Rugged Tales

Wherever my feet may take me…


Town, Tea, Tate

Aside from having to go out at 2am to replace a peg that had worked loose, my tent stood up well to the wind and rain last night (and thankfully so did my neighbours’)! But having proved that point there was no need for the continued wind and rain when I woke at 6am. At 8am there was some improvement – a brief period of lighter rain – but things soon returned to normal. I was not very tempted go even as far as the wash block, let alone to Pendeen some 15 miles away. Remembering how tiring yesterday’s ‘easy’ section had been in such a strong wind I decided to take the day off and hope for better things tomorrow.

It was a golden opportunity to work on my cream tea project. I walked down to the town in search of a nice looking cafe that would provide me with wifi as well as the opportunity to continue my research. I thought I had struck gold on my first try: the Tate cafe. But while they had wifi available my iPhone wouldn’t load the login page so I couldn’t use it. Two of the staff helpfully showed me that their iPhones were connected to prove it was possible, but it didn’t seem to arouse any desire in my own device to follow suit. St Ives is lavishly provisioned with charming cafes serving homemade cakes in cosy settings, but none had wifi. Wifi seemed to be the preserve of big pubs, or restaurants full of noisy children forced to bring their running around inside on account of the weather. Just as I was giving up hope I found the lovely Cafe Art at the far end of town. The cream tea was respectable, though not as good as the last. Sadly, it looks as though I shall have to continue my search. But at least I had a warm, dry place to sit while I worked on my blog and my photos.

Taking advantage of a break in the rain I went for a wander round the town. The narrow cobbled streets were full of interest in themselves, and there were lots of quirky shop windows to look in. My favourite display featured wedding welly boots “ideal for beach photos or rainy wedding days”. I imagine a number if brides could have done with a pair of those over the last few weeks!


I worked my way through the town and back to Porthmeor Beach where I was amazed to see the number of people eating an al fresco lunch on the terrace of a restaurant. Bundled up in warm coats against the icy blast of the wind, with the ever-present danger of rain, I’m not sure whether their determination to continue their holiday plans if at all possible was heroic or foolhardy. Personally, I retreated back into the Tate to enjoy panoramic views over the town and The Island through the windows of their snug cafe.

I wiled away the damp afternoon acquainting myself with the paintings of Alex Katz, before venturing back out for a final pot of tea at Bumbles Cafe. Their window neatly summed up my day!


With tea and a few chapters of my book completed it had stopped raining, and by the time I had bought a few groceries and walked back up the hill to the campsite it had turned into a gloriously sunny, though still windy, evening.


Hopefully that bodes well and the storm is finally moving away so I’ll have some better weather for one of the toughest sections of the path tomorrow.