Day 40 – Port Isaac to Newquay


There is definitely something about Cornwall that is in my blood, perhaps somewhere down the line of mongrels in my lineage. When I left Canada back in 1991, almost immediately after I’d finished school and had held a job for at least a year, I’d returned to the UK with barely a few pounds in my pocket – though it sounds cliché this is truer than you’d expect. After hitchhiking around most of England that spring I ended up in a village called Lelant, in Cornwall. To cut a very long story short I found a job at a local Inn/Guest House and spent every single day off I had exploring the West Country. I’ve never been as ‘well at ease’ with a place as this, and  returning now to the coast feels like I’ve come home. Call it romantic BS if you will, but I definitely have a profound connection with this place, and is the reason I chose to end this journey here. Ok, mushy stuff done.

I think I may have walked too far north yesterday and should have stayed closer to Padstow. If I had religiously followed the coastal path from Port Isaac it would have taken me all the way around the River Camel, adding about an extra 5 miles, which to me is completely unnecessary mileage. So today I had to, yet again, commit to a few road walks to cut all that out. Wadebridge was only 10 miles away and since leaving the hotel early in the morning I was fortunate enough to have encountered quiet roads, but sadly not much of a view, as the Cornish hedges stretched taller than my head. 

I had intended to head to Mawgan Porth today but unbeknownst to me there were 2 music festivals on this weekend around Newquay, and after 11am the roads were chocka block with traffic, and about a trillion kids everywhere. I was a bit nervous walking the narrow, busy roads to Newquay, but I was one of many, many walkers and cyclists on the road today. Sheer chaos, but the road traffic came to enough standstills to ease the stress somewhat.  There were loads of camp sites along the way in to Newquay, but there was not one single vacancy. Festival goers and regular holidaymakers had taken the lot.

After a few high mileage days I’m going to take my 3rd and final rest day in Newquay tomorrow. The tops of my feet where the bend meets my leg feels like they have been sprained, and I’m finding it very difficult to walk properly. I’ve loosened my boots as much as I can but I’ve obviously overdone it. I think after a sleep they might be stiff as a post, so tomorrow the Vibrams come on and I give my feet a rest, which will give me time to consider the next few days. If I keep my walking distance to 16 miles I think I can still reach Land’s End in about 4 days. 

Newquay, Corwall.