaller further chunk is the actual island.

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Samphire Island

We saw 3 seals from the cliff top here and met a lad who said he had been paddling in the shadows amongst 10s of them that morning. Unfortunately we weren’t quick enough off the mark to get any photos. Next time!

Our plan was to meet support man, Mike, somewhere soon to pick up Danny the dog and Sophie, who would not have coped with the full walk. Along the next stretch there seemed to be about 4 different car parks according to the map, and we identified the car parks as 1,2,3 & 4. So we met Mike at car park 1, picked up the dogs and trundled on the couple of kilometers until we finally finished our walk at car park 4, just above Hell’s Mouth. There was a little potential for missing each other as Hilary’s book had one more car park on this stretch than my OS map. However we kept our eyes open and successfully met up. Even in that short stretch, Danny had managed to immerse himself in the smallest muddy puddle, in an attempt to cool himself down. What a mess!

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Danny wallowing!

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Thank goodness we had time for a fantastic ice cream and drink at lovely Hell’s Mouth Cafe, which gave Danny time to dry off before the journey home.

Once again, just over 13 miles covered and during this walk we had passed the magic 100 mile point since the start of our adventure, probably around Portreath. Well done us! Next time we are hoping to get as far as St Ives, where we will hopefully visit our next NCI lookout.

On Sunday 11 October we are going to participate in the

Countryfile Ramble for BBC Children in Need

and dedicate our day of walking the coast path to raising money for this worthy cause. We hope that all our loyal followers will support us by using the link to the web site where you can find out more about their venture and how to pay your sponsorship money.

 

 

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