Distance: 29 km (18 mi) for a total of 186,2 km (115,7 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 1510 m (4950 ft)
Weather: Mostly wall-to-wall sunshine in the morning, sunny with some clouds later, wind increasing over the day
Knowing that a long day lie ahead of me I made a number of sensible decisions, the first one being to take the first ferry at 8 o’clock in the morning even if this meant missing breakfast in the hotel (I would have stayed in a B&B but they were more expensive). The ferryman correctly assumed that I needed only a single ticket. Some might consider using the ferry as “cheating” but I don’t think so, especially as the ferry is officially part of the SWCP.
It was nice and tranquil walking from Rock to Polzeath where I had an espresso and bought some snacks. Shortly afterwards I made the next decision to cut short across the Pentire Headland. The cliff-walking was easier than yesterday with less wind. Just approaching Port Quin I met another backpacker and of course we chatted a bit. He wanted to reach Padstow which shouldn’t have caused him any problems. He had taken the coastal variant between Port Isaac and Port Quin and confirmed my suspicion that the inland route would be a significant time-saver. So the inland path it was for me. Some parts required bushwhacking through gorse, others were quite lovely.
I don’t know what was going on in Port Isaac, a lot of people wearing vests saying “Security” on the back and somehow everything just looked and felt crowded. This didn’t made me want to explore the town and as I knew what I had to deal with until reaching my destination for the day I quickly left.
I lost a bit track of the number of valleys between Port Isaac and Tintagel, it must have been around ten, all of them either steep or very steep. I concentrated on my steps and managed surprisingly good. I’m still not back to my “hill-legs” as I want them but it’s certainly becoming better. It’s amazing how fast the body adjusts. The night was spent in the youth hostel in Tintagel with some pleasant conversation. I was told that another LEJOGER spent the previous night there, perhaps the same one the farmer in Zennor talked of. So that makes at least four of us: Steve a day ahead of me, Jack a day behind, James on an inland route and me.