We didn’t rush to leave Brighton on friday morning, the weather forecast promised heavy rain in Cornwall but a heatwave in Sussex. No sense in running towards the wet, but we had booked our spaces in a muddy field high enough above the tiny town of Polperro to wake up in thick cloud on Saturday and Sunday mornings. But it was dry when we erected the tents on friday afternoon, and Jerry had brought one of his bigger tents, so we had a space to sit on folding chairs and eat meusli in the dry.
Saturday I was on my own because Jerry went visiting family. The rain stopped early in the afternoon. It was probably the sudden silence when the rain stopped lashing down on the tent that woke me. I made a plan. In the six hours before meeting Jerry in the Blue Peter I would explore the cliffs immediately west of the town for a few hours and then try to have a beer in every bar in town.
I found lots of insects on the cliff. A huge network of paths running through the vegetation high above the sea.
Managed to get my trouser legs soaked brushing through wet vegetation.
But did spot some bugs
Before heading back to town I stopped to watch a group of kids do some informal coasteering, and nearly squashed this weevil as I leant on a lichen covered rock.
Started the pub crawl in the Crumplehorn where they had two beers from Tintagel Brewery – Black Knight, a sweet dark mild ale, and Cornish Gold, a slightly sweet bitter. Then found the Old Millhouse Inn which had Sharps Atlantic IPA, a seasonal ale. Nice hoppy beer. The Ship was not my kind of bar, but a challenge is a challenge, so I had a half of Jail Ale (4.8%) from the Dartmoor Brewery – too sweet for me. The Three Pilchards offered Sharpe’s Own (4.4%) which made no lasting impression on me, but the British Legion (open to visitors) had the best pint of Sharpes Tribute, and the cheapest at £2.70 a pint, so I had a pint (the others were all halves – no really). Finally into the Blue Peter (‘Best bar in town’, said the Steward at the Legion, ‘but also the most expensive.’). O’Hanlan’s Flagship IPA, pale and traditionally hopped (not the flowery hops), and delightful. Used to be a London-based brewery, but moved to the SW a few years ago. Also had St Maichaels Bitter from Cornish Crown Brewery (short on flavour), Penpont Brewery Shipwreck Coast (4.4%) – pale and hoppy and great. Enjoyed the Penpont so much that I brought three Penponts home in bottles.
All of them great – have to say it was the flowery hops what did it for me. Ten o’clock Sunday morning we started a 10 mile walk in the rain, but it stopped after 2 hours, and by 4pm I was dry. We walked west down a valley to Polruaun by the sea, then east back alongthe cliffs to the car. Where the upper tidal limit occurs we saw limekilns, probably had to import both limestone and coal to make the lime to sweeten the fields – or build the houses.
On the way back looked down onto the beaches at Lantic Bay. A days play down there has to be paid for in the climb back to the road.
In the evening we went back to the Blue Peter where we were entertained by a musician. He was well known locally – he only had to start a song and the crowd took it up. Can’t remember his name