Tuesday, 1 July 2014

EC Cornwall ~ Day 1

I have finally decided where to start properly with posting again, and my decision is – dadadadaaaaah! Cornwall!!

My Cornish trip was in 2 stages, my Explorers Connect weekend first, and my few days with my husband second. There was far too much to try and do just one post for the whole lot, and as I sorted through my photos I realised that even the weekend has quite a lot of photos for just one post…

So, here is day 1 of my Explorers Connect weekend, and then day 2 will come next. And day 2 has seals and a little something extra too, so that’s quite exciting!

This EC weekend was supposed to be for swimming with basking sharks, but nature obviously does its own thing, and this year nature has decided that there haven’t been many basking sharks at all spotted off the Cornish coast so far. Still, we decided to remain optimistic, and stick to the plan with the hire of the boast and guide.

We were split into 2 groups for the weekend, 1 group going out in the boat each day, and I was on the second day. This meant that, along with my fellow second-dayers, we had the first day at our disposal for whatever we fancied doing.

At breakfast, accompanied with a few maps and active outdoorsy guide books, a consensus was reached: we would pop into St Ives for a quick look around and to grab things for lunch later, then we would head out to another bit of coast to walk a section of coast path along to a small beach that featured in a Wild Swimming Guide we had looked through. I know we could have just gone to the beach and gone swimming, but this felt more adventurous…

St Ives was gorgeous, and as well as a little stroll through the town we enjoyed a cream tea, and picked up a pasty each for lunch on the beach. Then we headed off to the coast near Hayle, very near to Riviere Sands Holiday Park. 

We set off along the coast path. At this point it was mostly weaving its way through coastal sand dunes (these sand dunes are very delicate, so it made me feel quite guilty!) which was quite tough going, and we weren’t walking too fast.

After a while of admiring the views and the wildlife, we decided to drop down onto the beach to get a bit more distance under our belts, and so we could find somewhere nice to sit and munch on our pasties. The beach was still tough going for hiking in places, with lots of effort just sinking into the soft sand!

We found a nice spot for lunch, and the pasties were delicious – although they were probably even nicer while they were still hot! Then a couple of our group headed off to collect their hire wetsuits for the following day, and the rest of us headed back up to the coast path.

Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance...

There was a headland, with the Godrevy Lighthouse on a rock offshore, visible in the distance.

The swimming spot we were aiming for was around the headland, so on we walked! We reached the headland at last…

... and much nearer!

Then carried on around the coast, the sand dunes now having given way to rocky cliffs and easier walking. This type of scenery reminds me of my home, Pembrokeshire – it’s very beautiful :)

The path off the main coast path down to the bay, called Fisherman’s Cove, was very hard to spot as it was so over grown – when we found it we had to push through lots of scrub, bracken and gorse, until we got to a very steep and tricky path leading down the side of the cliff.

The beach was very pretty though, and we were a little surprised to see how many other people had made this trickier journey to reach this little bay, rather than staying at the easier to reaches beaches so nearby.

Fisherman's Cove

After a chilly swim – the aim of reaching this point, so I didn’t think I should wimp out despite the cold! – we headed back again to meet the rest and hear about their boat trip. The tide had gone out by now, so we walked for miles along the beach. It felt like we were walking forever, not getting any closer to our destination…

But of course we made it eventually, and headed back to the hostel / bunkhouse ready to find out if there had been any sharks, and full of hope that there would be sharks the next day!

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