Saturday, 26 April 2014

Portloe to Portscatho (South West Coast Path 49)

 Looking back to Portloe

After such a lovely day yesterday, we knew from the weather forecast that today would not be so good and we duly set out from Portloe in cloud and drizzle. We made the inevitable steep climb up out of the village and headed along the cliff to turn Menare Point, and lose sight of Portloe behind us. We could see the headland of The Blouth ahead with Gull Rock beyond it.

Having crossed it, we descended a steep-sided grassy bottom at the back of Kiberick Cove. This is the view looking down from the opposite side.

As we approached the main landmark of this leg, Nare Head, it began to rain heavily and photography had to be suspended as we plodded on in driving rain. Just as we turned the corner, the rain abated and we saw the expanse of Gerrans Bay, with what looked like rather lower cliff tops ahead than we have become used to.

We gradually descended to sea level from the 90 or so metres of Nare Head and had a good view along wave-tossed Carne Beach. Portscatho is the white smudge on the left.

We decided to break for lunch at the Nare Hotel. This was the view back over the beach towards Nare Head. It is just possible to make out two dots in the water which are all that is visible of two mad boys using their body boards.

We had a pleasant enough lunch in the hotel dining room, feeling slightly out of place in our wet walking clothes, and looped round the hotel to rejoin the coast path. Unfortunately, it had started raining again. After Pendower Beach, we followed the high path along a sloping cliff where there was a most impressive crop of Early Purple Orchids.

We descended to briefly walk on Portbean Beach and climbed up through what seemed to be an abandoned garden to descend again to a (Coastguard?) lookout station. There was a nice view back to Nare Head and Gull Rock in a spell of late afternoon sunshine.

Across the small bay, Portscatho, still surprisingly far away, glistened whitely.

Conditions: wet at first, but brighter later.

Rating of this section: Moderate.

Distance: 7.5 miles. Distance now covered: 289.2 miles.

Map: Explorer 105 (Falmouth & Mevagissey).

Rating: 3 and half stars.

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