On our final full day in St Ives I woke at 6am to see a beautiful blemish-free blue sky. I was almost tempted to grab my running gear and just go and get Juneathon Day 23 out of the way. Not tempted enough and I stick to my plan of running after a day out on the tourist trail.
Whilst I have driven through Marazion, the town that acts as the gateway to St Michael’s Mount, I had never visited the Mount itself so this was our destination. We decided to get up and go and were there for 10am, which was just right as the Castle didn’t open for another half hour. It was just enough time for The Wife and I to find our way to the launch site of the boat taxi’s that take you across when the causeway is underwater.
We had cut down onto the beach and headed towards our waiting vessel. It turns out we had dropped down onto the beach one turn too early as, with the tide still relatively high, the only way to get to the moorings was over some seaweed. Not a major issue. It was only 10 metres or so and it looked to be just a slight covering to the sand and pebbles beneath.
Oh, how wrong we were!
As soon as I was fully committed to my crossing it was very evident that not only was the seaweed not just a thin layer, but it had been there some time. And was decomposing. And full of seagull excrement. And stunk. And The Wife and I were in flip-flops. Not nice, and it didn’t smell nice either. I was busy gagging as The Wife squealed – she’d lost her flip-flop in the quicksand-like bog! Luckily she retrieved it without my assistance and after a few wet wipes and many howls of laughter we were ready to continue with our day.
After a quick jaunt on the boat we clambered our way up the hill to the castle which is more a stately home than a castle, but was fairly impressive. A short walk around the gardens and then it was back on the boat to the mainland for a pasty.
We then took the twisty coast road and headed for Porthcurno, home of the Minack theatre. After deciding against the first car park we came too, we found ourselves down a single track lane, in a field purporting to be a car park, now just as far away from the Minack as we would have been in the first car park.
We scrapped the Minack in favour of heading to Cape Cornwall – a very quiet, rocky bay. The rocks and pebbles are flanked with small fishermen’s huts, cowering into the cliff face. As you follow the path, passing the houses perching on the hillside, you wind around the coast.
It was at this point, while stopping to watch the sea crashing against the rocks, that we spotted a seal bobbing around in the waves. And then a series of gannets flew across the bay, although none of them put on a diving show (we’d been treated one morning in St Ives with one particular gannet doing some spectacular dart-like diving).
Turning our back on the sea we started the ascent to the Coastwatch station. After reading the incident reports it opened our eyes to just what these volunteers do to assist the coastguard. We stuck our head in the door and were invited in by Wally and his colleague. Some of you may have been bored by the friendly duo but The Wife and I found it fascinating – they had their two radar screens, the radio, the meanest set of bino’s you’ve ever seen and of course trusty old-fashioned maps. And the cargo ship that we could just make out on the horizon – we were quickly shown how to establish that it was on heading 295, registered in Holland and was heading for Newport at around 8 knots. The Wife and I both concurred that if we ever ended up in Cornwall in our retirement we’d happily volunteer!
It was then back to St Ives with just enough time for me to complete my final run of the holiday before dinner. I ended up doing a few laps of the harbour and surrounding roads to clock up an admirable 6km on my 6th day of running in a row.
Tomorrow will see us drive back to reality and I am planning a swim for Juneathon Day 24, and a short leg loosening run on Day 25 before tackling the Thame 10k on Day 26. I’m just turning onto the home straight of my first Juneathon. It’ll almost be a shame when it’s gone!