Thursday, 14 July 2016

SW Coast Path, near Portloe to Gorran Haven

Thursday 14th July.

I hadn't heard of my destination before. It's claim to fame seems to be the Llawnroc Hotel which my B and B host tells me none of the locals use because it is too expensive. Well, I'm dining there tonight but Bistro Bar only, not in what they call Fine Dining.

I awoke in my tent this morning, everything very slightly damp with condensation. What nobody tells you about is batting off a few large slugs that had crawled up the outside of my inner tent. I next had to almost dislocate several joints putting on those support stockings I have to wear, then performed my backward exit like a cripple deploying my, as yet, un-operated knee, and ensuring not to bring t'other into play, whilst dragging my loaded rucksack.

I had bought a Cornish Pasty and a large cake thing for breakfast, and carried two 500cl bottles of water and one of orange. I stodged down the cake with some of the water but couldn't face the cp. I just couldn't get going descending the rocky path into Portloe where, at 7:45 am I found them serving breakfast at the Ship Inn (rooms FROM £195). I had a pot of tea sat in a sumptuous armchair with smart waiters and well endowed clientele floating about - you should see the car park.

I was only charged £3. When the receptionist asked in such a genuine manner if there was anything else they could do for me I asked where I could dispose of a bag of rubbish, including the spurned Cornish pasty, an empty plastic bottle and other bits and bats, she inferred it had made her day allowing her to relieve me of this weighty burden.

The going was tough. Switchback ups and downs on rutted narrow paths through bracken in increasing heat, but that is what I came for eh? The challenge? The coastal scenery is superb, but not quite as good as Pembroke and other parts of the Welsh CP.

I was targeting Mevagissey but turning a corner a couple of miles short of M, I was dazzled by a collection of white houses nestling into the cliff. The first port of call immediately from my path was the Coastal Path Café. I had decided to seek lodgings here having done enough toiling in the heat, and when I asked for help they just made me sit down and they took over making phone calls whilst I consumed tea and lemon drizzle cake. I was quickly booked into Zephyr House B and B and then guided there by one of the staff who was on her way home. The café is immaculate and well worth a visit if you are passing that way - what a friendly bunch. I later found this is a community enterprise - good for them.

My b and b again is an immaculate private house run by a friendly retired local govt. guy and his wife, and I am their first visitor. Everything you could wish for is provided. I wonder if they think they are fated to continue receiving 76 yr old, geriatric, sweat dripping, dust covered eccentric compulsive geriatric walkers?

I'm off to the home of Fine Dining now, but only as a second class customer - more later.
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First impression, good. They serve a local draught ale I have come to like in Cornwall - Proper Job. But at 7:30 only one or two other diners.

This is a purpose built flash hotel that must have cost millions. There were two young men at the bar where I ordered, one sat the wrong side of the bar drinking a pint of larger and playing on a mobile. There he remained during the whole course of my visit. There was no effort to indicate from the other that they wanted to give any reasonable service, just monosyllabic responses and an atmosphere of zero interest in the customers. The food was good but overpriced. I had a deluxe beef/cheeseburger and chips with four onion rings, all well prepared but at £14 and with that kind of service over the top. There were only a few others dining and I guess it is running at a loss. What a contrast to the COAST PATH CAFÉ.



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