Present: Andrew (organiser), Claire, Alan, Richard S, Fiona B, Dave H, Nicola, Andrea, Fiona S, Sarah, Bruce, Shaun, Keyna, Adriana, Evgenia, Mick, Ange, Ayla

Location: Tintagel YH

The first trip of the year took us to Tintagel, and a youth hostel clinging to sea-lashed cliffs. Previous occupants had very kindly left a keg of beer in the kitchen, and we obviously needed no further invitation. The most difficult part of Friday evening was battling with the YHA’s new bedding policy: wrestling a duvet into a too-small cover in a severely limited space is obviously something of a dark art.

Saturday’s walk started with blue skies and a hint of sunshine, as we set out on the 11 miles or so to Crackington Haven. This section of the South West Coast Path apparently boasts some of the finest coastal scenery in Britain, and certainly the strong waves were doing their best to make it look all rugged and wildly picturesque. The ups and downs of the route and the prevailing winds made it good exercise. When we reached Boscastle, we found a wall to shelter behind above the town and had some lunch, after which the group split into three. The largest contingent carried on to Crackington, while a breakaway faction climbed the steep hill out of Boscastle and caught the bus back to Tintagel to discover that traditional Cornish idyll: a pub that served cream teas. A third group retraced their steps to the youth hostel, arriving at the same time as the bus-and-pub contingent. By that stage the wind had picked up further and it was raining as well – this caused a power cut in the youth hostel, which was thankfully short-lived.

Onwards and upwards (Sarah)

Polishing off the leftovers (Sarah)

Heavy seas (Sarah)

The evening had a Mexican theme, starting with slightly lethal margaritas and progressing to chilli, extremely spicy Mexican chicken, and chocolate pudding. The remains of the beer keg were consumed (hopefully nobody was planning to come back for it) as part of the usual drinking into the early hours.

On Sunday, those that got out of bed did a shorter walk down to Trebarwith Strand. Again, it was bright and windy, and very easy to get soaked by surprise sea spray if you weren’t paying sufficient attention. We then cut inland to Treknow and Tregatta before returning to the hostel for leftover chilli.

Sarah Davies

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