An Offally Big Adventure


Porth Kidney? Not really sure why it's called that. I certainly doesn't look like any kidney I've ever seen. Nor are the adjacent beaches called things like Porth Liver, Porth Pancreas and Porth Lower Intestine! Maybe a cargo ship filled with offal went aground there once.

Anyway, we shall come back to the actual coast path later and in the meantime go for a stroll along the strand.

The first thing you realise when you hit the sands of Porth Kidney is just how much of the thing there is.

Prepare to be lonely on Porth Kidney ... Porth Kidney, St. Ives Bay, Cornwall 1
... very lonely! Porth Kidney, St. Ives Bay, Cornwall 2

As you trudge across the endless sands you begin to feel like an extra in Lawrence of Arabia. Little do you realise but the worst is yet to come.

Porth Kidney, St. Ives Bay, Cornwall 3 Godrevy remains tantalisingly still some way in the distance. (Note, despite what it looks like from St. Ives Godrevy actually comprises several rocks) The trouble is that there is now an expanse of water between you and continuing along Hayle beach. Porth Kidney, St. Ives Bay, Cornwall 4
Porth Kidney, St. Ives Bay, Cornwall 5 Mind you, it doesn't look very deep. Surely you can just wade across. DON'T DO IT! Porth Kidney, St. Ives Bay, Cornwall 6

Despite appearances the area of the Hayle Bar is bloody lethal. For starters the Hayle river flows very quickly and the Coastguard have had to retrieve from St. Ives Bay a number of kids who got into a rubber dinghy in the shallows and found that they had actually just purchased a one-way ticket to Godrevy.

Also, although the water looks shallow it has a channel cut into it to allow the fishing boats to get in and out of Hayle harbour. The depth of water can go in three paces from ankle to knee to chest high.

Finally, the icing on the cack is that the estuary is full of areas of soft sand and mud which will suck you in faster than you can poo your pants. Believe me, I made that mistake once and I still have panic attacks thinking about it. One minute I had sand just pushing over the top of my ankle, the next step and I was in half way up my thigh.

Porth Kidney, St. Ives Bay, Cornwall 7 The telegraph poles mark the edges of the mouth of the river. Approach with caution or you might end up relying on these boys to fish you out. Porth Kidney, St. Ives Bay, Cornwall 8

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