If you ever search the #Cornwall hashtag on Instagram you will more often than not find at least one photo of Porthcurno in the "Top posts" section and I discovered a few weeks back, that it's for very good reason. I had seen soooo many beautiful photographs of this beach on Instagram and Pinterest so I knew I had to see for myself if it was just as stunning in reality.
After a rather leisurely start to the day, Mum and I loaded up the car with the essentials - flask, sandwiches, camera and made our way across to Porthcurno. I had the map on my lap and was quite happy playing Navigator, directing us down smaller and smaller roads lined with hedgerows laden with wildflowers (God, I love summer). When we pulled up in the car park all was quiet and I was filled with the usual excited feeling I get when i'm just about to explore a new corner of Cornwall. Alas, our peace was about to be very much interrupted by the four coach loads of tourists and two school buses that pulled up soon after us so we made a hasty dash to the beach before it was bombarded by people!
The first thing I noticed when I set foot on the beach was the sand. It was quite coarse and please excuse me sounding a bit childlike here, but the best word I can think to describe it is "sparkly". As I looked closer I could see that the sand wasn't "normal" sand at all but tiny pieces of broken shells instead. Now I know that most sand probably has an element of mashed up shells in it but it seemed more like that was all this sand was made of. My shoes were flung off pretty darn quickly as I was super keen to sink my tootsies into it's delightfulness.
Unfortunately we hadn't quite got our timings quite right and the tide was almost all the way in but there was still enough beach for all to enjoy themselves. There were kids jumping in the waves, fishermen out to get their catch, families having picnics and ramblers winding their way up the coast path.
I stood on the edge of the shore for a long time watching the waves and taking pics of everything going on around me. It had been overcast when we arrived but after a little while the sun started peaking out between the clouds and when it did, oh boy, what a treat. Those deep, steal grey waters transformed to the most gloriously jewel-like shade of turquoise I've ever seen! I couldn't stop looking at it. I wanted to absorb it somehow as much as I possibly could, it was such an impossibly beautiful sight and at that point I understood completely why this was such a popular photography spot.
As I walked to the far end of the beach I caught sight of a lady tucked away amongst the rocks meditating. As I stood watching the sea crash up on the rocks she wandered out from her little hideaway and walked into the waves, with her arms stretched out letting it wash over her, cleansing her I'm guessing. I love the way that the sea draws people to it like this, as a spot of contemplation, peace, meditation and cleansing. A sanctuary of sorts, a place to worship.
I felt a bit like I was intruding on her private ceremony so I made my way back up the beach to mum, wading my way through hundreds of school kids playing games on my way. How lucky they were, I thought to myself, to be at school in a place that meant they could come on such wonderful trips like this. All the screaming was a little noisy though so we decided to make our way up the cliff a bit to see the view from above.
Looking down over the cove, it looked like a lost paradise that had somehow ended up tucked into a nook at the far end of this lovely English land.