Sunday, 10 June 2012

Walking the walk

'Well I doubt any of the others will be able to say they have done a walk such as this today,' he says with satisfaction.

'Daren, we have walked 20 miles of Cornish coast path in a hurricane. No one will have...'

I am prevented from finishing by a gust of wind so violent it takes my breath away.

'Plant your poles,' he shouts as I shoot sideways, literally swept off my feet, and with all my might I do.

'You remember to tell them,' he shouts, 'that poles are not for nonces.' Then, in more reasonable tones, continues, 'Mind you, I can understand why they might think that. I also used to be of the view that they were only for old men. Whereas, what I say now is,' he pauses to leap a puddle, 'that it's just like taking your own personal handrail with you.'

With each gust we find ourselves laughing, caught out by these improbable circling winds, swooshing in from the north east one second and from the south west the next.

Eventually at 5.09pm we make it into Porthtowan and fall onto the seats in the bus shelter - somewhat blistered, certainly windswept. The buses to St Ives are not frequent and the 5.23 is the last of the day. At 5.25 we make the discovery that, being a Cornish bus, this one does not stop at the bus stop. In small print above the timetable it notes that if you actually want to catch the 571, then you need to turn left and walk 5 minutes up the road.

What is this place where the buses stop in private places and the 5.23 is pretty much considered the night bus? Clearly somewhere with a local pub in need of custom. We retire there in search of beer and a landline phone to call for rescue.

And conveniences. I had offered to avert my eyes but Daren was quick to note the perils of pissing in a changeable wind.

Two pints and a bag of pork scratchings later, K arrives to collect us.

'We have encountered unnatural phenomenon today,' Daren tells him impressively. 'Nothing less than an upward falling waterfall.'

Truly, it is not often you witness such a thing, and when I am in possession of the video footage (captured on his camera not mine) I shall plant it here in proof.

He's now walked 460 miles of the south west coast path. There's officially 630 miles in total. 'I estimate I'll have done 660 miles by the time I finish,' he announces.

'Why the extra 30 miles?

'Getting lost mainly. And extra distance to reach the pubs.'

Or the buses it would seem...

1 comment:

  1. Well done, I applaud your efforts and hope for pictures of the water-climb...