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More South West Coastal Path

Last week in Cornwall, Simon and I continued our crusade to knock off more miles on the coastal path, walking the sections from Coverack to Falmouth, and from Padstow to the aptly named Booby's Bay.

Both days began dry but then the drizzle started, getting gradually heavier until, by the afternoon, we were soaked through. The walk from Coverack on the Lizard Peninsula in the south of Cornwall was through lush, rolling countryside and past sleepy village cottages with Range Rovers and Ferraris on their drives. We caught the ferry across the Helford river, which seems like a lovely place to moor a boat, and after eight hours of walking, finally got to the outskirts of Falmouth.

The section on the north coast was very different as we walked along the wide, sandy shores outside Padstow then followed a high, rocky coastline with big Atlantic breakers rolling in from the sea. We stood watching surfers sitting on their boards in one of the bays, then Simon, who's just bought himself a board (sorry, I mean stick) quizzed a couple of them on surf vocab and the best place to buy a Custard Point.

Back in the hills we passed within ten metres of a hawk eating it's newly caught prey on a rock, unconcerned by our presence as we continued along the path. The wind was picking up by this time and walking into it became punishing, like constantly walking uphill, rain stinging our faces. By mid-afternoon we crossed a long sandy beach, found a Booby's Bay, and decided that it was probably a good place to stop and get to know.

By the time we reached the shelter of the van our feet were sore and we were looking for something to perk us up so we decided to try Rick Stein's fish and chip shop. We drove around the centre of the town, past his expensive restaurants with their six month waiting lists for a table, his patisserie, the Rick Stein shop, his cooking school, and all the other businesses he owns in the town. No surprise really that the locals now call it Padstein. Finally, we found his fish and chip shop down by the fishing boats on the edge of town and we waited for it to open.

Minutes after the doors were unlocked the place was queued out. Somewhat shocked by it's popularity, we joined everyone else and waited to place our order. Simon had the gurney and I opted for a straightforward haddock with chips. We weren't disappointed, the fish was lovely and the portions were big - a far cry from your usual corner fish and chip shop, and certainly one of the nicest fish suppers I've ever had.

Suitably fulfilled, we drove to Newquay and went for a pint. The town was deserted, however, in the way that only a holiday destination can feel out of season so we didn't hang around for long. I had to get up for my early morning flight to London the next day so we parked the stealth camper by the lovely Porth Reservoir and enjoyed a peaceful night's rest.

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