With another early start at 9.15 amongst some sheep being herded past alongside us as we donned walking boots, we found our start point (with no help from my poor directions!) and set off on another beautiful morning to walk the 3/4 mile or so from nearby Lansallos, back to the Coast Path, where we had branched off at the end of our last walk.
By 9.30am we were back on track and quickly reached this day mark..
..referencing the bell buoy out at sea marking the Udder Rock which is exposed at low tide.
This day mark lies on a really steep stretch and, including the steps below it, we counted 100 steps from the day mark up – a pretty tough call so early in the walk.
With the few steps down in between there were 92 mean steps further up. It felt like (literally) 2 steps up and 1 step down along this stretch. Then at Raphael Cliff a hefty 159 steps took us down again – although these steps were placed at really comfortable intervals so we made short work of them. Those contour lines certainly worked us hard along here and we hadn’t really got going!
At Chapel (pronounced Chaypel) Point we took a short diversion reaching this odd little shed which looked out to sea, but served no other discernable purpose.
Reaching the outskirts of Polperro at 10.40 we came across the restored Net Loft…
..which has long been a local landmark. On our last walk we had considered trying to reach Polperro , but we now realised that would have been way too optimistic, given how challenging these few miles had been.
Polperro is a pretty little fishing harbour and we felt very much on familiar territory as we have both walked this bit of the coast at various times.
Making sure not to take the Reubens Walk path, named after a popular local who loved to walk these parts, we soon came to the diversion which takes you inland away from a badly damaged stretch of the path. This involves a really steep road down in to Talland and we couldn’t decide which direction would be worse to walk this, given how steep it was.
Beyond Talland the going became dry and easygoing, so we pressed on at a fair old rate of knots reaching the Hore Stone at 11.55.
It’s quite steep going after the Hore Stone, but with Looe Island now in our sights and Hannafore and even Seaton beyond, we moved smartly on.
The tide was well out at Hannafore and the view of the island was peachy on this beautiful day.
Passing the popular statue of Nelson, the seal who regularly used to swim up the Looe River…
… we crossed Looe Bridge at just on 1pm.
On Looe beach the sea was so calm and inviting there were people enjoying a swim, without wet suites! and after 145 killer steps up from Looe beach, which looked amazing today..
..we made our way on through Plaidy which took us on the road for a bit.
On reaching Millendreath at 1.30pm or so we were pleasantly surprised by its appearance. It used to look quite drab and run down, but now it’s had a bit of a face lift and looks lovely compared to what it used to be.
This novel charity collection point on the way up out of Millendreath caught my eye!
Then the path continues inland through a pretty woodland avoiding the Monkey Sanctuary.
At this point, as Seaton came in to view..
..I made the rather reckless decision to extend the end point of our walk. Our original finish point had been Downderry, only about 1 mile on from Seaton and which we were likely to reach at about 3pm. So without even consulting Hilary, I phoned ahead and instructed our support vehicle to meet us at Whistand Bay Hotel instead.
Almost as soon as I had made this decision the path started to play tricks on us by turning East to West, ie. the wrong direction, I assume to graduate what would otherwise have been very steep . Nevertheless it was unnerving walking with the sea on our left and apparently away from our destination. Thankfully these couple of stretches were few and very soon we had the sea on our right again as it should be. Hilary found this whole thing rather amusing because not long before I had been moaning about how tired I was! But we had been talking about how far we still had to go to finish the whole of the Cornish part of the Coast Path and it was looking hopeful that we would be able to complete it in just one more day, so I was keen to get some more miles behind us if we had the time.
We made quick work of the walk along the beach from Seaton to Downderry, but curiously, from Downderry onwards we shared the path with this motley collection of sheep which seemed bemused by us interlopers.
From here on we kept getting glimpses of Plymouth in the distance which was both reassuring but also tinged with sadness, as that definitely means we are nearly at the end of this adventure.
On reaching the outskirts of Portwrinkle we just had to find our way through the back streets to the hotel where we were greeted by very welcome cool drinks and our lift home.
Well over 16 miles again and the end of another beautiful day. We’re going to miss this!