Day 145 (6.7.17): The Bedruthan Steps and Mousehole

We got up today and repacked our suitcases.  It was time to move to our next destination:  the small fishing village of Mousehole (pronounced “Mowzel”).  Along the way, we planned to visit the beach below the massive stone outcroppings of the Bedruthan steps.

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The steps refer to a series of giant rocks that are just off of the northern coast of Cornwall.  The local legend is that a giant used the steps to walk along the shore.  Julie and I walked on the cliffs above the steps the previous day, when the steps were small islands surrounded by a frothy mess of crashing waves.

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At low tide, the steps are easily accessible and surrounded by tidal pools.

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We reached the beach right at low tide and decided to start our exploration at the far end of the beach, so that we could more easily reach safety if the tide came in quickly.  I wanted to reach a massive archway that I had seen the previous day, but it was extremely hard not to stop to explore some of the massive stone outcroppings.

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Along the way, we reached some large tidal pools that completely blocked our path.  Off came the shoes!

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The chicklets were thrilled to get their feet wet, and we soon reached the massive archway.

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The scale of the stones made us feel small, and we enjoyed running around the tiny hidden beach, with the sounds of the waves and our voices echoing off the rock overhead.  We knew that the tide had turned and would soon make those tidal pools even deeper, so we headed back to explore the nooks and crannies that we skipped in our haste to reach the archway.  Some of the rocks were absolutely monstrous.

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The bases of the rocks were covered in tenacious barnacles and muscles.  The black you can see behind our heads in the picture above is all muscles.  The water also carved small passages through the rocks, and the chickadees had fun exploring them.

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The girls also found a small, partially submerged cave cutting into the base of one of the steps.  We had to investigate!

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The cave extended about 15 feet into the rock before becoming too shallow to explore any further.

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We worked our way further down the beach, climbing rocks and looking for more caves.  The tide was coming in and we were running out of time, when we saw the entrance to an even larger cave.  We had to hustle!

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This cave led far back into one of the massive rocks, with the sound of the crashing waves magnified by the enclosed space.

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The sea was starting to rise and we had already had a wonderful time exploring the beach.  It was time to move on.  We climbed back up to the top of the cliffs, and enjoyed a few more views before hiking for thirty minutes to reach the car.

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After a 90-minute drive, we reached Mousehole, which is as small as it sounds.  Our cottage was down a tiny alley that connected to a small road, neither of which were big enough for cars.

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We unpacked, settled in, and then walked around the small town.  We finished the day in proper fashion:  dinner at a tiny pub, views of the harbor, and pints!

-Will

 

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