19/9/2014 – Mullion Cove to The Lizard (8.2mls)

We woke up this morning to the good news of a NO vote in the Scottish Referendum. Not sure this was a portent or not but the weather like the result was very unclear this morning which was not good news as today was supposed to be one of the most dramatic for scenery ending up at Lizard Point.

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So with Mullion Island shrouded in mist we walked around to the very attractive Mullion harbour followed by a steep climb up to the top of the cliff for a flat walk through a nature reserve along the cliff top. Another new plant name, squill, but we didn’t see any of blue flowers – we did see some birds though such as stonechats and flocks of goldfinches, but disappointingly no choughs. We did see a huge caterpillar on the path …

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… and at 2.5ins long this turned out to be the caterpillar of the Fox moth which we had never heard of before but one which we saw again several times during the rest of the week.

It was still very misty and we now started to hear the regular boom of the fog horn at Lizard Point, a sound that never went away for the rest of the day. The sun did try to come through late morning …

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… but then went in again, never to be seen again! We had lunch on the beach at Kynance Cove which was an opportunity for have a paddle …

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… change the Compeed plaster on the blister on my heel, and for Fiona to perform major surgery on her right foot – not a pretty sight at this point and causing her some distress …

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We couldn’t see much but we think this is a very rocky stretch of coastline and the walking was not too difficult. The highlight of the day was seeing close up two choughs complete with tagged red legs. At Lizard Point we stopped for a cream tea. There were not many people there and we got chatting to the two women running the cafe. Fiona asked them if the correct way to eat a cream tea in Cornwall was to put the jam on the scone first followed by the clotted cream. Unfortunately the two women disagreed and entered into a friendly argument which was only settled by one of them phoning the Cornish Cream Tea Association and established that Fiona was correct. Apparently, it’s the opposite way around in Devon? The confusion was not surprising though as the women were originally from Lancashire and Bristol!

As it was still early we decided to continue around the coast and enter Lizard town from the opposite side, knocking 1.4miles off the next days walk. In the thick mist it seemed a very long 1.4 miles passing the Lizard Lighthouse (still booming away), the Lizard Wireless Station and the Lloyds Signal Station which is manned by the National Coastwatch volunteers and linked to the Falmouth coastguards – the chap on duty, presumably bored at not having seen anything all day, shouted hello and waved as we went past. Eventually we arrived at the Lifeboat Station at Church Cove and turned inland for the now standard 1 mile walk to our B&B at the Caerthillian.

This is a very attractive building which according to the current owner, Austin Pratt, was originally built as a guest house and has been one ever since. Austin himself was a fascinating character, looking like a 1980s rocker with centre parted greased hair and pony tail and earrings and probably a Harley Davidson driver, but very gently spoken. Like all but one of the B&Bs, it was the man who was front of house and in many instances cooked breakfast as well.

We had a very enjoyable meal in the nearby Top House Inn.

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