Tuesday 3rd March 2015 (Day 2, Week 9)
Today I had the company of Ms B for a walk along Perranporth beach. It was one of those days again where the weather can’t quite makeup its mind. Sometimes the sun was shining, mostly it was cold and windy and at the end it hailed and rained – but we had a lovely day! Thanks Ms B.
Target: 1000 miles in a year (20 miles a week)
Total achieved: 187.1 miles (target 190 miles)
Achieved this week: 10.5 miles
Bolingey to Ligger Point via Perran Beach and return (7.2 miles)
So we started off, well wrapped up against the biting cold wind, walking from Ms B’s residence down the hill through the village of Bolingey with its drystone walls full of crocus, daffodils and clumps of primroses, and then turned left onto the Perranporth road. The road follows the path of a stream as it wends its way down to the sea in Perran Bay. On our left a flooded woodland resembling a prehistoric forest with its twisted lichen lined tree trunks, and on our right a reed bed at the edge of a nature reserve.
We make our way onto Perran Sands with Chapel Rock straight ahead of us; it’s low tide and we have plenty of time for a long walk. The beach is practically deserted apart from a few hardy dog walkers and a couple of kite surfers, not surprisingly as it’s freezing cold and there has already been hail and sleet in Bolingey this morning. The skies are blue at the moment as we turn right and begin our walk along this three mile stretch of sand towards Ligger Point in the distance. The beach is host to the South West Coast Path although at high tide there are footpaths across the high dunes.
The sand dunes are impressive, extending a mile inland and known as Penhale Sands. After a while I notice caves in the cliff face and we divert to investigate. The colours of the rock are amazing and we can hear water tumbling down in the dark depths of the interior; unfortunately neither of us is equipped with a torch so we resist the urge to investigate further.
The light is constantly changing as clouds gather and disperse and at times the water looks grey and forbidding, at others a hazy purple.
Up on the dunes to our right, an enterprising person has been gathering the detritus which always spoils these places to build sculptures. We can’t quite make out what this one is – but we think it’s a lady with a shopping trolley holding a bunch of flowers:
We finally reach the far end of the bay and stop a while to watch a buzzard hover overhead. It’s in competition with a helicopter which has been circling above us and the gulls, huddled on the cliff face, suddenly become nervous, screeching and swooping, presumably protecting their nests.
As we turn to head back, looking forward to lunch, the clouds have gathered once more and before long icy hailstones are falling, a more persistent storm this one and we’re soon quite wet. Not bothered by the weather, a single oyster catcher loiters at the water’s edge and a rock pipit hops about, almost under our feet, it’s mate flitting about the rocks at the cliff edge.
These little birds prefer rocky shores where they can forage for food among the pebbles and boulders. Its known to be a relatively tame bird and this one certainly doesn’t mind us stopping to have a close look at him. Their populations are declining in Britain, possibly as their nesting sites, often on popular holiday beaches, are disturbed, so we’re lucky to catch sight of this one.
Ahead of us as we hurry back we can see Cligga Point to the South West and all the way to St Agnes Head, where Mr TB is hard at work in the Coastguard Station. We give him a wave, so that he knows we’re surviving the storms.
Soon we’re back at Perranporth and walking over the bridge into the main street in search of lunch. Revived by hot soup and once more in the sunshine, we make our way back along the road and up the hill to Bolingey.
Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Andrew Major: