11-13 September: Sun glorious sun…

Author: Mrs A

Location: Porthleven and Fraddon Cornwall, UK

Porthleven on the south coast, and Fraddon on the west

Leaving Falmouth we drove a short way around the coast to a near empty field just outside the village of Porthleven. It was Friday afternoon when we arrived, the sky grey and uninspiring, and the past few days of hiking and travelling had worn us down. We needed an afternoon off – we enjoyed a chance to stop and read and just relax.

So when we awoke on Saturday morning with sunshine and clear skies, we were excited to pull on our boots and get exploring (Strava link).

It was a brief walk down into town from our camp, which was fairly bustling on this hot weekend. It did not take long to escape the crowds though, as once again we made our way towards the South-west Coast Path.

The village is built up around the harbour as a centrepoint
Plenty of boats heading out fishing, and children (in wetsuits) jumping off the wall into the water
The boats are small here
Mr A checking out the canon

Porthleven is the most southerly port in the UK, originally developed as a safe haven for shipwrecked sailors when such events were common on this rocky coastline. It appears to be popular with tourists with a lot of holiday homes overlooking the coast, but most of the visitors seemed to be milling around the pubs and cafes surrounding the harbour.

We think we might be developing a combination of phonophobia (fear of loud noises, such as cars) and enochlophobia (fear of crowds) as we can literally feel our anxiety levels rise when surrounded by people and vehicles. It is such a relief to take a few steps and head back to nature, where the sounds of the waves, chirping birds and crying seagulls are the only interruptions to the peace.

The walk out of town …and breathe…
Some impressive houses sit on top of the cliffs, magnificent views out to sea…you’d just want to hope no more collapses happen if you owned one of these…
A ship wrecked just off this beach in the 1685 apparently was carrying treasure of pearls and diamonds…it is still lying on the ocean bed. with treasures found by divers as recently as 2018
Loe Bar Beach – squeaky fine sand reminiscent of Australian beaches…other than the water temperatures (17°C)
In the distance at the end of the beach you can see Bar Lodge, a fancy holiday house owned by the National Trust. The lagoon on the right of the beach used to open up to the sea, but now has drains for when it floods.
No pearls to be found as we walk along the water’s edge today….

Returning to town we had a look around the cafes and restaurants, with one fish and chip shop advertising local oysters. If you’ve followed our posts for a while, you’ll know we love a good oyster….but not at £3.50 each ($7!)…we moved on. Any thoughts of eating out were soon quashed, with most restaurants charging in the region of £25 ($50) for a main. We continued back to camp.

The views are free at least

Back in our field, we settled down to admire the view with a gin and tonic. Moments later the owners of a nearby Hymer motorhome popped over to invite us to join them for drinks with their friends which we gladly accepted. A lovely hour was spent exchanging stories over a few wines….experiences like that are priceless and part of what we most enjoy about travelling – the chance to meet new and interesting people, share experiences and learn new tips. Sadly in these Covid times, this type of mingling (we were suitably distanced and there were only six of us in total) has been quite infrequent, people more inclined to keep themselves in their own bubbles. We greatly appreciated the chance to socialise with people other than each other!

Sunday morning was also bright and sunny and we had planned to make our first foray on to the west coast of Cornwall, with an overnight stay just north of St Ives. Unfortunately the combination of blue skies and a 26°C day meant that every single person with a surf or boogie board within a three hour radius had the same idea. It was literally heaving. We felt so uncomfortable. We knew it wasn’t for us, and felt that anywhere by the coast would be the same. We pointed Truffy’s nose inland.

We ended up finding a friendly pub in the quiet village of Fraddon to let us stay the night. Fraddon overlooks the coastal town of Newquay, up in the hills.

Truffy had the whole area to himself

We had a relaxed afternoon catching up on some more reading (we are both now absorbed by The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, which covers a couple’s experiences hiking the whole of the South West Coast Path – all 630 miles of it (1,114km)). An evening in the pub enjoying a Sunday roast topped off our weekend.

Mr A took advantage of the proximity to pints of beer on tap to complete the experience
A fine sunset viewing spot

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