|Day 8 – April 12||Port Issac to Boscastle|
|Weather: Sunny and windy||B&B: The Riverside (£43)|
|Departed: 09:30 Arrived: 15:55||Walked: 5h 07m Rested: 1 hr 12m|
|Distance Today: 14.2 mi / 22.8 km||Total Distance: 112.25 mi / 180.65 km|
|% Complete: ~ 10.19%||Pint of the Day: St. Austell’s Tinner Ale|
|GPS Track for: Day 8|
Today I reached the first milestone of my trip when the odometer on my GPS ticked over 100 miles. It was also a memorable day in as much as it was the most difficult day of walking to date. The GPS revealed what my knees and feet already knew – that the cumulative ascents topped 4000 feet and the descents over 4500 feet.
It was another fine day weather wise although the wind was back and it was much cooler than last week. It wasn’t long after I descended from Pendogget to rejoin the Coast Path that I encountered the first of four valleys one after another. It was tough going and I can’t imagine doing this section in the rain as the descents would have been treacherous.
I met another walker going in the opposite direction and we had a brief chat. He mentioned he had spotted an adder on the trail and so for the next hour or so I forgot about the hills … every fricken’ twig became an adder ready to strike! About half an hour along I came upon a sign informing walkers to keep their dogs on a lead because Black Hebridean sheep had been introduced into the area and that adders were also common. I found a herd of black sheep but fortunately I didn’t meet Britain’s only poisonous snake.
At about 12:30pm I reached Trebarwith Strand and stopped for a pint at the Port William Inn. The picnic tables outside overlooked the small beach and rocky cliffs below … both of which were covered in families enjoying their last week of the Easter break.
Next up was Tintagel and it’s castle that have been associated with the legendary King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. I had visited this National Trust site in 1983 and so I snapped a photo and then continued on. At this point the wind become biting cold and I had to put on my jacket for the first time since I left Perranporth.
The ascents and descents continued but eventually I staggered into the pretty village of Boscastle. In August 2004 the village was devastated by a flash flood and it has taken years to rebuild it. I found a YouTube link here.
By early evening most visitors had gone home and it seemed I had the village to myself. I had a fine Steak and Cornish Ale Pie at the Cobweb Inn (and a pint of Doom Bar). Speaking of cobwebs I noticed the “Museum of Witchcraft” is just down the road.
I’m staying at the Riverside Hotel built around 1584 and severely damaged during the flood. Apparently there was 17 feet of water at the back of the hotel and 10 feet at the front. It’s my most expensive accommodation so far but it is a funky old place with creaky floors and staircases going off in all directions. It’s the kind of place I half expect Yvette Fielding and the Most Haunted team to investigate.
Tomorrow I’m off to Bude and I expect the walk will be as, if not more, difficult than today.