At last our support driver was back in the driver’s seat so we made a prompt start at 9.45, with the weather clear and the sea looking beautiful and calm with no wind.
From the start the path had been cleared by lots of strimming and this can make quite a difference because you can see where you are stepping and the damp undergrowth can’t make your gear all wet! In the distance we could see our destination – Dodman Point.
However the conditions started to deteriorate and very soon we were walking through rain – or possibly the clouds? Although it wasn’t cold and there was little wind. Also, unusually, there was absolutely no activity out at sea.
Just 1 hour in and we had reached Portloe which purports to be the prettiest most unspoilt harbour in the whole of the British Isles. It certainly seemed to live up to this accolade.
A lone fisherman was making his way out.
Looking for waymarkers to find our way out of Portloe, we were amused to see this helpful sign – spot the (deliberate!?) mistake :
The more observant amongst you will notice that the acorn is upside down!
Soon we came across this possible old coastguard lookout. There were remnants of an old stone structure nearby which may have been the lookout referred to in Hilary’s book. However this wooden ‘shed’ is clearly not currently in use although the poster suggested it might have served as Portloe’s Pop up refreshments cafe – it’s definitely seen better days
Compared to some of our walks, this one did prove to be quite challenging with lots of steep terrain. But we seasoned walkers took it all in our stride! And by 11.20 we reckoned to be about half way to Dodman Point.
Towards Portholland we came across a poster declaring the area to be a Japanese Knotweed control site. We could certainly see some patches around and then as we reached West Portholland we passed this huge clump of it right on the beach.
East Portholland was very different from West. The sea was rougher, the beach much bigger and some repair work has been done where the area seems to have suffered in the dreadful storms.
Just off the path between East Portholland and Caerhays Castle we came across this really well-preserved old Coastguard lookout. It is now used for weddings with confetti still on the ground here and there.
Just a few minutes further, after a bit of road walking, Caerhays Castle came in to view, looking spectacular. We got the impression that it might be used for wedding receptions after the weddings having taken place at the previously mentioned disused Coastguard lookout. Even in the rain it was impossible not to be impressed.
Porthluney Cove sits just below the castle and is in a beautiful setting. Lovely though it is, we struggled up the 133 steps from the cove on to the Dodman – our toughest challenge today.
For much of our walk we had been able to see this enormous cross on Dodman Point in the distance without realising what we were seeing.
Because we had made good progress through the day we decided to press on towards Gorran Haven – with the benefit of our trusty support driver we had the flexibility to make this late change to our plans.
The dogs took advantage of this trough – wallowing in the water to help cool themselves off.
Later we had to back track to the trough after Zymba had rolled in something dubious and we needed to clean her off!
We reached Gorran Haven car park at 3.25 still beating the support vehicle by a few minutes despite backtracking to clean off the smelly dog!
After well over 11 miles and in the car on the way home we realised we had forgotten our selfie!!!! Next time!