My room in the pub at Zennor has a window looking out over the village church – I decide to go and take a look inside before setting out. Nowadays, village churches are often locked but I am lucky here – the door is wide open.
It is a pretty little church with an impressive selection of prayer cushions – here are a few…….
And in the side chapel stands a small bench, one end of which is ornately carved in the shape of a mermaid to celebrate the local legend.
It is said that two voices can be heard singing down in the cove from time to time………..
Anyway, setting off from Zennor Head I turn right in the direction of St. Ives but coming up out of the cove, the path seems to disappear.
Heading in the general direction I find myself having to scramble over piles of large rocks which although fun to begin with, soon starts to worry me a little.
Eventually a semblance of a narrow path starts to emerge but then takes me upwards and around a sharp corner where I cannot see any way forward than up a steep bank of rocks reminiscent of the initial ascents on a Scottish mountain…….surely not?
With relief I notice that the path winds tightly round the next bend and downwards which makes it difficult to see at first……phew…….
From here it is a tough ride up and down small rocky coves. I walk down and up Tregerthen Cliff, rewarded by a wonderful view across to Mussel Point.
From Mussel Point there are four more points to conquer: Carn Naun, Pen Enys, Hor and Clodgy. I am wilting a little, so after crossing this sweet granite slab bridge I rest a while.
Just before Hellesvoor Cliff the wonderful people of the National Trust have constructed a solid boardwalk for a short stretch – this makes a change from the narrow stony paths I have been walking on.
………………and later, some large stones have been laid to take me across boggy ground as I near the beaches of St.Ives.
When Damian and I were here two years ago in January, I remember looking west up at the cliffs above Porthmeor Beach thinking next time I see them I will be coming from a different direction – didn’t think it would take this long but that’s life.
So down I go, thrown suddenly into the noise and bustle of a busy seaside resort on a sunny day.
It’s all a bit overwhelming after hours of peaceful walking, so after revisiting the cafe in which we had cream teas on that very wet day two years ago, I walk quickly through the town and out the other side.
………………but not before a difficult navigation through the crowds of the annual Food Fair held on the beach in front of the station.
Music from an Ed Sheeran acolyte drifts up from the beach and follows me as I head up beside the railway line, up above the beautiful deserted beach at Carbis Bay.
Round the headland I can see another golden strip – Port Kidney Sands but I cannot walk on the beach all the way so I take some steps up on to the cliff path again.
The path above the beach is narrow with some steep drops down but some lucky person has found a ledge to build on. In the garden of the house is a perfectly formed wooden wagon – imagine waking up to that view everyday!
This is a beach to rival any I have seen – including those in Australia (sorry Susan).
By this time I am beginning to yearn for signs that I am nearing my destination but the path just seems to go on and on. It doesn’t help either that I am now struggling through an area of sand dunes where one step forward means two steps back and I’m away from the cooling sea breeze of late afternoon.
Finally, I return to the water – not the sea but the south bank of the Hayle River. This cannot be crossed so I am forced to walk on a tarmac road, a little inland from the estuary until I reach Lelant Station where I am hoping against hope I can get a train back into St. Ives.
In my muddled exhausted state I press the wrong button on the information stand and get a rude awakening in the form of a stern voice asking me whether I need an ambulance, the police or the fire brigade. Realising my mistake I apologise profusely – the woman’s voice at the other end is not amused.
There is no train going anywhere I want to go but I am directed down the road to the station at Lelant Saltings where the loveliest, friendliest station master I have ever had the pleasure to meet, sets me right. I have 10 minutes before the little train arrives to take me back to St. Ives and my bed. It has been a long walk.
Distance: 13 miles