12 May – Surfer Heaven

Our breakfast this morning was simple toast and marmalade with instant coffee. It was presented to the table in two battered cardboard boxes with a friendly smile from Alex. We ate while he washed the floors around us. We were eating a bit earlier than the usual guests stir.

A glorious day today. Once again we walked under a sunny sky, a sea breeze keeping the temperature very pleasant. The headlands continued to be lower along this part of the coast then they were where we started out. Thank goodness. We walked up and around, enjoying the views and wild flowers. We walked through several patches of sand dunes.We walked past numerous sandy beaches and most were populated by surfers seeking the perfect wave. The waves roll in off the ocean in an endless procession. They rise, peak, curl and crash. Their roar, a contestant accompaniment to the occasional cry of a gull.

We stopped at a posh place for cappuccinos and delicious cake then carried on a few more kilometres to a pub where we bought freshly made pasties. We continued over a headland and down onto a glorious wide stretch of golden sand beach. An excellent picnic spot for the best pastie yet. Spicy steak and onion. The others all pale in comparison.

We rested in the sun. Watched a rain shower out to sea. Commented on the incoming tide. Read in the guide book about the cliff we would have to walk around before the tide came in. We watched the waves. We enjoyed the laziness of an afternoon on the beach. Then ever vigilant Pat said, “I think we better go now if we’re going to get around that headland.”

Sure enough the water was creeping closer. Up we jumped and we scurried along the beach. The headland was about two kilometres away and it’s steep cliffs dropped vertically to the sand below. We walked faster. We could now see the water getting significantly closer. We saw the life guards driving around. They were keeping a good eye on the Saturday strollers (and the coastal walkers) and we hurried a little faster.

We made it around but all of us had to jump out of the way of incoming water a couple of times. Once we all leapt onto some rocks as the water curled about two inches deep across the sand. One minute later and we’d have been climbing a steep long path to walk around the top!

As it was we were sitting in a pub garden, boots off, having a beer by shortly after one. Our day’s walk all but done!

The clouds began to pile up. We went to get groceries for this evening – at a self catering hostel – had another beer at another pub. Then walked up the hill to our hostel it is perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the beach we walked down earlier. Waves are now dashing themselves against the headland. Surfers are out in droves. It has rained heavily and now the sun is working at coming out again.

We have salads and wine, hummus, veggies, crisps and biscuits awaiting.

It’s been another stellar day on the coastal path.

We aren’t supposed to be in until 5pm, but when we arrived the rain started and we found a door open so we’ve made ourselves at home. The manager – who was out surfing for the day – seemed a bit surprised to see us in residence! We’d made ourselves well at home and she didn’t seem overly concerned. Her boss however has taken a dim view of our transgression. It appears we should have stayed in town longer and arrived dripping like drowned rats. Bummer. Some people can be so very rigidly inhospitable. Not a normal attitude for hostels, but there’s always “that” person.

Cheers from cheery but rather rigid YHA Perranporth.

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