I walked 6 and half miles along the Cornish coast and it was a really daft idea.
Over the last two years I’ve seen a marked difference in what I can physically do. I’ve always been an outdoorsy person, loving walking, swimming and horse riding. Endo has changed a lot, including what activities I can or can not enjoy. Last time we were in Cornwall (the most south-western tip of England for those of you not familiar with the UK), we took a four mile walk along the coast to the nearest town. It was a mistake. I couldn’t cope. I struggled the whole way there and finished the walk with my head between my legs willing myself not to vomit.
So what does Ilona do when in Cornwall this year? That’s right go on an even longer walk, in the summer heat. Yes here in the UK 20’C is hot. It was a stupid idea, but we planned on walking along the south-west coastal path to a village called Polruan, about 6.5 miles from the fishing village we were staying.
It was meant to take us approximately two and half hours, given the hilly nature of the path. Safe to say it took us just a little longer than this.
I felt good. The reality of what I’d foolishly agreed to do had not yet sunk in and I was keeping a good pace. The weather was glorious and we were kept entertained by the abundent wildlife. Birds of prey, butterflies, various native sea birds and even the odd dragon fly or two.
Things were toughening up now. The novelty was starting to wear off, and although it was actually mile 2 both of us were convinced we’d covered at least half of our 6.5 mile walk. These coastal walks are deceptive. You spend a lot of time climbing up and down the cliff edge, covering far fewer miles than it feels. We did however stop to admire the view, which at this point along the route still felt very much worth it.
This is where I hit a wall. I felt like I’d climbed Everest or at least Snowden already, but still had the majority of the walk a head of me. As we reached the top of another hill, the sight of the path dropping down to only rise back up yet again hit us.
Not gonna lie the sight of this led me to sitting myself on a rock and bursting into tears. I couldn’t carry on but turning back meant at least 2.5 miles back home. I have to say my boyfriend took all of this in good humour. He is fit and able and does a physical job, meaning this walk really wasn’t too much of a challenge. He could have easily managed this walk in half the time. So shout out to him for walking at my snails pace and distracting me with all the cool birds he spotted.
We then were hit with this.
As I’ve said already, we genuinely felt as if we were at least halfway if not more so. As you can see we’d managed 2 1/4 miles even though it felt like 10 (to me at least). This was a low point for me, but as ever my walking companion pushed me on and promised a break and some sandwiches soon. (FYI you can get me to do almost anything with food).
Actually halfway! The hiking gods blessed us with this sight.
A chance to wet our toes and rest our legs, and being the classic millennials we are take some great snaps for instagram.
Things were getting tricky. For half a mile or so we felt refreshed and I actually thought I could do this. An hour and a half later we’d ran out of water, we were burnt to a crisp and I actually had thoughts of accepting defeat and just lying on the foot path until some kind hearted OAPs found us and took pity on me.
I have to be honest by the last mile and a half all the enjoyment had gone. All I could think about is a pint of lemonade and several G&Ts the moment we arrived in Polruan. My boyfriend’s distractions were no longer working and I can safely say I was being an absolute nightmare.
Last 1/2 Mile
We’d seen several signs for Polruan and had picked up the pace. It was a downward sprint into the village and I have never felt so happy to see the sight of a harbour and a pub. We got ourselves some drinks and settled down for the 30 minute wait for the bus home. I was that overwhelmed by the walk and relief that it was finally over I didn’t even have time to snap any photos of Polruan. A truly beautiful fishing village.
Would I do it again?
What have I learnt? Well, six and a half miles is a very long way, 20’C will still get you burnt and always take at least two bottles of water with you, everywhere. Now at the time of writing this I’m really glad I did it, even if the moment we got home I vowed to never walk anywhere again. In fact a mere 24 hours later if asked if I wanted to do it again next week, perhaps I’d say yes. Human beings are really stupid. Is this the same part of the brain that tells women to have more babies even after the horrors of childbirth? I think so.