Feathered Foes (Perranporth to Porth) (Day 6 - Walking Lands End to John o'Groats)

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June 30th 2011
Published: February 2nd 2012
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Porth BeachPorth BeachPorth Beach

Views from Day 6 (Perranporth to Porth) of our 1160 mile charity walk from Lands End to John o'Groats.
It's a place you either love or hate. There's been a lot of negative publicity surrounding Newquay in recent months. Intoxicated teenagers passed out in street gutters. Violence from binge-drinking stag parties. Locals awakening to pavements covered in vomit and fast food, both of which are happily gobbled up by bullish, intimidating seagulls. This certainly isn't the best advert for Cornish tourism.

For me though Newquay, the self-proclaimed surfing capital of Britain, holds plenty of good memories and you can't help but think much of the negative publicity has been somewhat sensationalised. Many of the current 'problems' have been happening for years and although I agree some small pockets of behaviour could be classed as anti-sociable, without these sub-groups of tourists, unemployment and economic hardships in the area would be much higher.

Newquay today isn't the same tourist destination as Newquay of old. While pensioners might romantically reminisce of their courting days spent visiting the zoo, strolling through Trenance Gardens or eating a fish supper overlooking Newquay harbour, today's generation is far more likely to hazily recall a drunken fumbling on Fistral Beach after an adrenalin-fuelled day of surfing.

Both my wife and I were excited about Newquay.
Newquay Rest DayNewquay Rest DayNewquay Rest Day

Beautiful weather.......nice beach.......gorgeous company......what more could you ask!
We were coming to the end of the first week of our 1160 mile Lands End to John o'Groats charity walk and Newquay was our chosen choice for our first day off. Before we could enjoy the possibility of late night shenanigans and drunken antics, we still had to walk from Perranporth.

As daylight broke and we took our stiff, aching bodies to the campsite shower block to freshen up, it didn't take much persuasion to change our intended route into a quicker, more direct version. Neither of us fancied struggling along the coast again, especially with having to retrace our steps from yesterday back through the coastal sand dunes and back to the South West Coast Path. Instead we chose to walk along quiet country lanes instead.

A change of scenery coupled with walking on flat pavement meant we covered the short nine mile section quickly and with ease. The high hedgerows, teeming with wild berries and wildlife acted as blinkers and kept our views firmly ahead of us. We soon passed The Smugglers Den Inn, famous for its regulars in the 16th century.

Every few metres squeaks and rustling came from the hedgerows as mice
Fields of WheatFields of WheatFields of Wheat

Views from Day 6 (Perranporth to Porth) of our 1160 mile charity walk from Lands End to John o'Groats.
sounded the warning cry and retreated into their underground nests. Rabbits played in fallow fields and inquisitive horses trotted through their enclosures towards us. Cars rarely passed us and with the sea out of view, the lack of breeze made for a warm, tranquil morning. Now and then, the hedgerows would disappear, revealing a refreshing, gentle wind and vast, mesmerizing fields of wheat. Its swaying and movement reminded me of the ocean.

Reaching the outskirts of Newquay, we followed the River Gannel before walking through Trenance Gardens and rejoined the South West Coast Path at Tolcarne Beach. It was strange to be walking through urban areas again and for the first time I felt slightly self-conscious about my sweaty, grubby attire. Our campsite was past Newquay in neighbouring Porth, overlooking Porth Beach. It's location explained the extortionate price.

Considering the costs of the campsite, I was expecting to be surrounded by the more sophisticated holidaymaker. A middle-aged man, his arms and neck covered in a collage of tattoos standing opposite our pitch quashed this image immediately. He looked towards his misbehaving children before launching into a barrage of 'f-word' expletives. This wasn't a one off. Unruly children wreaked
Cornish Country LanesCornish Country LanesCornish Country Lanes

A refreshing change to the coastal views we had become accustomed to while walking through Cornwall on our 1160 mile charity walk from Lands End to John o'Groats.
havoc at regular intervals throughout the campsite, a strange phenomenon considering the almost empty beach only a stone's throw away.

With plenty of afternoon sun still to enjoy, we escaped our foul-mouthed neighbours and caught the bus back into Newquay. With our walk finished, there was no need for our feet to suffer unnecessarily. Once back, we were met with a range of the negative images that causes so much friction with the local population. As we window-shopped along the high street, a stag party passed by, in boisterous spirits. It was mid-afternoon and they were already hammered. The names on their matching black T-shirts read Dog's Knob, Pervert, Panty Ripper and Cheesy Balls. In every direction men walked around topless, their torsos in various states of disrepair. I don't know what it is, but wherever you find sun, you'll find a British man with his shirt off.

We stayed in Newquay until the evening, watching the sun slowly set over Newquay Bay. Below us on Tolcarne Beach the RNLI lifeguards packed away their flags and life-saving equipment. Since setting off from Lands End six days earlier, this has always been something that has impressed me. Virtually every
Cornish Country LanesCornish Country LanesCornish Country Lanes

A refreshing change to the coastal views we had become accustomed to while walking through Cornwall on our 1160 mile charity walk from Lands End to John o'Groats.
beach and cove that had the possibility of attracting swimmers and surfers was manned by RNLI lifeguards.

It was a nice feeling to know we didn't have to walk the following day. We returned back to the campsite before the drunken crowds took over the streets. A disgruntled, moody young couple had arrived in the pitch next to us. The woman struggled to pitch their tent. The man sat in the driver's seat of their battered Nissan listening to The Prodigy. They didn't look to speak. As we lay inside our tent gorging on our recently purchased fudge the young man snarled, "I drove 300 miles to make you happy and you can't even put up the fucking tent for me. You useless bitch." We fell asleep listening to their constant arguing. I felt sorry for the girlfriend. Nothing she did was good enough.

The following morning with birds chirping from the surrounding trees and with the smell of cooked bacon in the air, I woke to find the arguing couple attempting their very own bacon butty breakfast. It didn't get very far. With the boyfriend taking control of their barbecue and ordering the girlfriend inside the tent
Enjoying Porth Beach.......Enjoying Porth Beach.......Enjoying Porth Beach.......

.....and wearing normal clothes again!
to get him his breakfast beer, he turned his back on the pack of bacon for no more than a couple of seconds. This was all it took for a seagull to swoop down and take-off with the unopened plastic packet. Expletives filled the air and yet again the girlfriend bore the brunt of his anger.

They might look innocent, but seagulls are shady characters. At regular intervals, stifled cries would break out from a family that had just had something snatched by these uninvited guests. Rubbish was strewn all over the campsite, the contents from black bin bags ripped open by the feathered opportunists.

They tried to get the better of me too. Resting inside my tent, I watched as one brazen seagull coolly walked straight in, stepped over my foot and grabbed my half eaten packet of biscuits. I was open mouthed at their cheek (or bravery). As it attempted to escape I kicked out at it. I missed by a country mile, but managed to startle it just enough to make it drop them. You can steal a man's bacon, but never mess with his chocolate hobnobs!

We spent our free day meeting up
Porth BeachPorth BeachPorth Beach

Views from Day 6 (Perranporth to Porth) of our 1160 mile charity walk from Lands End to John o'Groats.
with friends who were holidaying in Cornwall. Sitting again on the cliffs overlooking Tolcarne Beach and watching more seagulls dive-bombing for leftovers, we basked in our accomplishment so far. We'd walked almost 70 miles in the previous six days. This had been a solid start, but there was no getting carried away with what we had done. From now on the daily distances were only going to increase and as we had struggled for large periods of the walk so far, we would soon have a good inkling if we stood a serious chance of finishing this 1160 mile Lands End to John o'Groats charity walk.

Land's End to John o'Groats (LEJOG) Walking Statistics:


Start Location: Perranporth
End Location: Porth (nr. Newquay)
Distance Covered: 8.80 miles
Start Time: 09:25
End Time: 13:10
Total Walking Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
(this includes all rest and stoppage time between start and end location and not just walking time)
Footpaths Used: South West Coast Path (only sparsely from Newquay to Porth). For more information on the South West Coast Path, please visit http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/. This is the official South West Coast Path website, maintained by the National Trust.
Fields of WheatFields of WheatFields of Wheat

Views from Day 6 (Perranporth to Porth) of our 1160 mile charity walk from Lands End to John o'Groats.
Porth Beach Tourist Park, Porth, Cornwall, TR7 3NH. Cost: £22 (per pitch per night).


Total Land's End to John o'Groats (LEJOG) Walking Distance: 1160.23 miles
Total Distance Covered: 68.76 miles (5.93%!)(MISSING)
Average Miles Walked per Day: 11.46 miles
Days Walked: 6 (out of 82)

Pint(s) of the Day:

Cornwall's Pride (Tintagel Brewery, Condolden Farm, Tintagel, Cornwall, PL34 0HJ (4%!)(MISSING)
"Full bodied malt flavours, light citrus tones and a rich amber colour, mark Cornwall’s Pride as a refreshing quaffing beer inspired by Tintagel itself – the home of King Arthur."(http://www.tintagelbrewery.co.uk/)

Cornish Avor (Penpont Brewery, Inner Trenarrett, Altarnun, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 7SY (4%!)(MISSING)
"Cornish Arvor is golden red, a lovely refreshing ale. This beer was developed as lightly quaffable, that was not overly floral but still had distinctive hop notes with some malt complexity. Arvor is Cornish for Coast." (http://www.penpontbrewery.co.uk/)

Charity of Choice:

We are walking 1160 miles from Land's End to John o'Groats (LEJOG) to raise money for cancer research charity Association for International Cancer Research (AICR). AICR funds cancer research projects globally. If you would like to see how much we manage to raise or if you are inspired to donate to this worthy cause, please visit our donation webpage at http://www.justgiving.com/Adrian-and-Candace.


3rd February 2012

I hate stag parties. So much. English stag parties seem to be in a different league altogether, though. And I can't comprehend for the life of me how some women put up with being treated like the one at your camping site. Truly shocking. Cheers, Jens
3rd February 2012

Stag Parties.........
........in most cases I completely agree. I remember seeing one stag party in Latvia and one of the members was urinating up Riga's Freedom Monument. I don't understand how similar stag groups seem to lose all morals and respect. Saying that though, the stag parties I have been on, including my own have in no way resembled the stereotypical British stag party. Of course there was alcohol involved, but the stag parties resembled more of a reunion of old friends.....and there were no matching T-shirts! As for the lady and the abusive husband..........I don't know why women would put up with such behaviour........but strangely it's men like these that seem to have a line of women waiting for their services!
3rd February 2012

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3rd February 2012

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