Day 44 – Porthtowan to St. Ives

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Well, that walk certainly took a lot longer than I expected. I totally forgot about Hayle estuary and that you have to walk all the way around it to get to Lelant and through to St. Ives. Luckily I remembered the access route through the golf course to the coastal path that keeps you off the road straight to St. Ives. Apart from the minor hiccup the coastal path was pretty straight forward today, but the winds again were quite brutal. A few times I was nearly knocked off my feet and made me quite glad I’d had walking poles with me. They haven’t been used much since Scotland, but have been somewhat invaluable over this stretch.

Today in St. Ives was the Royal National Lifeboat Institution Day, and boy was it jam packed! So busy I feel fortunate to have been able to book a room at the Queen’s Hotel (no smarmy remarks please) for the night, let alone 2 nights. This will be my last B&B for this journey as the end is in sight for tomorrow. 

I’m not sure how I feel at this point, being near the end. A part of me, the one that’s had to endure walking against traffic for countless days, wants to kiss the soil when I get to the signpost at Land’s End. Another part, the one that’s enjoyed the cross country routes and wilderness challenges, is screaming for more. I did this walk in order to prove to myself that I could do it, both the physical and mental tests of stamina such a long distance walk requires. I did it on home territory because of safe familiarity, but it will lead to more in the next coming years. At some point I want to do the Appalachian Trail in the U.S., but that usually takes 3 months, so I might do it in halves. I now want to take a survival course with a group to learn as much as I can in order to attempt more remote travel in the future. I do know one thing, and that is I will never commit myself to a walk that involves any sort of road walking ever again. I was the most happiest pitching my tent on the side of a mountain and that is the course I want my future endeavors to follow. 

View over Carbis Bay

This was the first place I stayed in the UK upon my return in 1991, in Lelant, Cornwall. As fate would have it, Rosie, the landlady who pretty much saved my skin when I had nothing, still lives there and we had a quick catch up. This was my little chalet in the backyard.St. Ives, Cornwall