A little tour of some of the finest beaches in Cornwall:
Hayle – braided rivulets, red, green, black surf kites, blue and green beach shacks and overall the soul cleansing wind. Car park pot holes and industrial/fishing industry wastelands make this my friends’ least favourite beach. I quite like it really.
We arrive at Carbis Bay – a clean washed sweep of sand with way too much construction machinery being used on the sea front hotel refurbishment – we paddle end to end and I feel the headwind breathe life back into me after a tough month of job hunting. I’m down here again one morning sitting on a log, thinking – that’s one of my favourite – and probably most annoying hobbies! I tell my friend I think in shades of grey – she tells me she tunes me out -and to hurry up!!! Which I guess is fair enough.
St Ives: covenant keeping rainbows grace the walk and we plod into the teeth of the rainstorm. Tucked away in a fortuitous rock shelter for lunch we hold it against all comers until a party of three take over as we leave it. Waterproofs bluster and flap and my shorts have rising damp. I’m soaked and getting cold – and far too lazy to put waterproof trousers on. We search for seals and find only seaweed. I can’t actually see anything – my glasses are salt caked and I nod to humour my optimistic seal-hunting friend. Another storming 11 mile coastal triumph!
St Agnes: our favourite walk of the week – Bronzed and blackened cliffs and the paddling windsurfers below us. The cliff walks pickled in deep holes and adits, Celtic solidity anchors me to the path in 60 mile an hour wind blasts but I feel pretty wind hammered and truly happy and grateful to be alive. I try for arty shots and fail to capture what I can see as I can’t hold the lens steady enough. It’s such an interesting place – it’s hard to imagine such a tranquil spot echoing to mining and refining but the evidence is all around with metal tepees over the worst holes.
Praa to Porthleven
I’m “choughed” – rounding a corner I hear something that sounds like a jackdaw – or a jay perhaps – I see the black bird and puzzle – not a jackdaw – red legs, red bill oh I don’t believe it, it’s a chough! I spent all our previous Cornish holiday looking out for them hopefully, and here they are. The walk started with a three buzzard fly past and a kestrel wind-hovering. At least there was a coastguard helicopter fly past and a couple of military type jets over St Agnes for plane loving Sandy
Rounding a corner, we find the path off the wall stile cuddled by cows – who are NOT moooving. AT ALL. So we wall walk in 45 mile an hour winds: precariously and uncertain for me – I am sure footed downhill and on rocks but truly hate heights and we are about 2 metres above the cows. It’s a scramble and hang off the rock jump down. Porthleven and bright sunshine beckon me for a cream tea and I can’t resist an ice cream either. The walk ends with a fish and chip feast in the car park overlooking St Michaels’ Mount. Sadly the fish is no match for two hungry walkers who don’t like to hang around. It’s a happy 12 miles this time so we deserve another film fix! Thank God “Night at the Museum 2” won’t load except in German. I’ve been threatened with it all week – Bond is far more fun.
Praa Sands to Marazion
Our last walk and it’s a confusing blur of beautiful paint box blues, aquamarines, jades, all the sky and sea colours I can’t find names for and deep foam flecked coves and inlets. I photograph the spray but I just can’t do it justice. There’s a cake and tea shack and once again I have the breaking strain of a kit kat where food is concerned. Oh well, Sandy’s tech (Samsung hiking App) tells me we are using 2700 calories a day. Let’s hope she (Molly the App) is right.
We’re staying in a beautiful place – which ends as it starts, with some of the best fireworks over the bay from one of the local hotels. I’ve learned I am useless with tech – the cooker in the rental makes me swear, I haven’t managed a really hot shower (no matter which way I turned the water on) and I am only dish washer trained because I threw a hissy fit strop and had to be shown how to use it. Why I don’t learn to ask is beyond me. Perhaps that’s my Autumn challenge – ask for help because I surely can’t figure out tech from random button pushing and cross hungry person manual reading – and I have a good friend who annoying can do all this with ease.