Shoe Fail

So. My Merrell walking shoes are not waterproof. In fact, my one year old Merrell walking shoes (I’m going to keep mentioning the brand in the hope of shaming them) today did a good impression of a pair of sponges, relaying every ounce of nearby water directly to my socks.

I woke this morning to rain, and a weather forecast of solid rain all day. But I was not detered, and set off on the second leg of my walk. The path to St Agnes is only four miles, and including all the ups and downs and ins and outs I did it in about three hours. It’s a very pretty walk, with many abandoned mines and various crumbling buildings en route along the cliff tops.

Unfortunately after the first half hour I noticed that my feet seemed damp. Half an hour after that and they were absolutely soaked through, and every step came with a squelching noise. Fortunately the walk kept them warm enough, but that meant I couldn’t rest for any length of time as they would have frozen. So I eventualy arrived in St Agnes absolutely exhausted and very uncomfortable, as the rain had also soaked my trousers and penetrated through my light waterproof coat.

St Agnes seemed very nice, but also very shut, almost abandoned. After lunch in a pub and a change of clothes I took a look around and hunted around for the beech, but it is actually a few miles from the town itself so decided against it.

I decided then to hop the bus back to Perranporth (which put my walk into perspective as it took all of 5 minutes!) thinking I could take another walk along the beech but am wishing I had not now, simply because I feel I’ve lost momentum on my walk. Perranporth is very nice but I’m sure St Agnes would have been as well given more of a chance. So I’m a bit disappointed with myself for not sticking to the plan…bah!

If the whether is good tmrw I might take the bus half way to St Ives and then walk the final half. I can then stay a night of two there then do a final night in St Agnes or Perranporth before flying back.

Despite the rain I did enjoy the walk today. Progressing along the cliff path is very satisfying and at times it seems amazingly remote and isolated. Every turn reveals a completely new and unexpected sight. I hope I get to discover some more of the path tommorow.


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.


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