A Travellerspoint blog

SWCP - Day 37 - Wembury to Bigbury-on-sea

sunny 21 °C

Steps/ Distance: 25,364 17.34 km
Rating: moderate

Two rivers to start the day and the ferry service is limited across the Yealm and non-existent for crossing the Erme. The Erme crossing is lowest tide only and requires wading through knee-deep running water. Since the low tide was at 5pm, the crossing was not convenient and I wasn't comfortable with it anyway. So, I took a taxi from my accommodation in Wembury to the road leading to Wonwell Beach, on the other side of the Erme. Here's what that river looked like at noon when I arrived

The path today was described as "undulating" and it was. Up and down through fields.
Not super difficult ascents and descents, but tiring. And very windy. Sometimes I was fighting the wind and the hill in equal measure. Plus having to walk around lazy sheep.

Because I'd taxied partway, I arrived 3 hrs later at Bigbury-on-sea. My accommodation is up and to the right (always up!)

After settling in, I walked across the low tide sandbank to Burgh Island. At high tide, there's a tractor-like vehicle.

Back in the room, I found a bookcase jammed with kids readers and how-it-works books. Really old books. Like this one with a "modern" computer explained. And a few interesting, for adult books, like this one all about "the hangover"

Posted by Deb Godley 19:15 Archived in England Comments (0)

SWCP - Day 36 - Plymouth to Wembury

sunny 23 °C

Steps / Distance: 28,277 19.29 km
Rating: moderate

Today was basically the same as yesterday, in reverse. I walked through Plymouth, stopping in Hoe Park to see the Armed Forces Day event. Later, I also saw the Red Arrows fly by in formation, honouring the Day.

The Coast Path includes a walk all the way around Plymouth harbour, ending at Mount Battan, but I opted to skip that 3.5 hr easy, urban waterfront walk and, instead, took a short ferry ride directly to Mount Battan.
The Mount Battan breakwater and looking back at Plymouth. I hadn't really seen Plymouth until I got to the top of the stairs out of Mount Battan.

There was a distance marker at Jenny Cliff showing 175.5 mi to Poole (the official end of the SWCP). Then 5 mi later, at Wembury Beach, an official marker showed 206 mi to Poole. Hmmm. Hope I'm not going backwards. 😁 I'm guessing the first one is less official.

Staddon Point Battery and Heybrook Bay

I arrived in Wembury before 3 and am staying in a lovely 1 bdr unit with a deck. I sat outside for a couple of hours with the bottle of Kentish Ale I'd purchased at the small store. There's no pub or restaurant close by (without a long walk down to the beach, and more importantly, back up the hill again). So dinner and tomorrow's breakfast came from the store.
My deck

Posted by Deb Godley 19:02 Archived in England Comments (0)

SWCP - Day 35 - Portwrinkle/Crafthole to Plymouth

semi-overcast 21 °C

Steps/ Distance: 29,300 19.99km
Rating: moderate

Today was an easy, quite relaxing day, with different and interesting sights.

Early on, I walked through a Ministry of Defence firing range (no red flag flying means no firing and open to walkers). The views toward the sea included targets. And the armory was a huge stone building. Lots of warnings to stay on the path and not touch anything that looks like military debris.

After the firing ranges, I rounded Rame Head and walked toward Cawsands, where I had a leisurely lunch (very good mussels) and took an afternoon ferry to the Barbican in Plymouth. The ferry pulls right up to the beach (scattering kayakers). A guy in hip waders jumps off, pulls up a portable dock and we're off. Everyone crowded to the outside, so I had the inside almost to myself. After about 30 minutes, it docked at a regular pier in Plymouth.

This ferry (instead of the Cremyll ferry) not only saved me about 3 miles of walking, it also dropped me near the Mayflower steps. There is a Mayflower monument and plaques commemorating the sailing of the Mayflower to America (1620), the Tory to colonize New Zealand (1839), and another ship to colonize Newfoundland and Labrador (1583).

On my walk to the hostel, I detoured through Hoe Park, killing time until check in. The park was being staged for a large event for Armed Forces Day tomorrow. All sorts of kiosks and a stage being set up. And the park is full of war memorials, plus memorials to slavery and Holocaust survivors. In the middle of all those reminders of war, the little peace garden seemed a bit surreal.

Posted by Deb Godley 18:30 Archived in England Comments (0)

SWCP - Day 34 - Polperro to Portwrinkle/Crafthole

sunny 22 °C

Steps / Distance: 39,204 26.74 km
Rating: moderate, then strenuous

Beautiful sunny day and the only thing that touched the ground was the bottom of my shoes! So much better than yesterday.

I started with a walk through Polperro, which I hadn't seen yesterday. Not sure what the round plaques on the wall represent, other than they're all people, I think.

6 or so benches with a great view and a pulpit make for a nice outdoor church.

Followed by a WW1 memorial

Still on the moderate-rated section, Talland Bay. This is the first time I remember seeing red rocks.

Portnadler Bay. And, of course, I took a rest on this bench. In case it's hard to read, it says "A place for Debbie...and for you"

Samphire Beach. Cows taking a rest in the shade.

Arrived in West Looe and took a small ferry to East Looe. I was the only one on the ferry, but then the max is 8

Millandreath Beach

And now, up on the hills and roads inland, which included walking past a monkey sanctuary (or at least the sign for it). That white smudge in the middle of the second pic is Portwrinkle, still a ways away.

And back down to Seaton Beach, where I met up again with my friends from Austin and we walked the seawall and beach to Downderry. There's a nice beach and a shallow stream where the younger kids were playing away from the ocean waves and currents.

After Downderry, the path led very steeply upwards, and then further up and then up some more. Followed by ups and downs, until it descended sharply into Portwrinkle.

I was so happy to reach Portwrinkle and felt pretty good, ready for the "10 minute walk inland to Crafthole" where I'm staying tonight. Well, not so much 10 minutes. The hill up was the steepest and longest of the day. By the time I'd walked the almost 45 minutes to my b&b, I was exhausted. Apparently, there is an easier path 🫤 and my route to the path tomorrow will not include that hill. My b&b room is like a little cottage in the woods. And I have a comfy couch.PXL_20230622_153254085.jpg

Posted by Deb Godley 19:12 Archived in England Comments (0)

SWCP - Day 33 - Par to Polperro

semi-overcast 20 °C

Steps / Distance: 35,067 23.9 km
Rating: moderate to Fowey; strenuous thereafter

The expectation, based on the guidebook, was 3 hrs to Fowey, a ferry, then 3.5 hrs to Polperro. Well, the morning took me a lot longer - more than 4 hrs. The morning forecast said no rain, so when it started to pour, I had to futz around with rain gear, but of course it stopped the minute I had all my gear on. I walked another hour, but then took it off because I was sweating too much in it. Then, walking along, I suddenly saw a huge hexagon spider web strung across the path. It started me and I stepped back, slipping into a brambles ditch. I was like a turtle on my back - I couldn't get up. So I undid and shimmied out of my pack and scrambled to my feet with a muddy, wet butt. Fine, so much for my clean clothes. As I walked on, the path became more overgrown and was wet from the overnight and morning rains. I was soon soaked to the top of my thighs with water squishing in my boots. I actually had to pour water out of my left boot.

I trudged on and was dry - except for the boots, by the time I reached Fowey and the ferry.

Looking back at Par and forward

Nice path, until I fell. That's my bag in the ditch.

Gribbin Head Daymarker, a navigation aid, painted bright colours to be seen during the day. Close up and from a distance after I passed it

Polridmouth Cove

Coming up to Fowey and pics from the ferry

Polruan, after the ferry and lunch, leaving town

Lantic Beach and view of Pencarrow Head

And the other side of Pencarrow. I skipped walking out to the end of the head and took a shortcut trail to the other side 😁

Broughton Bay and Lansallos Beach

These are tough climb-overs; it's higher than it looks in the pic

I took a footpath up to the road, rather than walk to Polperro and backtrack to my b&b. Like yesterday, I enjoyed ending the day's walk with some easy, flat, pavement on a quiet road. Passing this farm made me think of Saskatchewan.

When I was settled into my room, after washing my dirty clothes (the wash water ended up super muddy), I tweezered out 6 or 7 slivers from my hand from the fall in the brambles. And I've stuffed newspapers in my boots to help them dry out, hopefully by morning.

Posted by Deb Godley 17:37 Archived in England Comments (0)

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