When: 3 – 5 October 2008

Present: Rhoda (organiser), Bob, Alan, Claire, Richard N, Sarah, Bruce, Richard C, Fiona, Steve C, Simon H, Belinda, Will, Keyna, Paul, Mike, Gaby, Matt, Nathan, Alex, Mick, Ange, Ayla

Location: Liskey Hill Campsite, Perranporth

For some, the journey to Cornwall presented a challenge (apparently it is possible to go the wrong way on the A30 for several miles before realising the signposts really shouldn’t be saying ‘London’). For others, the challenges started on arrival at our destination: trying to find the right caravans when they didn’t seem to be numbered sequentially; a lack of toilet roll prompting emergency text messages to those still on the road. Despite all this, everyone managed to end up in the caravan with all the light, heat and alcohol on Friday night: Mick and Ange’s. Ayla impressively slept through twenty people drinking and chatting into the small hours of the morning.

Saturday morning dawned clear, with excellent views of the beach and in direct contradiction of the weather forecast. Steve and Paul made a few comments about our lack of faith in the elements, and announced their intention to find some climbing. Everyone else set off along the coast towards St Agnes. This is an area with plenty of relics of the Cornish mining industry, including the quarry at Cligga Head and other leftovers (translation: holes to drop stones into to see how deep they go). We stopped for a coffee at Trevaunance Cove, by which time it was clear that Rhoda had used up all her weather goddess luck in the Gower. The rain persisted, on and off, for the rest of the day, with the addition of strong gusty winds (always fun on a coast path with a steep drop to the right). A few people headed inland or back to the campsite early, but the majority of the group carried on around the coast and stopped for another much-needed hot drink (or scary-looking ice cream and clotted cream concoction in Nathan’s case) before heading inland via some muddy fields and inquisitive cows to St Agnes. The restrictions of the bus timetable then forced us to go to the pub before catching the bus back to Perranporth.

Descent into Trevellas Cove.

Rain/wind prevents any thought of play in the beach cricket.

Meanwhile, the only climbing that Steve and Paul managed to locate was indoors, and they also had an illuminating encounter with the local constabulary on the way back…

Saturday evening brought the usual culinary extravaganzas, including a Moroccan theme in one caravan, and all-out Mexican in another. Further socialising took place in two or three groups, possibly due to a disinclination to uproot to another caravan in the pouring rain.

NMC hits the surf.

Not quite what was planned.

Climbing in the great indoors.

Sunday was a more relaxed start, with a variety of activities. Mike and Keyna set off on their bikes, while Richard N, Belinda, Alan and Claire took a walk across the dunes and path above Perranporth beach. A larger group (Bob, Rhoda, Alex, Bruce, Richard C, Simon and Fiona) went surfing at Perranporth, watched from a safe distance by Sarah, Nathan, Mick, Ange and Ayla. It was never established whether it was actually warmer in a wetsuit in the sea than on the extremely windy beach, but at least the latter group had the option of nipping off for a hot coffee. Later on, the weather began to look up, which was perfect timing for Rhoda, Gaby, Keyna and both Richards who had booked horse riding on the beach. The climbers had headed inland to Bodmin Moor by this stage, where unfortunately the weather had not cleared – they were spotted in intense discussions in a layby on the A30, and eventually went to the indoor wall at Launceston.

Words: Sarah Davies. Pictures: Nathan Rosser

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