While on a week’s break in Cornwall we decided to try a coastal walk and also decided that the day to do it would be the anniversary of my surgery to rebuild my right leg. Before my surgeon performed this complex 5 hour operation I was able to walk a few hundred yard at a struggle and in pain, so I was determined to see what I could do exactly a year on.
We had a great coffee and brownies at a beach cafe and took off. Immediately the path went steeply uphill and we could soon look back to the town we had left from, Portreath.
We had not been to Cornwall for years and quickly remembered just how beautiful the coast line is, with every step giving us breathtaking views.
We took regular breaks for drinks of water and a close look at our walk map. We stopped or slowed all the time simply to take in the beauty of the landscape we were walking through and to check up on my newly rebuilt right leg! Just after this particular stop we were entertained by a pair of Kestrels hunting as a duo team playing and following their instincts. We walked alongside them as companions for a good half mile enjoying their antics and acrobatics before they finallyy turned away.
A seriously steep sided couple of valleys were our hardest challenge of the walk. The first we had to zigzag down sometimes using steps cut into the valley side to climb the steepest sections. A fallen plank bridge, the only way to cross a deeply cut stream, meant a scramble to get across the trickling water. It was a great relief to get over and begin the ascent. The second valley side was a walk along steep stone tracks.
We met a couple of brothers sharing a walk who stopped to talk and were fascinated to meet us with me tackling this long difficult walk with a walking stick. They asked if we would like our photo taken, a suggestion we accepted readily. They were great to talk to and gave us chance to catch our breath too.
The half way point was at Derrick Cove, our signal to start the return leg of our walk, but not until a twenty minute rest and plenty of water. We had walked three and a half miles and knew we had the same to do to get back.
We decided to walk a slightly different way to avoid the steepest valley climb, but this meant walking along a road for a while. It meant also dropping down into Portreath from a different direction so we enjoyed different views of the town for the last few minutes of our walk.
So back at the car we felt elated but ached severely. We had such mixed emotions, but overall a sense of huge achievement was the strongest emotion of all.