We hadn’t been planning a trip in the motorhome until the end of May, but Paul was very keen to go deep sea fishing, something he used to do on a monthly basis, and persuaded his nephew to organise a fishing trip.
Deep sea fishing isn’t a cheap activity, and this trip with Unleashed Fishing Charters was departing from Newlyn in the early hours. So not only were the two of them going to be paying for the trip itself, but they were also going to need some accommodation the night before.
A search for reasonably priced digs was not fruitful so Paul decided it was cheaper to take Bertie and offered Elliot the use of our overcab bed (this was a great privilege for Elliot, the only other person who has had access to that bed is Aaron). And if they were taking the motorhome then why shouldn’t I tag along and make it a mini break.
We booked up a couple of nights at Mousehole Camping, the closest we could find to Newlyn, and on the Thursday we headed down to Cornwall. Halfway there I realised that I’d actually booked the wrong week, but a quick embarrassed text to the wardens sorted that out.
As usual with trips to Cornwall we stopped at Strawberry Fields in Lifton. You can park overnight in the car park at this large farm shop, but we usually just use the opportunity to stock up. They do a great range of pies and cakes and pretty much everything else you might expect from a farm shop. Paul bought a Pie to take for lunch on the Fishing Trip and we bought a couple of extraordinarily large Belgian buns for afternoon tea.
Mousehole Camping is next to the football pitch for Mousehole AFC and profits from the campsite go towards maintaining the facilities of the football club and the adjacent cricket club. It’s not actually in Mousehole itself, but in Paul, the village that sits above Mousehole’s coastal location. The facilities are as you would expect from any campsite although the bathrooms are a little on the communal side. No surprise as we were using the football team changing rooms.
The drive to the campsite was easy enough apart from one tricky hill out of Newlyn towards Paul. It’s a steep residential street with parked vehicles and limited visibility for drivers going uphill (downhill is a lot easier). In our left hand drive it was my job to spot oncoming vehicles as soon as possible and my shout of ‘there’s something enormous coming down the hill’ was just at the right time for Paul to be able to pull over into a junction. The enormous vehicle was some sort of farming equipment and easily took up all of the available road space. We were extremely thankful that it had appeared at such a serendipitous moment. We managed to make it up the rest of the hill with only a small whiff of burnt clutch. The lands end bus also uses this hill and in hindsight I would look at the bus timetables to ensure that we weren’t going to clash with the bus.
The weather had started to turn better after the cool and windy spring we’d had so far, so we pitched up the camper and set up the windbreak so that we could indulge in our first barbeque of the year.
Paul sat and prepped his fishing gear (which his nephew later laughed at for it’s age and obsolescence) which attracted a few people over for a chat. I mostly read in the sunshine, occasionally stirring myself to do a bit of cleaning and tidying.
Paul and I took a short walk down to the coast between Newlyn and Mousehole along a very overgrown path, and walked up via a slightly less overgrown route. Paul’s legs were covered in scratches and nettle stings. I had worn trousers.
A solo coastpath walk
The following morning Paul and Elliot were up at a far too early time in the morning to go fishing. I had the opportunity for a lie in before I headed off for a solo walk along the coastline.
To get to the shoreline I chose the the less overgrown of the routes we had walked the day before. The ordnance survey map seemed to indicate I could walk along the sea wall to Penlee Point and beyond so I ignored the sign that clearly said there was no pedestrian access to the footpath at the other end of the sea wall and went for it. I obviously hadn’t been the only person to stupidly assume the sign was incorrect as the only way back to the coast path (apart from turning around) was an earthy scramble up the steep bank and through some Heras fencing to pop back out on the pavement alongside the road.
At Penlee point is a memorial to the crew of the Solomon Browne, a lifeboat that was launched for the last time in 1981 in hurricane force winds to go to the aid of a . None of the lifeboat crew or the crew of the stricken MV Union Star survived despite lifeboat crews from other stations attempting to go to their aid. The bravery of lifeboat crews across the country never ceases to amaze me. These are people who take on some of the most difficult and life threatening situations as voluneteers.
From the sobering memorial I carried on around the coast to pretty Mousehole where I explored the narrow streets before continuing along a more interesting stretch of coastpath to Lamorna Cove.
I had a decision to make now, I could turn back or continue and get the bus back. I chose to continue. I knew the bus ran regularly from Lands End back past Paul, but I wasnt sure of the exact times.
There is a quay at Lamorna Cove which belies the size of the village, it dates back to the granite quarrying activity of the 19th century and as I ascended the cliffs of the next part of the coastpath I could see evidence of quarrying activity.
The next stop along the route was St Loy where a beach of boulders sits in front of Boskenna House. I thought I recognised this spot from the TV, maybe Rick Stein’s recent series or an old episode of Coast. Whichever it was I eventually found out that it had been inspiration for author Mary Wesley, but I also stumbled across this interesting blog post which tells you all about the bay.
Here it was time to head inland so I walked up the green and leafy valley to the B3315. I knew the bus ran along here and there would be a stop somewhere so I started to walk east. When I found the bus stop I realised I had just missed one bus and the other wasn’t for a couple of hours. Not wanting to sit around for a couple of hours I decided to hop from stop to stop and wait for the bus to catch up with me. The next stop was the Merry Maidens which sounded like a stone circle to me, and as I approached I could see the nineteen stones standing in the field, said to be 19 maidens who were turned to stone for the sin of dancing on a Sunday.
At a subsequent bus stop I got chatting to a couple who were also waiting for the bus, in fact I thought I remembered seeing them at Lamorna Cove. They had been waiting for some time and told me that a Tesco delivery driver had been past three times and recommended the cafe at Lamorna Pottery. With nearly an hour before the bus this sounded like a perfect tea and cake opportunity to me, but they were worried about missing the bus. I decided to carry on regardless. There was bound to be another bus stop anyway.
The next bit of walking wasn’t that great as I had to walk along the road and it was a bit busy and without pavement, but my reward was finding the cafe, and finding that the bus stop was just outside.
The bus was only a little late and dropped me off at the hamlet of Sheffield where I could take a track back to the campsite and prepare for Paul and Elliot to return from their fishing trip.
Their fishing trip had been very successful and we had a lot of pollack fillets to bag up and put in the freezer. For our dinner we barbequed the mackerel and a delicious plaice.