Distance - 20.2Km
Time Taken - 5hrs ish
Assent - 360m ish
Day 3 and a very early start to the day. The bridge at Penpol to cross the tidal Gannel can only be used 3-4 hours after (or before) low tide. The low tide for this morning was just before 4am so we wanted to get to the bridge between 7 and 8am. A guesstimate of the distances put the bridge at approx. 3 miles into the day, so we set off just after 6am (6.20 give or take). The night before we had a early night in preparation....OK we went to the pub and watched England lose against Holland at football.
|The Penpol crossing|
The path leads through the dunes before again beaks out onto normal roads. Navigation could be an issue in this section as the path is through a passage at between houses. It is easy to miss (we did last year...).
Crantock beach and the surrounding dunes are very familiar to me. For more years than I can remember we came here on family holidays, it all looked the same in the sun, just a little quieter. Word of warning here, the beach side toilets are only open in the summer.
This section of the walk from Polly Joke to Holywell Bay has mixed memories for me. It's a great walk, with high cliffs, great views and an Iron Age settlement (long since abandoned...) however the last time I walked this section it proved too much. High winds and driving rain sapped all energy and the walk lost all resemblance to fun. It turned into an exercise in putting one foot in front of the other and was why I abandoned the walk at Holywell Bay.
The contrast this year couldn't be more stark, sun and little to no wind (and less blisters and leg ache!). Three times I have walked to Holywell Bay and 3 times involved rain, fog or mist. It is something of a strange Nemisis and for whatever reason it was nice to me for once!
|Map reading Action|
The path leads round the edge of Penhale Camp which is an MOD owned area (I think it's being disposed of) and there are clear signs of erosion and path diversions. Again it has great views, crashing waves and high cliffs. At Ligger point you can see the end point, admittedly it's about 2-3 away down the beach, but that ice cream was calling!
The walk ended in the pub with tired feet and sore legs. One of these days I will actually prepare for one of these walks! The main injuries are 2 blisters on my heels, I think they are due to the footfall rather than rubbing. Overall a great 3 days and it was great to overcome last years defeat!