Saturday, May 5, 2012

South West Coast Path: Day 0 - Paddington to Newquay

The next five posts or so will be about my walk on the South West Coast Path in Cornwall.  Overall it is 630 miles.  I chose to walk a section of it over the course of five days with a reasonably light pack.  My journey officially began and ended in the Newquay and Penzance rail stations.  I took the train from London Paddington to Newquay (plan was to transfer at Par, but I'll get to that in a bit) and walk the coast path to Penzance staying at B&Bs along the way.  Total distance is hard to say as it varies depending if I was on the official trail or not.  Probably something between 70 and 80 miles total in five days time.  Not an overly hard path to walk, but certain places were slower due to it being either rocky, muddy, dunes, or beach and a lot of steep up and down.  I'll include a bit about each day and a couple pictures.  Full sets of each day's pictures are uploaded on facebook in my albums.  They will be labeled the same as these blog posts (e.g. South West Coast Path: Day 1 - Newquay to Portreath's blog post will correspond to the same album on facebook).

I started on a train out of Paddington, but unfortunately someone jumped in front of a train in Southall, so my train was late coming out of London.  By the time it reached the first couple of stops it was at least 1.5 hours late and people were getting on mistakenly for the next train or so, so it was completely packed with people, all of whom were very confused and frustrated.  Later an announcement was made that x, y, and z stops wouldn't be happening, which caused mass panic, and led to me being dropped off after my planned stop (train didn't stop in Par anymore) and was taxi'd to Newquay.  Not a fun day for the rail company.

Newquay was a nice seaside town, but felt too much like a place people just go to party.  It's known for surfing and hen and stag parties.  Lots of people wandering the streets already plastered at 7 or 8 pm.  I was happy to go to bed early and leave early the next morning to beat the tide across the Gannel (tidal area I had to cross within the first 30 minutes of my walk).  Since I was missing b-fast the B&B made me a really nice packed lunch.


The Gannel (see the footbridge in the distance)

Friday evening near the Gannel

My footsteps across the sand

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