A group of us are completing the South West Coastal Path Trail in a series of section hikes, wild camping as we go. This is part two of our journey which was during late November / early December 2021. Yep, it was rather cold and extremely windy!
The one with the most breathtaking scenery, cheese sandwiches and Trevor! Our last day..
WEATHER: Perfect! Hardly any wind, the sun came out and only a few patches of drizzle.
DISTANCE: Total: 12 miles
HEALTH: I feel strong today, although this cold sore is not nice.
Our last day and it’s been perfect In every way. Don’t get me wrong, the Devon & Cornish miles are full of gruelling ups and downs, but the rewards of your hard work are some of the most breathtaking scenery in the UK. The weather has been spot on and we cracked through the miles fairly quickly. Bude was a welcome sight. Thanks to my partner in crime, Rebecca for a most enjoyable week. And to Davina and Dawn for sharing this experience with us. It’s been epic!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
🛌 5.30 am – I’m wide awake, but Rebecca is sleeping next to me so I don’t want to move and wake her up, but I really need a wee! It was weird sharing a bed with someone other than my hubby, but it was much better than being in a tent in gale-force winds! I hold off for as long as possible then make a quiet dash for the loo!
7 am – We are all packed up and enjoy a hot coffee. They don’t serve breakfast in the pub until 9 am and we will be home by then, so they offered to make us sandwiches instead. We opted for cheese & pickle. I’m starving and don’t fancy porridge, so I open up
one of the cheese sandwiches, no pickle or salad, just cheese. I was a bit disappointed and feel annoyed that we paid for bed and breakfast but cheese sarnies is a long way off a full English!
🪂 8.05 am and we are off! 11 miles to Bude. Davina has given me her rain jacket to borrow so that if it’s very windy then it won’t be like my poncho parachute! Thanks, Davina!
🏝 8.20 – We have followed a track that led us out of Welcombe and towards the coast. It was not long before our first steep climb on the day. Little did I know how many PUDS and false summits lie in store for us.
🕺 8.45 – The path is very straightforward and is well signposted. We did a little dance over the “Welcome to Cornwall” sign.
☀️ 8.55 – Wow! These views are spectacular. The sun is trying its best to make an appearance and when it does poke its head through the cloud, the warmth is appreciated. The drizzle starts and I put on Davina’s rain jacket. I don’t get on well with rain jackets as they make me sweat. Even very expensive jackets don’t work well for me. It’s drizzling, but I’m sweating buckets. What’s the point of keeping the rain out of you are dripping wet from inside. At least I feel safe and I’m about to be parachuted off the cliff! (Thanks Davina, it was appreciated). It's not windy so after 30 mins or so I swap it out for my umbrella. Nice and airy and my damp clothes can dry out.
It’s not long before my little robin comes to say hello. He lands right in the middle of the path and stays there for a while. I chat to him like we are old mates before carrying on.
9.40 More PUDS, and gorgeous yellow gorse bushes.
🥪 10.10 – We are both very hungry so we set up our little chairs at the foot of Vicarage Cliff. We dig into our cheese sandwiches.
Rebecca needed a wild wee so I clambered up Vicarage Cliff on my own, knowing she would catch me up later.
👣 11.10 am – We have not seen anyone on the trail for a few days, but a lonely figure is now approaching me from the opposite direction. As our paths cross we politely greet each other and agree on how beautiful this part of the trail is. The lady is quite old, perhaps in her 70’s? She reminded me of the film Edie, and I secretly thought “I hope I’m still doing this at her age). 10 mins later I turn around to see if I can see Rebecca, no signs of her yet. Where is she? The old lady is now making her way up Vicarage Cliff (with no poles!). Rebecca suddenly appears over the crest and she waves at me. There is a whole valley between us and as she descends she greets the old lady. I smile to myself and continue up these challenging deep steps! When I reach the top I turn around to see how far Rebecca has come. She’s still talking to the old lady!
🚽 1 pm – We made it to a quaint little area called Duckpool and the harbour looks lush. Oh.. there are public loos, which is a welcome sight. To our disappointment there is a note from the National Trust saying “due to staff shortages, these facilities are closed for the foreseeable future”. A wild wee it is then! We set out our little chairs, fire up our stoves and enjoy a hot coffee and soup in the sunshine. Life is good. Rebecca fills me in with the old ladies story. She was in her late 70’s and her hubby drops her off then collects her later in the day. She just loves this part of the SWCP and I can see why!
🍰 2.16 pm – We trundle on savouring every turn and every view. From little huts to big satellite dishes to wild yellow gorse bushes and dramatic rock formations. The sound of the sea is a constant companion and I’m loving every minute. I don’t want this to end as we see Bude in the distance. We stop at our first real cafe for the day in Sandymouth and lavish in apple cake and Bakewell tart. We linger for a while then tie up our laces for the last section. “Let’s do this!”
🚕 3.10 pm – We made it! We head to Sainsbury’s and I finally purchased so cream for my painful cold sore. Rebecca chatted to the customer service lady who called for a taxi. Trev’ Taxis turned up 5 mins later and takes us to Poundstock where Dave (my van is waiting).
We decide that we would like to sleep in our own beds tonight and surprise our families. So I drive Rebecca to Woolacombe where her car is parked and hug each other goodbye. It’s been an epic journey and is another special adventure for the memory bank.
Until next time…. Thank you for reading the blog.