Saturday, 19 July 2014

Cornish Coastalpath-ateering - Plymouth to Land's End

Following on from last year's fantastic coast path adventure, running from Bude to Land's End and covering all of the north side of the Cornwall, on Monday 7th July me, Hester and Harry set off from Plymouth aiming to get to Land's end within 9 or 10 days, following the southern coast line of Cornwall this time. As usual we were carrying all the kit that we needed and were backpacking our way along the route which we'd estimated to be around 160 miles or so.

This year though, as things turned out, we didn't so much run the coastal path as yomp it - the weather was by and large fantastic (with a few days of solid blazing heat) making for hot and sweaty going, our packs were heavy (mine was 25 to 26 pounds in weight, depending on how much of Harry's biscuit supply I was carrying, Hester's was getting on for 20 pounds too with Harry's getting on for, oooh, 6 or 7 ounces) and in certain stretches the coast path was seriously overgrown making for tough going. I was also a bit concerned about my achilles of doom and wanted to take things steady (especially so what with the up and coming Lakeland 100 next Friday) and, more than anything, we wanted to make sure that Harry was okay too, running as he was in a thick fur coat. 

So a yomp, rather than a run.

Anyway things went brilliantly with bucketloads of beautiful Cornish coastline explored, hidden coves, stunning beaches, swimming, skinny dipping, cream teas, Cornish pasties, sweating (like feck), adder attacks, pirate themed pubs, tea shops, sand lizards and stretches of the Coastpath so over grown that they resembled the Malayan jungle at times. And finally on Tuesday 15th July at about 7pm we rocked up at Land's End and fully completed our Cornish coastline exploration (top and bottom). The final mileage of this southern expedition was 167 miles recorded (and 22,000 feet of ascent) with a good few miles largely spent trekking to and from the nearest pub for an evening meal left unrecorded (with the longest round trip to the pub being circa 5 miles with another coming in at 4).

On the very last day though, perhaps just a mile or two from the finish, Harry was bitten by an adder - we didn't realise it at the time and he carried on trotting along fine right up to the finish. His back left paw though became very sore and he was clearly not very well that evening and overnight. We perhaps thought he'd knocked his paw or something but, on the following morning, his paw had swelled up and we immediately went straight to the local vets in Penzance. They were absolutely brilliant and immediately diagnosed that he'd been bitten by an adder and he was kept in at the vets all day for some much needed anti-venom treatment and antibiotics. A couple of days recovery and he's now fully back to his old self. 

Snake attack - what a cracking addition to Harry's action adventurer CV!

Ze route

Let coastpathing commence

A friendly robin

Looe on the horizon

Looe done and dusted

Note the 26 pound backpack!


Sandy chops
Emerging into civilisation from a stretch of cliff path jungle

The coast path goes ever on

Spot the stick competition

Looking back at a few of the cliffs we'd just hacked over

The actual beach that helped inspire Daphne du Maurier to write Rebecca

Dogtagnan, the leader of the three coastpathateers

Some bare arsed wild swimming

Where are the Wallies?

Muscle definition or what?

The H's have a lovely swim

Wading Gillan Creek at low tide

Haz and Hes enjoying the view

The Lizard on the far horizon

What a lovely gumby smile

Hester scouting out the coast path ahead

Not a half bad beach................ and all to ourselves

Harry above Kynance Cove

Mullion Cove ahoy

St Michael's Mount

Harry, a black, white and tanned Collie and me, a tanned Beardy

Hester looking down on Pednvounder Beach, near Porthcurno

Honeysuckle beside the coast path

Nearing Land's End now

The 3 Coastpathateers at the finish with Harry sporting an adder bite (that we didn't know about at the time)