Friday, 22 April 2016

Horns and Rule Following

Day Twenty Eight - Porthole to Mevagissey 19.8km (12.3 miles).
Time on route 6:10hrs, walking time 05:30hrs.

Tuesday 19 April 2016
Day 28 map
It was a prompt (for us) start after an overnight stay in Porthole. Stuffed full of eggs and toast we left Portloe in the sun.

I smiled at the creativity of the house decoration.
16 04 19 Day 28 (1) Portloe
And the post topper.
16 04 19 Day 28 (2) Portloe
It was another morning of undulating SWCP. We weren't as prepared as we should have been for the sun - unforecast I hasten to add. I'd forgotten a sunhat (I had woolly hat, gloves and waterproof as any Brit on the move would rightly carry) so had to improvise with a buff, and Caitlin had left her sunglasses in the car at Probus.

We'd had a mini cow encounter yesterday, but they were afar across the field and not too scary. Today was different. As we approached a gate east of East Portholland we saw a herd of bullocks tightly huddled. We then saw a couple walking through them and some stamping of feet (from the cows) and arm waving (from the humans). As they extracted themselves from the field we noticed they had a dog, which explained the discombobulation from the cows.

I was pretty anxious at this point, dog or no dog, and asked the couple about the animals. "I'm really nervous about cows," I explained trying to sound like a slightly normal person. "Oh, don't worry about them," the lady grinned. "Nothing to worry about". "Indeed," replied the gentleman. "They're fine. Oh, just watch out for the one with horns."

HORNS? That bullock had horns? That makes it bull-like in my head.

Caitlin nudged me towards the gate and we waited whilst the animals drifted off. We hatched a plan involving doing 3 sides of the field, and I was mentally planning how quickly I could jump over the barbed wired gorse hedge.  However as we entered the enclosure the mind-reading bullocks wandered towards the corner we were heading for. So we reverted to Plan A and took the direct route across. This I did, briskly, head down, with Caitlin behind me responding to my rapid questioning "are they following us? are they still there?"  Honestly - what a mother.

It transpired that Plan A wasn't actually the official route but, purist that I am, there are times when I overrule myself. And cow avoidance is far higher than sticking to the rules. Caitlin did roll her eyes, though, at me retracing as much of the path as I could and doing two sides of a triangle to ensure I didn't 'cheat' too much.

The next beach, Porthlune Cove, had a treat in store. It is home to Caerhays Castle, designed by John Nash who was also responsible for Buckingham Palace and the Brighton Pavilion. Approaching it from the west it is hidden, it's only as you pass it and climb out the east side of the cove that you see how majestic it is.
16 04 19 Day 28 (3) Caerhays Castle and Porthlune Cove
16 04 19 Day 28 (5) Caerhays Castle and Porthlune Cove
We had had Dodman Point in our sights for the whole morning. Initially it had seemed far to far away to be our pre-lunch goal but, km by km, it edged closer and the cross came into focus.

And finally we reached it.
16 04 19 Day 28 (7) Dodman Point
However, that wasn't my true goal at Dodman Point. There is a trig pillar up there so we glanced briefly at the cross then went in search of our Holy Grail. It was easy to spot just behind the lookout hut.
16 04 19 Day 28 (12) Dodman Point
I did the obligatory hug (I suspect these things don't get many) and wished it a happy 80th birthday for the day before. [Read all it on the Ordnance Survey page here and the BBC, here].
16 04 19 Day 28 (10) Dodman Point
I was slightly conscious that we weren't making over fast speed.  However, I said the magic words to my teenager and, zoom, she was off.  The magic words?  "Oh, I hope we make Gorran Haven before the pub stops serving food".

And we did.
16 04 19 Day 28 (15) Gorran Haven
We ate in the lovely Lawnroc Hotel however we didn't linger as we had a bus to catch.

It was 5.6km to Mevagissey and we had 1:45 in which to do it which was plenty but we didn't linger.

Chapel Point looked gorgeous in the sun.
16 04 19 Day 28 (16) Chapel Point
We descended into Portmellon.
16 04 19 Day 28 (18) Portmellon
What beautiful shadows from the gate.
16 04 19 Day 28 (17) Portmellon
Mevagissey is a classic double harbour - I know given the choice between Portloe and Mevagissey where I'd sail to in a storm.
16 04 19 Day 28 (19) Portmellon
16 04 19 Day 28 (21) Mevagissey
The boats glistened in the sun.
16 04 19 Day 28 (23) Mevagissey
We arrived in Mevagissey with 30 minutes to spare.  Which was just as well because the bus stop wasn't obvious.  Mevagissey sits at the termination of a route served by only one bus number.  We asked the car park attendant where the bus stop was.  "Which way are you going love?" he asked.  Umm, out of Mevagissey?

Our route back to the car was via St Austell where we changed buses.  St Austell rail and bus station is a great place to swap transport as it has a cafe where you can plonk yourself over a coffee whilst waiting your bus.  And plonk we did with our sun-caught faces, weary feet, stiff legs and smiles.

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