Sunday, 19 April 2015

My First Adder?

Day Fifteen - Porthcothan to Newquay 19.8km (12.3 miles).
Time on route 5:20hrs, walking time 5:00hrs.

Saturday 18 April 2015
Day 15 map
I parked in Porthcothan and headed off around the headland.  It was a glorious day but with a fierce easterly wind.  It was nice to have it behind me rather than in my face.
15 04 18 Day 15 (1) Porthcothan
My first excitement of the day was an Environment Agency benchmark, a few minutes climb out of the bay.
15 04 18 Day 15 (2) EA
The waters around Cornwall are stunningly clear. The photo of Trescore Islands doesn't do it justice.
15 04 18 Day 15 (3) Trescore Islands
I was quite taken by Porth Mear. The geology and slope of the beach reminded me of a whaling flensing pan. Not something I believe Cornwall has even been renowned for. And it's a bit over the top for pilchard flensing.
15 04 18 Day 15 (4) Porth Mear
I stopped for a pot of tea in Trenance. Sun, sea, tea - what more do you need?
15 04 18 Day 15 (6) Trenance
Costas? ;-)
15 04 18 Day 15 (5) Trenance
The rocks of this section are the oldest on the path between Padstow and Falmouth (notwithstanding the Lizard).
15 04 18 Day 15 (7) Geology
I enjoy spotting wildlife whilst I'm walking even though I'm no zoologist.  It mainly consists of gulls, sparrows, sheep, scary cows, slugs, the odd robin and the rarer red kite.  I stopped absolutely dead in my tracks, though, when a snake slithered across in front of me.  It was about 50cm long, silver with strong black markings and quite thin.  It moved too fast for me to snap a photo.  I've researched and think it was an adder.  It certainly wasn't a grass snake or slow worm.  I did wonder if it was a smooth snake but these are very rare and mainly in the SE of England excepting a project to reintroduce them in Devon.

Just north of Porth is Trevelgue Head, site of an Iron Age Fort.  I missed the turning of the path just before the bridge and walked over to the island before realising my mistake.  A nice detour though.

The presence of the fort indicates that Porth would once have been a key port.  It has since silted up and is now just a pretty surfing beach.  Its maritime importance is reflected by some of the bling the Mermaid Inn has bagged.
15 04 18 Day 15 (8) Porth
Including a 12 pounder naval gun.
15 04 18 Day 15 (9) Porth
The path's route through Newquay is mainly down the high street amongst numerous holiday makers.  It was therefore a pleasant break to walk down the route of the old tram line dating from the mid 19th Century.
15 04 18 Day 15 (11) Newquay
I liked the look of this des res - although suspect you won't get your on-line shopping delivered to your front door.
15 04 18 Day 15 (12) Newquay
Tide's out.
15 04 18 Day 15 (13) Newquay
I had a spare hour before my bus so continued to walk on around Towan Head; leaving the coastpath halfway down Fistral Beach and following a footpath east through the golf course back to Newquay. I returned to Porthcothan sitting on the top of the double decker peering down on the route I'd walked that day.

I'll leave you with chiropodist humour Newquay style.
15 04 18 Day 15 (16) Newquay

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