South Cornwall Hike Day 2, Sore Feet And Sadness
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
Links to other journal entries from this South Cornwall Hike
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 in this part of south Cornwall (when the fog finally lifts 3 hours later) is breathtaking – it’s like it’s suddenly become Cornwall and yesterday didn’t count.
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.
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.)
Another sugar/water stop. Another wave of memories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Journal Entries From My South Cornwall Hike
- 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)
- Day 7 Coverack, Cadwith, Lizard Point, Kynance Cove, Mulllion (Predannick) (18 miles)
- Day 8 Mullion Harbour, Gunwalloe, Porthleven (8.5 miles)
- Day 9 Porthleven, Penzance, Mousehole, Lamorna (21 miles)
- Day 10 St Loy, Penberth, Land’s End (10 Miles)
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