DAY 70: Portreath to St Ives – 18.70
Ok it’s back to business, and with some distance to walk I was determined to get up and out early. By 9am I’d finished my breakfast of cereal from my host, followed by a tin of beans and eggs left over from the campsite, and I was ready to head out into the drizzle. Today I could walk on the road or on the path, but as they run close to each other all day I could pretty much cherry pick whichever I fancied at the time. Starting with the steep road out of Portreath to get around the headland, I then switched to the rugged and wild coastal path, which ran right along the flat cliff edge.
And just as the weather started to really close in, I came across the aptly named Hells Mouth cafe and gladly stepped inside to warm up with a cappachino. Once the rain had eased I continuing on the road for a while, which was thankfully quiet and not too hilly. Then when I approached the long beach north of Hayle I was first able to walk across the sand dunes before hitting the beach. Ok the skies were grey and overcast but it was still nice to be able to stroll along the beach into Hayle. Annoyingly Carbis Bay and St Ives looked so close across the inlet but due to the nature of the sand estuary – which the lifeguard on duty did confirm I should not try and walk across – I had to walk an extra hour or so inland to get around.
At least I passed a large Cornish pasty shop just as I was starting to get peckish, and had already been thinking I’d only had one since I had been in Cornwall. Not able to decide between steak and mince I bought a small one of each and ate one straight away, taking the other for later. Fed, I then stopped at the pub further round the inlet for a drink before finally reconnecting with the open coast line. Despite the fact the sun was not shining, the final section which traversed the railway line through Carbis Bay and finally onto in St Ives, was a beautiful section of the South West Coast Path.
I deliberately didn’t look where my hostel was so I could walk right through St Ives first. Sitting on a bench by the harbour, I managed to enjoy my second pasty whilst soaking up the scenery of this picture postcard seaside town. Then realising I still had a way to walk to my hostel, I grabbed myself a one scoop Cornish ice cream to enjoy on the way – unbelievably my first since arriving in Cornwall. Unfortunately the postcode didn’t actually take me to the right place, and with the hostel reception not picking up the phone, it took me a while and one unnecessary hill climb to find the right place. The guy on reception did feel guilty for not picking up the phone to me, but I said I would forgive him if he made me a cup of tea.
So room 10, my lucky number and a cute little dorm room all to myself… My final night before the final push tomorrow. Not really excited or pleased or sad or thankful that tomorrow is my last day, think I’m too weary right now to feel anything else. But no doubt tomorrow will be a different story, and I know there will be tears. A long day ahead… best try get an early night!!!