Changing Scenery - Changing Weather(Day 5) Perranporth to Newquay via Ligger Point and Holywell Bay

View Day 5 Perranporth to Newquay in a larger mapThe coast between Perranporth and Newquay, the first 2 miles (as the crow flies) is a straight as an arrow walk along the beach. The second 2 miles (ATCF) is an 8 mile hike with pocket beaches nestled between promontories.
You can hike the official path along the clifftop, or hike a full two miles up the beach, and scramble up a steep ramp at the far end to get up to the path, but be warned, if you are only there for a short stroll and you go just a quarter mile down the beach and the tide comes in, then you are going the long way home.
This day started as good as any, with a few blue patches in the sky. But a daunting grayness growing in the West. I came down from the hostel and into the town and stood on the beach, in fact I started to stroll a few steps up the beach. There with the sun on my back I saw the most gorgeous full double rainbow. The beach was blocked by the outgoing tide, I turned back.
The Beach has a café with a large awning, so I sat with a cup of coffee and watched the storm pass by.
The tide was going out and the path to the full beach was flirting with the tips of the waves as I finished my coffee. The rain was moderate, but had backed off from the downpour 10 minutes earlier. My $1 disposable rain jacket was re-designated as my reusable rain-jacket and I slipped it over my gear once again in preparation to leave. As I set forth once again on the sand I saw ahead of me a group of about 10 other hikers. Looking at them made me feel like a novice. They had two hiking poles apiece, their heavy duty rubberized rainwear was crisp and new and their brightly colored packs were bulging with every possible amenity a hiker could desire. My poor pack, sans tent and sleeping gear, weighing in at a mere 11 pounds looked sad and saggy, and my raincoat dowdy. Also their guide clearly knew the exact second the tide would recede to reveal the path and boldly led them through just as the final wave fell back
By the time I got to the path it was 30 feet wide and the hikers were spread out half a mile ahead of me
Two miles on, the group was gathering together in preparation for an organized accent to the path 30 feet above, so with a nod of the head and a “Mornin’” I passed them by and scrambled up. They must have mistaken me for their leader because they all immediately began to follow. At the top I turned left and continued the long assent towards the heads at Ligger point, where I was able to stow my rain jacket, and on to Holywell with its eclectic collection of radio antennas.
From there I went down into Holywell bay where I had a choice, either go down to the beach and loose all my altitude, or follow the path straight ahead onto a sand dune, so I did the latter, I ran down the last part of the hill to get some momentum to run up the soft dune on the other side. Then I realized that I was not done, ahead of me I saw the same challenge again, down and up, down and up. The dunes seemed endless. Finally I got to the last one only to find that I had to go all the way down to sea level and walk up some wood steps at the end.
To anyone else I would suggest: walk along the beach!
The next 5 miles were a true pleasure to walk; The journey did start with a sudden three minute hail storm with 3/8 inch hailstones, but then brilliant sunshine. Two massive promontories each jut out a mile into the sea with a small deep beach between them. Rounding the second land mass brings you to Crantock beach and the long walk past Pentire, which you see on top of a cliff on the other side of the fast river.
The coast path offers 3 legitimate ways to cross this river:
• ½ mile inland is the seasonal ferryboat
• 1 mile inland is the low tide bridge at Pentire
• 3 miles inland is the A3075 road bridge
By now the tide was well out, so while the ferry was not an option, thankfully the low tide bridge was open. The official path continues round the coast but skips the headland at Newquay. This headland offers a great view in both directions and is well worth the extra ½ mile to go out there. Passing the old fishing port in Newquay, I arrived at the St Christopher’s Hostel in Newquay, my destination for today.
Newquay is a lively little town offering surfing schools and a wide variety of evening entertainment. The New Maharajah on Cliff Road was recommended by a local I randomly met in the street and I pass that recommendation on. I went to bed at 9:00.
Distance Hiked today 13.6 miles.