Strangles Beach – Part Textile, Part Naturists

The lovely and unusually warm October weather made me suggest another beach trip yesterday and after a quick bite of lunch we packed a few things and headed for a bit of sand and surf.

Strangles Beach

My only request when John asked where I’d like to go was to suggest somewhere we had not been before. While we had walked alone the path above Strangles Beach before on our way to Crackington Haven, this was our first time to actually visit the beach.

Strangles Beach - Clothing Optional Side At The Far Right

A walk to Strangles Beach is not for the weak of heart as some of the footpath can be slippery littered as it is with broken bits of slate. From a distance it looks a bit brown and rocky and I wasn’t sure I would like it as much as the last few beaches we’ve been on lately, but as we were making our way down, I found a different sort of beauty in the landscape.

It was a fairly steep and long walk down and this couple seemed content to watch the waves from a distance. Only later did I realize they were sitting in a direct line of sight to the nude section of the beach.

Part way down the slope John pointed up along the top of the cliff several hundred feet above us at some wild-looking goats. I wrote about them here and have some great close-ups of them with the previous post. The best I could do yesterday was the photo below from a distance.

Do have a look at my earlier post about them. I had forgotten how clear and close the photos were from that day.

As we were walking to the beach, John mentioned that he thought he remembered that a part of this beach had a spot were you could nude sunbathe if you wanted to feel a sea breeze all over. It turns out he was right. I went exploring while he was having a swim and discovered a unofficial clothing optional beach that you can just make out the photo above.

It’s behind the big rock and is larger than you see here. I didn’t shoot any images of the size of the beach because I didn’t want to seem as if I was shooting more than the landscape.

If you double-click on this image you can get a feel for how high the walls were around us. There are some tiny dots in the center of this photo that are people. You have to do a bit of wading to get to the nude beach and if you’re not careful you can get stuck there when the tide comes in.

There are loads of rocks on this beach making it a bit slow going if you take your shoes off too soon, but the softness of the sand that waits just past them can be seen around the rocks below.

I love the granite stripes in many of the rocks and I was tempted to pocket a few to bring home.

I caught this photo of John after his swim as he moved towards the beach to dry off and sun a bit.

We stayed until the sun began to change and packed up for the climb back up to the coast path and the car.

You can learn more about the nude beaches in Cornwall by clicking here and there’s an interesting video on the Guardian online news site about the naturists lifestyle. People are shown walking and talking in the nude so it might not be okay to view it at work during your coffee break.

While I am disinclined to take my own clothes off in public, I don’t mind other people doing it especially if I’m enjoying a more isolated stretch of beach where it’s more likely to occur. After a discreet look around it seemed as if most of those going bare were either young and fit or older and very comfortable in their skin. I may get bolder as I grow older.

The view as we were making our way out was lovely and I kept pausing to snap photos every few feet. I think John thought we would never make it to the top, but there was so much to see.

A last look back …

Naturist or Textile

I almost forgot … naturists like to refer to people who keep their clothes on as textiles and I’m curious about my readers … are you a naturist, a textile, or a little of both.

Stalking The Beast Of North Cornwall-Part II

Going back again to the sloping Cornish coastline, I am making good on my promise to show you what I discovered attached to the other end of the big horn.

First … I try to sneak up on them.

Oops … Did they hear me coming?  I think I heard one of them saying,” Isn’t it a bit early for the tourists ? “

” Tourists … that one in the bushes with the camera has paparazzi written all over her and did you see that bearded guy with the video camera? ”  ” Sheesh, March is just a bit early to have to start pretending we don’t see them. ”

After taking more photographs than you would want to see of wild goats, I have a few more of our walk from Strangles Beach to Crackington Haven to share with you. Crackington Haven is the beach you see in the distance.

John is sitting in a perfect spot for enjoying the beach and a view of the cliffs.

Here you see John trying to take a short cut to the beach, but after it got a bit dangerous, he turned back and climbed up the cliff to find a safer way down. Once we were back on the path, we saw the sign below.

It says, Danger Unstable Cliff.

The rocks on this beach are amazing and there is a great deal written about the geology of the area.

I really wanted to slip this rock with a V in my pocket.

This striped one was really hard (no pun intended) to leave behind too.

I do read directions sometimes though … and even follow them.

I mean look at all these rocks … would anyone really miss one or two? As much as I wanted the two above, I took only photographs and left the rocks behind on the beach.

Stalking The Great Beast Of North Cornwall

Saturday was so light and bright that John and I packed a couple of sandwiches and took off for a coast path walk. With all the cold winter weather we have had this year, I was dying to feel the sun on my face. After noting what time John hoped to leave, I grabbed my backpack and camera, filled up a water bottle and headed for the car. It is rare that I am in the car waiting for John, but I was so ready see the ocean and stretch my legs that I slapped together my standard lunch of peanut butter & jelly on toasted wheat bread and took my place in the passenger seat. Yes, you heard that right … my place in the passenger seat.

Although I do drive here from time to time, I don’t generally (read, never) drive when we travel together.  This type of control would have been hard to relinquish a few years ago. The truth is, there is an art to backing up in the narrow lanes here especially in a car with a clutch and a gear shift on the left hand side of the car, oh yeah … and add to that, the fact that the steering wheel is on the right where I am used to having my passengers sit. John doesn’t insist on driving and would certainly be fine with my taking the wheel, but for some reason I am okay with just enjoying the ride.

I drove a great deal in my earlier life. It went with the job. I was always in traffic rushing to the next sales call, trying to look composed and put together as I dashed in and out of hospital parking garages while struggling under the weight of giant bags filled to overflowing with medical literature, drug samples, and company freebies. These days, I am content to move a bit slower and last Saturday was one of those days. We started our walk in a new place, one known for having had Thomas Hardy walk across its sandy pebble beaches during his courting days with Emma Gifford, the woman would become his wife. I did not know that bit of history when I asked John if it was named Strangles Beach for any sinister reasons.

There were a few unusual things we saw on our walk. John is trying to show you something we see in places at times along the coast path. Can you guess what it is used for …

If you answered, ” So dogs can get through the stile, silly ” then you would be right!  Okay, maybe silly was not a required part of the answer.

When we went to step up and over the stile, we discovered someone had left some pretty deep foot prints. We spent the next few minutes of our walk trying to decide how it was done.

As we were heading up the path, John nodded in the direction of the hill above and said,  ” Look at that ”  So I closed my left eye and squinted in the direction he had indicated. I only wear one contact to adjust a distance vision deficit. Simply put, I am short-sighted and if something is more than 8 to 10 feet from me and I’m not wearing glasses or contacts, it’s a big blur. I have yet to experience the long-arm syndrome that seems to begin to plague many people in their late forties, so I just wear one contact for distance in my dominant eye and nothing in the left one leaving me able to see close up without the reading specs I would need if I had a contact for distance in each eye. I have had no problem with my squinty eye method until lately.

As I near my next big birthday decade this fall, I may soon have to concede that two contacts are better than one especially if I want to be able to distinguish things like the blobby shapes on the hillside from a distance.

After realizing that I could not tell what he was seeing that was so fascinating, I crept up to the side of the hill, approaching from behind to get a better look at what John assured me were not just sheep.

Climbing into the bracken and prickly gorse bushes, I saw something curvy sticking up that looked like a horn of unusual size for animals found in the fields here where we’ve walked. (Can you see it? ) Right … well I barely could, so deeper down the side of the hill ( mountain cliff ) I went until I was able to see a bit more.  I will be back a little later today to show you what I saw.