Portwrinkle to Talland Bay 15.7.15

The walk up and out of Portwrinkle is very steep and there is a slight drizzle – I stop to ask directions of an old lady who looks a lot like my Welsh grandmother and we have a little moan about the weather. IMG_2402At the top the path levels out and the rain stops – I have time to look around me.IMG_2404 I don’t know what this plant is but the small creamy bell like petals catch my eye.IMG_2405A while later I can see the village of Downderry below me and in the distance what I believe is my destination for today – Looe complete with island.IMG_2406The path winds around the back of Downderry and then runs alongside a few houses – I turn left at this signpost and make for the beach where I stop for a drink at the beach cafe. The tide is way out so I make a few enquiries about the feasibility of walking all the way along the beach to Looe. One remark is enough to stop me worrying “Well it can get a bit rocky, but if my mother can do it so can you” says a woman in her thirties.  I set off.IMG_2407I soon leave the dog walkers and day trippers behind and find myself alone.IMG_2409The beach reminds me of the one between Penarth (where my parents used to live) and Cardiff. There is a lot of pink and grey stone…….IMG_2410

IMG_2413…..and a little later I am forced to scramble over some very large boulders, keeping a wary eye on the advancing tide.  IMG_2411After what seems like an eternity the beach levels out and I start hearing voices of children playing – I have arrived at Millendreath Beach. One little girl is trying to bury her brother in what can only be called mud now – up to his neck in it. They are having such fun but I don’t feel comfortable taking close-up photos of other people’s children. IMG_2416It is very hot and the water looks so tempting that I lean my walking pole against a rock, take off my boots and paddle.  I then walk about 100 yards up the beach before realising that my pole is missing – back I go. I really must get into the habit of looking behind me every time I make a move – I am getting a little forgetful.

As I move onto the terrace of the beach cafe a young girl is coming out on her own with quite a large pack on her back. I ask her if she’s doing the South West Coast Path, which she is, and yet again I’m told that I’m doing it the wrong way round – most people do it anti-clockwise but I have another agenda. Anyway, we exchange bits of information about paths and ferries and say goodbye. She gathers her poles and sets off slowly and purposefully up the steep hill – not as lucky as me, as the tide is now in, cutting off the beach. She is the third woman I have met out walking alone since I started back in 2011. IMG_2417Climbing steeply up the other side it doesn’t take long walking along the top of the cliffs before I can see East Looe below me.IMG_2418The path winds down into the town and spits me out onto a bustling high street full of tourists. I stand blinking in confusion feeling like an alien just landed from another planet but quickly adjust – enough to head straight into the Oxfam shop for a pair of shorts and a swimming costume, both of which I did not pack. I then find the ferry over to West Looe and my B&B where I equip myself more appropriately for the hot day and set off towards Hannafore Point and Talland Bay.IMG_2421Walking up to Hannofore Point involves a narrow very busy tarmac road – I spend my time dodging pedestrians and cars.IMG_2423At the top people are flopped in deck chairs taking in the view across to the island – or having an afternoon snooze. I am tempted to join them but it’s too early to stop now. IMG_2424

IMG_2426The rest of the walk along the top of the cliffs is very pleasant but very hot – and I have no water with me. By the time I get to Talland Bay and the very welcome beach cafe I am parched. As I stand waiting my turn, the man in front of me is served what looks like a very cold shandy – bubbles gently rise to the surface, the glass is frosty, I pant. When asked I find myself replying with the classic “I’ll have what he’s having” “Bless you” the lady behind  the bar says, “You look like like you need it” “Bless you” I think.

Distance: 13 miles

1 thought on “Portwrinkle to Talland Bay 15.7.15

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