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Saturday, 16 July 2016

SW Coast Path - Par to Polperro

Saturday 16th July

This breakfast thing is always a problem. Walkers want to be off early and breakfast is rarely served before 8:00am. I arranged for cereals (milk in the bar fridge) bread and marmalade to be left out for me, and I was given the front door key to post back through the letterbox. So I was walking at 6:40am to tackle what is said to be one of the hardest sections of the SWCP.

Initial wandering across Par Sands eventually located the proper path and it was fairly easy going to Fowey. These Cornish seaside resorts have much in common with others in the North in terms of hoards of holidaymakers, but the architecture and ambience, in this summer sunshine has special attraction, especially with the harbours and boats on moorings, and sparkling, shimmering sea. All that was seen to advantage as I crossed on the ferry to Polruan. From there on the serious ascents and descents were frequent, but the paths were generally much better in width, surface, and strimming than much that has gone before on this walk, and that makes a huge difference, and nothing could take away from the views of secret little sandy beaches far below, and general Cornish coastline.

I met and had interesting conversation with Oliver Barratt, an acclaimed sculptor. He has erected a memorial at Everest Base Camp to climbers who have died on Everest, amongst his many other internationally displayed works - see:

I am installed in Polperro at The Old Mill Millhouse which seems to be frequented by a regular crowd of holidaymakers and providing a welcoming service and decent bar food.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


gimmer said...

Now that's something new on this walk (as well as the previous dearth of freebies, of course) - little or no interaction reported with the locals or with other wayfarers - which must, I assume, be for the same reasons - a tightly confined route rather separate from the inhabited 'zones' further back from the edge and the plethora of visitors making locals withdraw into their private affairs - not unlike in the Lakes, I gather - where local social life is very separate from the transient visitor experience. So tell us more about how you got talking to Mr Barrett - it sounds like one of the more interesting events of the walk (excepting the shining seas and skies).

Sir Hugh said...

Gimmer - how did I meet Barratt? He was just coming the other way on the path doing a local walk in shirt sleeves and I think rucksackless. At first we exchanged pleasantries which developed into more interesting talk of him having to hire 40 Sherpas to transport his stainless steel sculpture to Everest Base Camp. He has also visited Antarctica on an ice breaker including S. Georgia and he spoke very eloquently about the wonder of the scenery and a sort of loneliness. There is a limit to how long one spends chatting in such circumstances, but I was moved to note his details and also to give him details of my blog. You are right, I should have used all this stuff in the post, but sometimes at the end of the day tiredness can dull one's enthusiasm for rambling on. I did post the link to his website which gives tons more info. and examples of his work which look beautiful and meaningful.

Your analysis of the dearth of other contacts is spot on I reckon. A bit disappointing, but I can't manufacture anecdotes, although I do try sometimes. One has to be a bit careful making comments about places where one stays, and there are things in that respect I may have used. Will try harder.

Roderick Robinson said...

I must be lucky with my metabolism. Because I don't need breakfast (but can, at a pinch, eat it if it is attractive enough) I can start as early as I choose without hassle. In fact, if what I'm doing is sufficiently diverting (and this includes walking) I can do without lunch too. Naturally you would expect me to collapse with malnutrition mid-afternoon but so far this has never happened. I attribute this to a well-developed system for converting subcutaneous fat into energy. There may a further contributory reason; watching others I am convinced that many eat out of habit; that there is no questioning as to need; merely it is now X o'clock and at that time they eat. Always have done. I think too this tendency may be enhanced by the addictive nature of beverages, especially tea. The rhetoric of tea-drinkers seems to confirm this; a tone of relief is never far away when an addict describes sitting down in front of tea-drinking impedimenta. Whooshing words only just under control.

Mind you we would have been at odds over the Cornish pasty; despite the fact that such pasties are nearly always disappointing, I'd have been aware of its presence, aware that it had only one function and that was to be eaten. That it was my obligation to do the eating. Something to do with its softness and its promise of savoury delight however fallacious. Something to do with the fact that when I'm hungry, truly hungry, cakes and other sweet comestibles are just no use at all.

gimmer said...

I'm 100% with you here, Sir - pasties are for lunch - preferably under a tree, with a flagon of ale, by a 'just mown' field - they stick in the craw for brekkies, especially without a hot cup of tea -
in the same way that one would not have a chocolate digestive but might just have a warm 'pain au chocolate' but only after ones croissant and a large breakfast cup of cafe au lait. Otherwise and times - sickening.
I can never understand the american 'breakfast' steak or hash browns - they too belong at lunch or dinner, or perhaps, just, at high tea.
Ritual is everything. Otherwise we would graze like sheep. Maybe the obesity 'epidemic' is a sign of our increasingly ovine and rootless (ie ritual less) society.

Sir Hugh said...

RR and Gimmer- I'm a it overwhelmed with all this - RR, you are now "Disgusted from Hereford", "...fancy eating a Cornish pasty for breakfast, it's just not done!"

Well, for both of you, on a trip like this you often don't have much choice. It's no good thinking you will be able to have Eggs Benedict every morning when you have to provide the night before from from a village post office that is going to be closed down within the next few weeks.