Cornwall The Coast of Controversies

As I sit in the upstairs bay window of Mrs Reynolds B&B, I watch three seasons blow by my window. I’d started the day in a jacket, hat, and hands shoved deep in my pockets. After two good climbs and passing around a headland where I came across two wild ponies lying down, the hat and jacket were removed and sweat pressed my wick-away(not) shirt against my back.

Cornwall likes to say you can experience all the seasons in one day. Save for snow, I have seen it all in one day: rain, wind, sun, heat, and repeat.

The coastline changes as much as the weather. At the start of the walk, I was thinking I was training for a future climb to Mt Everest–the ups and downs in one day were too many to count. I could count the people on one hand in these areas though. Not surprising the the narrow steep paths don’t attract a lot of foot traffic.

Once in St Ives, the path changed to more a less a thorough fare with a few isolated spots but surfing is good in these parts and tons of folks are suited up in their wetsuits riding the waves between the big rocks, seals, and lobster traps.

The path became rather flat, speeding up my usual 2 1/2 mile an hour hike to close to 4 miles. The slate of north Cornwall gave way to granite boulders which were replaced with stone beaches. It’s all interesting and keeps you guessing a bit on what will be around the next bend.

The sea is a curious contradiction at times as well. For a few miles it is almost placid, deep blue … Making you think that it is as warm and welcoming as the Caribbean. Then it seems fiercely angry-grey and swirling… Reminding me that I need to respect its power, as the sailors and fishermen have been doing for centuries.

Away from the big towns, it’s nice to find the quieter hamlets like Sennen Cove where many cyclists come to either start or finish their 874 mile ride between Land’s End and Jon O’Groats. There’s also Mousehole (pronounced Muzzel) where fishing once boomed but all the locals complain that only holiday goers fill the town now.

It’s either the flatter terrains or the fact that I’ve put in 16 days of walking that have given the blisters time to come and go. The toenails, however, seem to have decided to go..but just two.

In that time I’ve gotten sunburned, soaked to the bone, and sufficiently chilled to enjoy hot tea like a holy grail offering at the end of the day.

As I enjoy watching the seagulls squawk into the wind, I see the rain sliding sideways and just off to the north blue skies.

Here comes the sun…

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