Walk #346: Mullion Cove to Marazion
Map of the walk
Maps courtesy of Google Maps. Route for indicative purposes only, and may have been plotted after the walk. Please let me have comments on what you think of this new format. For a detailed table of timings for this walk, please see the table file.
Yet another day on the coastal path, and not an estuary in sight, a fact that I am extremely grateful for. The scenery on the whole of the South West Coast Path is very spectacular, and so much so that I am suffering a sort of scenery overload. To get over this I try to think back to all the miles of endless plodding around seawalls in Essex, and this always makes me appreciate the scenery whilst I have still got it. Graham Harboad refers to the South West Coast Path as the Crown Jewels, and whilst I have not seen the entire coastline yet I expect other sections such as some of the west coast of Scotland and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to give it runs for their money. It would have to be an astounding stretch of coastline to beat the section around Sandwood Bay in Sutherland, which I have visited before and is superb.
At Poldhu Cove I passed a memorial to Marconi, as Poldhu was the place where the first wireless transmission over the Atlantic - to Newfoundland - was sent. It is quite amazing to think how far radio communications have come in the last one hundred years, and even more amazing to think that it all started with three simple dots - an S in Morse Code. I wonder what he would think of the state the firm that now bears his name is in - he would probably be very sad.
I was quite glad that after two days of walking through heavy mud today was much easier going underfoot, with mainly firm paths and only a few patches of mud to get my gaiters muddy. Unfortunately I seem to be a mud magnet, and as one of these was deeper than I was expecting as I passed through it some big dollops of mud shot up and splattered my gaiters and waterproof trousers. As I walk I am constantly amazed by walkers who have clean boots and trousers, and also constantly amazed by the way they will do anything to avoid little patches of mud that I just plough through. After having walked over 2,000 miles I simply cannot be bothered slowing down to try and negotiate most mud patches, and so I choose to go through - for one thing mud patches tend to be less slippy than the sections surrounding them that people use and churn up.
I loved the moment when I saw St Michael's Mount for the first time today - I turn Cudden Point and there it was, straight ahead of me. It is quite a spectacular sight even when viewed from a distance, and the island looks like something out of a medieval fairytale. It must have been fairly easy to defend the island if it were ever attacked, which I suppose must have been the reason for the buildings being there. If you were to attack it then not only would you have to cross a narrow causeway over to the isle - and even then for a few hours every day - before being able to start the attack. A sea borne attack would also be exceedingly hard, as the buildings are built high up on the cliffs. I would like to know more about the history of the place, and especially the striking similarity with the Mont St Michel (I am unsure about the spelling) in France.
The place where we parked the van tonight was absolutely superb, and we looked out of the window as the sun went down and St Michael's Mount appeared black against a light blue sky. To our right the lights of Penzance and Mousehole were visible against the sky as it slowly darkened to blackness. I found it hard to take my eyes off the views as the darkness slowly spread in from the west, swallowing up the last of the blue sky to the east. One nice touch is the vehicle that takes people across from the beach in Marazion over to the Mount; it is a combination of car and boat as it drives up the beach before driving into the water to make the crossing.
Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day - at ten thirty in the morning we are going to an RDA meeting near St Ives, and so I will probably get a quick three-mile walk into Penzance done before that. This also means that I shall be able to do a little shopping the town, which is something that I really need to do. Hopefully I will be able to get back to Penzance by midday, after which I should be able to reach Porthcurno. Tom Isaacs phoned me up tonight and he is aiming to reach Penzance tomorrow night, and so sometime tomorrow we will pass each other on the way. He is invited us out for a meal in Penzance tomorrow night, and this should prove to be an interesting experience.
This makes a total distance of 16.5 miles, with 3485 feet of ascent and 3534 feet of descent.
We parked the van in a car park in Marazion, which was ideal for a couple of pubs and for some spectacular views across Mount Bay.
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And finally, enjoy your walking!
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