Monday, April 20, 2009

Cornwall: The Camel Trail 2

Camel Trail sign
Advertising various activities, and a Code of Conduct (walkers have right of way).

Though slightly saddle-sore I hired a bike again the next day and headed inland on the other half (well, a bit more than that, actually) of The Camel Trail. Once again it followed the river, which quickly changed from being muddy and tidal to being clear, brown and chuckling.

The Camel valley
Just a tinge of green on the trees.

The River Camel
They catch salmon and sea trout in there.

At one point I met a real railway, or at least a preserved one where they run real steam engines, but sadly not today. It must have been wonderful when Thomas the Tank Engine and his colleagues pulled little trains up and down these valleys, and many others like them.

The Bodmin and Wenford Line
No trains today, but I'm sure Jimmy and the Little Old Engine were just round the corner.

I went to the very end of the trail at Wenford and then back-tracked to a hamlet called Merry Meetings (who could resist that?), where a steep little lane led to the village of Blisland. Here there is a village green, a granite church that survived the ravages of the restorers and one of those pubs where you feel you should strike the bar and call for "a pint of your best ale, landlord". In fact I asked politely for a pint of Blisland Gold and a pork pie, and consumed them in the sun outside.

Blisland signpost
They have good place names in Cornwall.

The Blisland pub
A few other folk enjoying a pint in the sun.

Blisland Church
A favourite of John Betjeman.

Blisland Church interior
And this is why: it retains the old beams and decorations so often stripped out of Cornish churches by the Victorian "restorers".

After a look into the gorgeous little church and walk through the fields and lanes I free-wheeled down the hill back to the trail and Wadebridge. I was seriously saddle-sore by now, and the knees and hips were complaining about the unusual activity, but both days on the trail were a great success.

Wadebridge quay
The weather wasn't that threatening really.

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