The following morning I am back on Wembury Beach having been given a lift by my BnB hosts. The Great Mew Stone still dominates the horizon – it is slightly misty. From the beach I head up onto the cliffs and walk past an information board. This gives me the history of the Mew Stone which differs from the Wiki – I prefer the following version. In 1744 a local man was interned on the island for a minor crime (it was cheaper than sending him to Australia), where he lived with his family for seven years. He never left the island but his daughter must have, (unless her suitors came to her) because she married and raised three children. She was known locally as Black Joan – it was not clear why……..
Rain has been forecast and I although I can feel it in the air I have been putting off struggling into my waterproofs for as long as possible. There is nothing more annoying than stopping to take off your rucksack, get out the rain clothes, stand on one foot, trying to get a walking boot into a tight leg of the trousers, lose your balance, get your foot wet, and then have to do it again with the other leg. Eventually you’re done and you can walk on for five minutes which is roughly when the rain stops and because you don’t want to go through the whole rigmarole again, you walk as long as possible before your body temperature reaches sauna point and you have to stop again to take them off. This is exactly what happened, although the rain was quite a downpour so my precautions felt justified. After a while I reach Bovisand Bay, home to a substantial holiday village and a fort, both equally drear. I circle the bay and just before the fort I spy the familiar acorn signpost indicating the coastal path. I walk up the stone steps and across a bridge, skirting the fort. From here I follow a clear path along the top of the cliffs and rounding a corner I am treated to a wonderful view of Plymouth Sound and the mound of Mount Batten. This is where I’ll be getting the ferry across to the centre of Plymouth.The path continues to follow the edge of the cliff eventually dipping steeply down into a stretch of woodland.Even bent double, low branches claw at my rucksack and in some places I am forced to take it off…..At one point the woods open out into parkland, marked by this sign – I find myself wondering how long it will be before the letters become indecipherable. A few naval ships chug past and off to the right a flock of small sailing boats, which I think are called “bugs”, flit around in tight circles – there are frequent capsizings from which they seem to recover remarkably quickly. Further on I am pleased to see a large milestone indicating the South West Coastal Path, I have really been spoiled since I started the path in Swanage. Those days of wandering around in carparks or by the side of a motorway, miles inland, seem so long ago, but of course they will come again – take Liverpool just as an example. By now I am starting to get really hot and hungry so I am relieved to see the Mounbatten ferry approaching the metal walkway. With such a prestigious name I had expected something grander than the grubby little yellow motor boat – the grumpy captain was also a bit of a disappointment. On the other side I am sucked into waves of tourists milling about on the quay – having seen or heard very few people all morning it’s quite a culture shock. I stop and rest on a bench beneath this fish sculpture.Having gathered my wits I head off to my BnB to lighten my rucksack and find something to eat before setting off for the rest of today’s journey. Following directions I have quite a long walk down to the Cremyll ferry – the route takes me past the expanse of the international ferry dock which Damian and I drove through some years ago on our way to Santander. In contrast my landing stage is small, tucked down a side street – I arrive to find the ferry just leaving. It is only fifteen minutes to the next ferry but I am now worrying I may arrive too late at my destination to get the bus back to Plymouth. In due time it arrives and after an all too short crossing (I love ferries) it deposits me on the edge of Edgcumbe Country Park – I am now in Cornwall!Walking through the gates of the country park I take a little detour around the ornamental gardens, but soon catch up with the coast path, which runs along the shoreline. The park is beautiful and the track easy to follow, I manage to relax about getting to Cawsand on time. I soon leave the chattering crowds behind and enter the hush of a stretch of beautiful woodland.There are bluebells and small stone shelters, the earth is red.There are also quite a lot of uprooted trees – could it be the wind that could tears them so brutally from the earth?This one looks like it may be the next one to fall…..Out of the wood and into the sunshine I walk past some kids collecting ferns. “What are you going to use those for?” I was curious. “They’re for the roof of our shelter” one of the boys replies, having decided that I was safe to talk to – building shelters, it’s in our DNA.At last I top a hill and can look down on Kingsand/Cawsand which looks like interesting little villages. There is something French about the pastel coloured houses and the way the houses merge with the rocks and the harbour wall. I head down the steep narrow streets to a pub on the waterfront – there are a few Devonshire accents but most are home counties. After making enquiries about the bus I realise I have 20 minutes before the bus goes – just time for a half of local ale.
Jawbone says 12 miles.