Stephanie Boon hiking on the South West Coast Smiling at the camera.

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South Cornwall Hike Day 2, Sore Feet And Sadness

 

A foggy view over a coastal village

Day 2 began with a foggy slog out of Portwrinkle

 

160 Miles On The South West Coast Path, South Cornwall – The Journal

Day 2, Portwrinkle to Lantic Bay

Portwrinkle, Looe, Polperro, Lantic Bay

Tuesday 23rd August 2022

  • 20 miles
  • 34.5/160 miles complete
  • Weather: almost everything. Thick fog for hours, sunny spells and so muggy. Up to 22 degrees
A small foggy harbour at low tide with 2 rowing boats moored on the beach

Portwrinkle Harbour

8am. All packed up and ready to walk into the fog. No amazing sunrise, just a muggy, eerie atmosphere. Down into Portwrinkle (I can’t decide if I like this name or not – maybe it’s just too twee?) and then right up out of it again. Up. A small word not to be underestimated. My heart pounds and I can’t tell whether I’m sweating buckets or just drowning in fog.

Drowning in fog. A metaphor.

Eyes to the ground again.

So many glistening berries – deep red strings of honeysuckle like necklaces, scarlet lords and ladies, white dusted sloes and plentiful succulent blackberries. I notice them all, but it’s an effort.

Nothing Feels Right

I still feel low and anxious and can’t shake it off. I thought hiking would be a quick fix – put one step in front of the other and let it all drain away, But it’s not happening. 4 hours sleep last night didn’t help. I’ve felt ‘off’ all day. More than off tbh, just low.

The scenery (when the fog finally lifts 3 hours later) is breathtaking – it’s like it’s suddenly become Cornwall and yesterday didn’t count.

 

I'm standing beside a wooden rail fence looking out at a sandy beach with Looe Island in the background.

Taking in the views at Millandreath

It makes me think of all the times I’ve been along this stretch of coast with old friends. Big, long day-hikes, pottering about in small harbours drawing, cream teas and slabs of cake, cider in ancient pubs – the tears of laughter, the rubbish sketches… The memories fill me with deep sadness at the moment and the weight of my rucksack seems to have doubled.

Looe

My feet are bloody sore; I think I should finally admit that my hiking shoes are too small. Yes, I had my feet measured. Yes, the shoes are a size larger. Yet despite this, I lost 3 toenails on my last hike – and it feels like my feet are about to take another battering.

Sore feet meant I lounged about in Looe way longer than I should have. I filled up on sugar, kicked off the damn shoes and waded into the sea – then felt an instant mix of irritation and regret that I forgot my swimming costume. (My feet bloody loved it though.)

 

I'm standing in the sea with Looe beach and town in the background

Easing my sore feet in the sea at Looe was absolute bliss

 

South Cornwall coast - West Looe old harbour wall, intense green sea, rib boats and a motor boat sailing by

West Looe

 

A small island rises on the horizon as I look back along a set of steep winding steps along a rocky coastal edge

Looking back at Looe Island as the path rises above Hannafore Beach before the next section of the walk on to Polperro

Polperro

Another sugar/water stop. Another wave of memories.

A close-up of seagull on a wall with Polperro harbour below

Love em! Polperro baby

 

A steep hill rises on the opposite side of a small harbour where people are jumping off the harbour walls into the water on a muggy day

The old harbour walls

 

Old cottages rise on a steep hill above a harbour with small rowing boats moored up

Polperro Harbour

And On To Lantic Bay

Now it gets really messy.

The path between Looe and Polperro isn’t too bad – not too much climbing, maybe a bit rough underfoot if you’ve got sore toes, but not as harrowing as the next stage. My feet cried. They howled with every step down as my toes banged the front of my shoes, and there are hundreds of steps. Hundreds and hundreds.

 

A wry expression on my face says it all as I look up at the camera with yet more steep steps behind me

Seriously? More steps? I love them, just not in these shoes

 

Steep steps cut into the earth head down a cliff side and straight back up the other

Gruelling flights of steps are a feature of much of the South West Coast Path and this section has some good ones

The pain feels like the icing on an already deflated cake.

I can’t express how flat I feel; it’s distressing and I keep having a persistent thought that I can go home for a night when I get to Falmouth…which is also distressing. ‘It’s ok, it’s not cheating’. Good. Because somewhere between Polperro and Lantic Bay, this ugly, persistent thought became a plan.

 

A view of the coast under a dramatic sky

Heading towards Lansallos in thick, muggy weather

 

Cliff views with remarkable geology

The glorious rocks of Lansallos

Right Here Right Now

Wild Camp Above The Bay

8 pm-ish. I found a spot to pitch up at the top of a hill that has views out to sea all around – Lantic Bay on one side and Lanivet Bay on the other. There’s fresh evidence of cows though, so I made sure they’re safely on the other side of a barbed-wire fence. And kept my fingers crossed.

 

A sweeping bay emerges from under low cloud

Tonight’s wild camp spot above Lantic Bay

 

My tent is in front of a wire fence with a bay behind. The sun is setting under an overcast sky

Ready for a good night’s sleep (I didn’t get one)

Right now my tent is flapping like crazy in strong wind, interspersed with showers of heavy rain, and I wish it would die down and give me some peace.

Normally I love these things; being close to the elements, feeling the ground beneath me, wrapped up all cosy with a full belly and a few sentimental things – but tonight, it can take a hike. I’ve had enough.

Today’s Costs:

I spent a fortune on sugary drinks…quite a scary amount of sugar!

  • Fruit and drink from Downderry Stores (recommended) – £2.74
  • Meal deal + Lucozade sport. Co-op, Looe – £5.25
  • Cream tea, Looe – £6.10
  • 2l water, drink and fruit pastels £3.10 (best value all day), Polperro

 

More Entries From This Journal

  • Day 1 Plymouth, Kingsand-Cawsand, Rame Head, Whitsand Bay (14.5 miles)
  • Day 2
  • Day 3 Lantic Bay, Fowey, Charlestown, Pentewan (20 miles)
  • Day 4 Pentewan, Mevagissey, Gorran Haven, Portscatho, Towan Beach (23 miles)
  • Day 5 Towan Beach, St Anthony Head, St Mawes, Falmouth (5 miles)
  • Day 6 Falmouth, Helford Passage, Gillan, Coverack (19 Miles)

You Might Also Like These Articles From The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path In 100 Mile Sections

Beautiful Cornwall Coast Path Walk: Porthtowan And Portreath To Hayle

Porthleven To Church Cove: Hiking The South West Coast Path

 

Thanks for reading. Join me tomorrow for my next entry from the South West Coast Path in south Cornwall. Follow the blog so you don’t miss it –  click the green button below and you’ll get an email each time I post a new article. Until tomorrow…

Happy hiking!

Stephie x

 

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