17. South West Coast Path (North Cornwall)

171. Porthtowan to St Agnes Head

Tuesday 30th October 2018

Drove to Porthtowan, parked near the long-term car park (GR693480) and started to climb up the cliff. A beautiful day again, clear skies, sunny and about 4 degrees at the moment. Despite the temperature there are a couple out there surf-boarding but not very successfully as there are not enough waves.

Cliffs above Porthtowan (GR691484)

Can see a long way back to St Ives from on top of the cliff, particularly Godrevy Island with the lighthouse standing out being in white. Towards the top of the climb can see quite a number of old mine buildings ahead.

Clifftop mine buildings after Chapel Porth (GR698497)

After passing the spoil heaps started going downhill. Eventually the stony track drops steeply down to the beach café at Chapel Porth (GR698494). Had a cup of tea and then started on the climb back onto the cliffs.  At the top of the climb above the mine buildings reached a wall and turned left along a pretty level track.

Towanroath Engine House (GR699500)

I was suddenly very tired and stopping for a rest every hundred yards or so. Reached a coastguard hut at a road and followed the road to a car park on St Agnes Head (GR702514). Sat on a rock and contemplated what to do as I felt incapable of going much further even though I had done less than three miles. Seeing that I had a phone signal at such a relatively remote spot I decided to call a taxi.

Towanroath Engine House (GR699502)

The taxi came within about 10 minutes and I was soon back at my car at Porthtowan. I drove on to the Best Western Hotel in Newquay where I was to spend the next two nights, arriving about 1pm before my room was ready. Slept in their lounge for a couple of hours and then went to my room and bed. I did get up in the evening and walk to the local Wetherspoons for a single pint but I was soon back in bed. In all I must have slept for 15 hours.

I guess that an accumulation of fatigue had caught up with me, from the 4.20am start on Sunday, the five hour drive to St Ives, the battle against the wind on the beach at Hayle, the struggle through the sand dunes to Gwithian and then the four or five sets of steps on the Monday.

Days from Chepstow   171

Miles today   2.8

Miles from Chepstow   2088.8

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