I am glad to say that I have discovered the cause of my low satisfaction level. My pack is too heavy. I am not sure what it weighs, probably about 9-10 kg, including its own weight and water. It is difficult to slim down more – I could perhaps lose one sweater and two very light weight tops, but not sure that would make a noticeable difference. It is less than 10% of my body weight.
Depressed by the screaming of my knees yesterday, and having heard that today would be rainy and the path steep, I decided to send the majority of my kit on to my next hotel. Elegantly decanted into a black plastic bin liner, my dirty laundry and spare shoes travelled in state in their own taxi, rolling up at the front door of the Treloyan Manor Hotel as Chris and I toiled up the coast path. My only physical complaint today is the horse-fly bite I got above Portloe. It has swollen up into a hard yellow lump, the size of a 2 pound coin.
In fact, divested of my pack, I was practically dancing along the path. The weather turned out to be absolutely fabulous – hot, sunny, with the odd breeze.
Today’s route was fascinating. Through the old tin mining territory north of Land’s End. I was particularly interested because my grandfather’s grandparents and all their ancestors back into the mists of time came from the villages around here – Gwithean, Morvah, St Just and Camborne. I haven’t had time today to look, but next time I come, I will spend a few hours investigating the local church yards.
The mines looked very romantic, set in the green bracken, with the bright blue sky and the purple Cornish heather setting them off. Almost all of them closed around the turn of the 20th century, apart from Greevor, which only closed in the 1980s. We are planning to do the guided tour of it tomorrow morning. We met a very informative couple who told us all about the mines – apparently most of the mining took place in long latitudinal shafts that went as far as a mile or so under the sea. Apparently, when sinking parallel shafts, they did not allow for the fact that magnetic north changes over time, and major disasters were caused by new shafts running into old ones that were not being pumped.
I am sure that when they were being worked they looked dirty, ugly and dangerous, but now they are beautiful. This is also the area where the recent Poldark series was filmed. My ears pricked up at that, and I scanned the horizon for the gorgeous Ross Poldark, sadly, I have been informed he is off on another job.
We stopped at Cape Cornwall, which is about 5 miles north by east of Lands End. There was a natural swimming pool in the rocks that Chris took advantage of, plunging in entirely. I confined myself to dangling my feet in. It was cold, but fabulous. We then sat in the sun and had Cornish pasties and ice cream.
We walked as far as Pendeen. Chris set up his tent in a campsite there, and I hopped on a bus up to St Ives to join my black bin liner.