Sunday 29 May 2016
Porth Joke to Perranporth
Gerry and Gail’s house, St Agnes
The fog had settled in overnight and so I could hardly see anything as I packed away my tent. Despite greeting people, nobody wanted to speak to me on the campsite. It was holiday time and it seemed everyone was too busy with their own holidays to bother engaging in a conversation. So I left quietly and headed back down the track to the beach.
Visibility was only about 50m as I walked over Kelsey ahead and down onto Holywell Beach. Fortunately, even though I couldn’t see anything, my memory served me well about the beaches on this walk so I always knew where I was.
There were plenty of families arriving on the beach and children playing in the stream and on the enormous dunes. There were no longer any stepping stones across the stream though. But apart from that nothing had changed in 25 years; the same 2 stores in the village were still selling beach toys and there was nothing else except the pub by the beach. Time seemed to have stood still at Holywell Bay.
There was nothing going on at Penhale Army Training Camp as I walked around Penhale Point and then Liggar Point to Perran Beach. I couldn’t see the beach through the fog but I could hear the sea.
Penhale Sands dune systems stretch a long way and originated over 5000 years ago. They have been variously used for mining, agriculture, religious worship, military training and recreation. Somewhere in there, buried under a dune, is St Piran’s Oratory.
I walked along the Northern half of the beach, then had to ascend the cliff into the dunes again, before dropping back down onto the main section of beach near Perranporth.
Through the gloom loomed a very large stage on the beach, all set for “tunes in the dunes”. The old playpark with trampolines etc was still there and I carried on towards Chapel Rock. The tide was going out and so the tidal pool at Chapel Rock was accessible but I didn’t go in it – I could barely see the rock!
Despite the fog, Perranporth Beach was packed with people and windbreaks. I weaves through them all to the car park and the town. Gerry and Gail had driven over from St Agnes to collect me so I was saved from competing with all the people to get along the high street.
It was lovely to see family friends, Gerry and Gail, after so many years. They took me to The Miner’s Arms at Mithian, an old haunt of my parents and we had an excellent Sunday Lunch. Then I was able to relax at their home for the afternoon and Gail kindly did all my washing.