DAY 9: Port Isaac to Boscastle (13.93m)

Day 9 starts with tackling a number of combes. Combes are step sided narrow valleys which slice into the landscape and cut down towards the sea. Walking the combes is tough. It requires clambering down steep slate steps - constantly worried about toppling over with my knees taking the impact of every step. And then there is the climb on the other side.....

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Four Combes

Four Combes

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I encounter my first piece of Cornish Nationalist graffiti. 

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And then into that stretch of coast leading to Tintagel Head. It is on this rocky stretch that it really becomes evident how this apparently relatively empty landscape has been moulded and shaped by human activity. Habours smoothed out of the cliffs; great piles of slate left from quarrying; gouges and cuts in the grey cliff face; and the remnants of winch bases, splitting sheds, tramways and wharves.

A landscape which now seems reserved for walkers and tourists was one a great centre of industry and production.  

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And then there us Tintagel headland itself. A formidable lump of rock cut off from the mainland with lines of monastery and castle walls clinging to it's sides. A place of refugee, settlement and power for centuries. 

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