Day 047: Portloe to Falmouth
Distance: 24.00 miles
Ascent: 6147 feet
Weather: Sunny Most of Day, Rain for Last Hour
Accommodation: Falmouth Lodge Backpackers
Unlike yesterday, I was up early and on the way by 7, fortunately bathed in sunshine again. I headed along the cliffs and the day started with a couple of steep ascents/descents around Nare Head, before flattening out around Pendower Beach. Other than cereal bars (and not great ones at that) I had no food left this morning, so was quite hungry and really looking forward to reaching Portscatho, where I could eat and stock up on more food.
Finally, I arrived at Portscatho, where I purchased stuff for lunch later on from a little shop, and as I was so hungry treated myself to some eggs and a tea from a café. It was around now that I suddenly realised that I could be quite tight with the last ferry from St Mawes at 4:45 so I had to get a move on.
The next part of the walk was simply stunning, following the gently undulating cliffs passed Towan Beach till near Killigerran Head, where I suddenly heard a strange noise a bit like a low roar. It took me a while to notice them, as they were well camouflaged, but the noise had come from a group of seals. They numbered about thirty, split into three separate groups, one group on the sand, the others on the rocks. It was really magical seeing them from relatively close, seeing their various expressions and mannerisms. If it wasn’t for the ferry later I could quite happily have sat here and watched them for an hour but I could only allow myself ten minutes or so.
The path started to raise, though gently, up and around St David’s Head, with it’s vistas in all directions before heading down to Place. In summer a ferry runs from this point to St Mawes but my route took me a long way inland to get across the Percuil River, with seemingly no good route.It started fairly scenically following a path to Porth Farm, before heading onto country lanes which weren’t too busy so were OK to Gerrans. Once across the river the road I had to walk along was quite busy but also had fast moving cars. This part was not nice, but only lasted a couple of kilometres so put my high vis backpack cover on and just did it. What I came to next was by far the worst mud I have encountered on the walk, and so bad that by the end of getting through it I had mud everywhere including in the boots (though they must still be waterproof as no water got in.) This was entirely the farmers fault, and as well as making the path only just passable, the animals in the fields alongside it were in a filthy state themselves as their fields were not much better.
After getting through the mud, I was in St Mawes and made it to the ferry point about 4:25 so in good time for the last ferry at 4:45. I took the ferry across to Falmouth, and once on the Falmouth side it started raining immediately. Due to the location of the hostel it made sense to walk around Pendennis Point, a distance of about 3 miles to get to the hostel, so that I wouldn’t have to backtrack when setting of from the hostel. The hostel has everything I need: a bed, spotlessly clean shower room and a great kitchen.
So, I am now on my rest day, one day earlier than scheduled due to accommodation reasons.
A good day, with the seals being a real highlight.