Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Polperro to Polruan (South West Coast Path 44)

Polperro harbour

After a six month break we are back on the South West Coast Path. Can we still hack it?

We pick up the route at Polperro. As we walk the half mile down from the car park to the harbour it is already beginning to rain slightly. We climb up to the cliff and enjoy the view back to the town. It is too gloomy to be worth photographing, and anyway the tide is out. Above I have used a picture I took when we reached here last September.

We walk along Chapel Cliff and past various other natural features. The rain gets heavier. We think that this will not be much fun it continues for the whole walk.  However, after about an hour and a half of level stretches interspersed with classic descents and ascents, it finally stopped raining. I snatched this picture of the snaking path ahead, thinking it might be the sole image of the walk.

Out to sea we could hear what seemed to be a bell tolling and after a while we identified it as a buoy with a bell, presumably warning against the rocky coastline. On the rocks the agitated peeping of Oystercatchers could repeatedly be heard. As we drew level with Lansallos, this lovely view towards Pencarrow Head presented itself. There was still plenty of rain in the sky.

And as we reached sea level the rocky coast looked especially dramatic.

As we climbed up again, there was a nice view back of this little secluded cove, Palace Cove.

Pencarrow Head Proved to be further away than it looked, but eventually we were felt we were getting nearer. This was the view back towards the way we had come.

At length we turned Pencarrow Head and began to walk around Lantic Bay on a high level path. As the sun came out, we were struck by the sudden change in the colour of sea and sand. The delightful, unspoilt Great Lantic Beach is in the centre of this picture.

The view back from the other side of the bay was pretty good too.

We climbed Blackbottle Rock and began the approach to Polruan. As we got nearer to the Fowey estuary there was a fine view in the gathering gloom across to Gribbin Head, with the Gribbin Tower visible above it.

We walked down to the quay and looked across the river to Fowey (pronounced foy). And then had a nice glass of wine in the nearby pub while we waited for a taxi back to Polperro.

Conditions: very wet at first, then mainly sunny. We felt cold much of the time.

Grading: Strenuous.

Distance: 7.1 miles. Distance now covered 252.1 miles.

Map: Explorer 107 (St Austell and Liskeard).

Rating: four stars. A totally unspoilt section with some beautiful coastline.

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