Day 27 – Gorran Haven to Charlestown

Before setting off we recorded our prompt start with the photo we forgot to get on our last walk. This time there was no need for a selfie as our trusty support driver could do the honours before leaving us to it on beautiful secluded Gorran Haven beach with its inviting cafe.

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There was a little bit of road walking up out of Gorran Haven and over a style into a field full of sheep. Many of the ewes had clearly been covered by the ram judging by their yellow markings.

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The brief sunlight on the water caught my eye.

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Just before reaching Chapel Point we passed a small plaque marking the spot as Bodrugan’s Leap, followed by these beautiful cairns on Colona Beach.

Our first landmark of note, Chapel Point, is the location of 3 houses all designed by John Campbell using stone taken from the area.

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The 3 remarkable properties on Chapel Point.

Shortly afterwards we ‘hit the road’ for a bit down in to Portmellon….

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… where these remnants of tracks going down to shore at Portmellon have been left for posterity to remind us of when Lifeboats used to launch from here.

Portmellon has almost now merged with Mevagissey. The join is seamless! So we worked our way through the streets of both towns, past Mevagissey harbour…

…with its excellent fish and chips cabin, the shops and museum, and up through the lanes back out of the town.

From here on, our way started to be tougher – we hadn’t really noticed the increasingly close contour lines! – leading to challenging ups and downs. Little did we know what was ahead of us- starting with the 89 steps up out Mevagissey.

A slight lull in the going saw us heading towards Pentewan campsite and beach at around 11.45. I had visited it less than a month ago and it was much emptier now that the schools are back.

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Along the path adjacent to the road to Pentewan we passed this clump of Himalayan Balsam (thanks to Hilary’s expert knowledge!).

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Not unattractive, unfortunately it is another invasive thug of a species similar to the Japanese Knotweed everyone is familiar with.

Coming up out of Pentewan we passed its curious little church..

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..with opposite, this hidden little monument – we think the inscription must be Cornish….

…marking the Millenium.

After a very steep walk up out of Pentewan, and past this very dilapidated signpost..

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…we stopped briefly for a picnic lunch by a maize field. Just as we were galvanising ourselves to continue on our way, a couple came towards us looking dead on their feet having just come from Charlestown. They had just about enough breath to describe the terrain facing us that they had just negotiated, filling us with dread when they talked about the 168 steps that we would have to climb on our route.

Of course all their ‘ups’ would be our ‘downs’ the first of which proved to be 109 steps down. Manageable – but of course we knew what that meant!

The first serious up which we counted to be 51 steps, seemed insignificant. Was it all going to be this easy after all?

Through a short stretch of pine trees we saw these amazing pine cones on the trees.

Glancing down to the water we could see a group of black and white birds basking on the rocks. They were pretty motionless and with the sunlight reflecting on them it was difficult to tell whether the ‘white’ was just the reflected sunlight or their actual colouring.

Hilary speculated that they might be Oyster Catchers….

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…and some subsequent detective work has supported this view.

 

From here to Black Head we met some of the steep terraine we had been warned about.

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We counted 107 steps on this’up’.

This was followed by some serious woodland walking, with 93 steps down to the bottom.

Coming up out of Hallane was the next ascent.

 

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Counting steps had now become a crucial part of our progress!

At Black Head this huge granite monument to A.L.Rowse stands in recognition of his contribution to our literary landscape.

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Coming away from Black Head we were very soon faced with what looked to be our most challenging ‘up’ today. And we had been thinking the worst was over!

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To reach the ‘up’ we first had a ‘down’ of 166 steps, our longest so far.

And now for that ‘up’ – although a mere 90 steps – it was an absolute killer!

At Porthpean beach there were lots of people enjoying beautiful conditions. The 93 proper steps up from the beach caught us unawares and just added insult to injury!

This 2nd World War lookout just above the beach can still be climbed today (although not quite the way this young lad was tackling it!) and is in relatively good condition. We took a quick detour to the top and enjoyed the view, which these days is probably not as extensive due to the trees and shrubs blocking some of the vista.

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This sign marks the site of the Criniss Cliff Battery. A small gate leads in to the area, although we did not explore it today as we were so close to our destination at Charlestown.

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Reaching Charlestown at around 3pm Hilary treated us to delicious Kelly’s ice creams. So it seemed the right moment for today’s selfie!

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Our final destination in Charlestown was the NCI lookout just on the eastern headland..

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…and just as we reached it we also found our support driver waiting for us nearby. Well over 10 miles covered, although it had seemed longer with all those steps!

 

 

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