Mid-hike blues

Well, sometimes it’s fine and sometimes it isn’t. On the Pacific Crest Trail the halfway point felt great, we’d been hiking for ages, we had a long way to go, and despite my blisters it felt like I was living in a happy hiking bubble that would go on forever. The hike was my life and my life was the hike.

Not so on the South West Coast Path. The halfway point coincided with sad news from home about Jameson (our cat), a break in the weather which had mostly been fine until that point, and a change in scenery. Although the scenery was still nice, it wasn’t the scenic fireworks display of Land’s End and the Lizard where every view demanded a photo.

And being halfway between the beginning and the end of the walk, it felt like I’d been walking for ages and still the end was an incredibly long way off. And for a couple of days, I would far rather have been at home than on the coastal path.

So, I did some long days, hoping to walk through the feeling of gloom – or at least to be able to replace it with a sense of satisfaction at the number of miles done. Seven days of walking according to my guide book were done in five. I may have wasted the chance to fully appreciate this bit of coast, but as with anything in life, you just have to do your best to get satisfaction or happiness from what’s in front of you.

So here are my photos. There were some lovely villages offering welcome pots of tea, some good views, some short ferry rides across estuaries which saved long detours inland (and which are a recognised feature of the coast path), and another 95 miles ticked off.

Another huge boost was meeting the only woman I’ve met so far who was doing the whole coast path and camping! Sadly she was going the other way round (clockwise), but we spotted each other way off and it was grins all round, and a mutual recognition of “Really good to meet you!” She was having a motivational lull at the time as well and it was so good to chat, even if it was just briefly. No long distance hike is enjoyable 100% of the time and it was good to be reminded of that – you just have to hang in there and keep walking.

Gillan Creek, one of several tidal creeks that can be forded at low tide. The tide was in when I got there so it was a 2 mile detour round.
Surprisingly comfortable “wild”camp, right on the path, between two meadows which had been cut for hay
Thatched houses at Helford
Portloe, a quiet fishing village along the way.
Mevagissey,, another fishing village which now does very well out of the tourist trade
Black Head in fine weather, near St Austell
Ships at Charlestown
Beach near Gribbin Head
Ferry from Fowey to Polruan
The Lugger Inn at Polruan – a good place to spend the evening after a very wet afternoon!
Lantivet Bay, showing scrub on the slopes down to the sea, and arable land on top
I sometimes take the mickey out of Neil for the glamorous places he takes me to, but I think I did pretty well for myself here! Hostel in Plymouth (on the left, and NOT the Gentleman’s Club!)

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