Day 2 Porthcothan to Newquay 11.25 Miles
Mary and Tim Neale gave us a hearty breakfast. Two German girls joined us. They were walking north from St. Ives and talked about the awful weather they’d had. Decided to walk to Mawgan Porth, about seven miles south. We wanted a short day after yesterday’s marathon.
The day was sunny and quite warm, with a nice breeze to keep us comfortable. We passed some spectacular headlands, the ocean colors always brilliant and always changing shades of blue and cobalt and turquoise. As we walked the wind came up and although the day was sunny,the wind came into our faces, and we kept our jackets on. The flowers and gorse along the path were quite wonderful. Long hedgerows of pink, blue, and yellow flowers growing in and on and over the stone walls, beautifully designed in herringbone patterns made of thin slabs of slate.
At about 11:30 and two hours of walking, we had gone four miles. Came to Bedruthan Steps, very famous, and the first time we saw groups of walkers. First we climbed down a steep descent, and then up the steps, the steepest and longest climbs so far. We passed a series of small islands, and then followed the path every upward to the National Trust and Information Center, where we found a café, carpark, and visitor center. We stopped in for a coffee. Busloads of elderly had just disembarked, out for the day from their rest homes, canes and wheelchairs, and walkers crowding the café.
By the time we had gotten coffee and a roll, the day had turned overcast and the wind blowing fiercely. I pulled my hoodie over my hat to keep it from blowing off. A mile or two farther along the trail we came to a beautiful beach,Mawgan Porth.
Sliding gravel, deep cuts in the path, rain washed out the tracks, and the steps to deep crevices in the path. Difficult going. Jennifer and I had our walking sticks which helped with balance, and with purchase on the loose stones, and gravel. We round our way down to Mawgan Porth, a small cluster of houses riding down the cliffs to the beach. At one point I stopped to take a photo, and one of my walking sticks slid down the hill and fell into a ditch! Yikes, that could have been a disaster. There were surfers, and children, and sunworshipers on the lovely little beach, and we walked by them, across the sand to the road where there was a hotel, a couple of stores selling beach gear, and a some fish and chips shops.
We had walked six miles in three and a half hours, not bad. Jennifer had researched the bus schedule and bus stops. Sure enough a bus was coming, but in two hours. It was 12:30 and we were short of English pounds because we’d paid Mary Neale, and the Luggage Transfer people earlier with cash, so we had to be prudent, since there was the bus fare, and possibly a taxi to our next B&B. We checked out the eating establishments, but none seemed too inviting, so we sat down at a picnic table by the road to wait. I thought I’d try the little convenience store to see what they had. Good idea. I bought a cheese and onion pastry, called a pastie, rhymes with nasty. Delicious! And not at all expensive.
We got to talking to an elderly couple sitting at the next table, also waiting for the bus to Newquey, pronounced Newkey. They both looked to be in their sixties or seventies, she in a cotton dress and loose cardigan, and sneakers with no socks. He in shorts, and a long sleeved shirt, and hiking boots. They had walked from Newquey and were taking the bus back. They were definitely walkers, told us about a trip they’d taken where his knee gave out the first day, but the wife had walked the fifteen miles for five days. She didn’t look capable of walking to the nearest tea room, but looks can be deceiving.
The bus came, and we told the driver to let us off at Lusty Glaze beach, the first beach you come to in Newquey, which I had been told was right near our B&B. When we got to Newquey, he let us off, saying, “Just walk around the motor circle and you’ll be at Lusty Beach. Not So! After we’d walked about five minutes, we realized we were totally lost. Newquay is a small city, and there are about five big beaches. The bus driver had let us out on Fistral Beach, at least a twenty five minute walk from where we wanted to be.
My blister had begun to complain, quietly at first, but as we tramped the pavement, the complaints turned to yells, and then shrieks. I said I needed to take a taxi. I hobbled into the The Three Tees, our cozy little B&B with my spirits crushed. The walk ruined. Fiona, our very cheerful hostess, was reassuring, but when I took off my boot, Jennifer looked at my blister in wonder. “It’s ginormous.” Red, irritated, and huge. “You won’t be walking anywhere tomorrow.”
Jennifer went on line to find out how to treat a blister. Between the two of us, we had all necessary medical supplies. The next morning Jennifer put on a non-stick gauze bandage, and cut out two layers of moleskin to put around the blister, then taped the moleskin securely. She also researched the bus stop for our next town, Perrenporth, and luckily there was a bus from Newquey, and she found where it stopped. Lots of angst on my part about the future of our walk.
Word for the day. “Get it sorted” As in, “I hope you get it sorted.” And “Well then, that’s sorted.” Encouragement given by Fiona on hearing about the blister.