Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back In Cornwall

It's long way from Morocco, that's for sure! But here we are back in Jeannie's home county, the holiday land of my youth, and where we were married.

Botallack Mines: iconic Cornish coast.

Cornwall has more than a little in common with Tasmania, being distal to the rest of the country, having a mining heritage, being dependent on tourism and having higher than average unemployment. But there are distinct differences too; Cornwall is not separated from the rest of the country by a Bass Strait, so there are many, many houses which once accommodated the local folk, but are now taken over, renovated and used occasionally by people from "up country". But now the locals can't afford to live in them any more, so we are constantly struck by the huge range of wealth on display.

We stayed for nearly two weeks at Kerriers, a converted barn down a bumpy road somewhere in the country more or less between Bodmin and Wadebridge. It is very convenient for the A30 highway, which is the main road running right down the spine of Cornwall. So we were able to head off in any direction and find nice places to go for walks. And with the good weather that we enjoyed, there were so many choices!

Kerriers Farm, as seen from our studio.

Unbridled hedonism!
Cold beer, hot tub: great way to end a day's walking.

We particularly wanted to enjoy one of the gardens, so an early stop was Trewithen, where we overdosed on magnolias, camellias and other flowering trees. And I wanted Jeannie to enjoy the same cycle ride that I had from Wadebridge to Bodmin along the old railway line a couple of years ago. Mostly she enjoyed it!

Trewithen Gardens: azaleas.

Sorry, but I love camellias.

Next, Le Tour!
Jeannie on the Camel Trail (The Camel is a river, not a bike).

Coastal walks in Cornwall are a sharp contrast between the wild and rocky north coast and the sheltered, wooded drowned river valleys on the south coast. We enjoyed both, but were especially pleased to see several of the choughs, the "national" Cornish bird, which is re-colonising the cliffs with only a little help in the form of land management, after many years of absence.

North Cornish coast, Gurnards Head.

Lelant Mine.
It's really a derelict industrial landscape.

The gentle south coast.
The Truro estuary at St Clement.

The ferryman's house, Malpas.
Just ring the bell.

South coast path.
The bluebells were just coming out.

Miles of public paths like this.

Moors and woodlands too; it's a diverse place.

Bodmin Moor.
Beware the Beast of Bodmin Moor! (We saw nothing more fearsome than sheep).

The Cheesewring, Bodmin Moor.
Nothing to do with cheese, or rings. Rather wring the cider out of "cheeses" of apple pulp.

Jeannie on the Very Top of the Cheesewring.

For the last couple of days we've moved to Mannings Hotel in the centre of Truro, since tomorrow marks 40 years since we jumped the broomstick at the Baptist Church in River Street, just round the corner.

This one's specially for Marty!
They run water down Truro's gutters, and sometimes it's green!

Truro real estate.
Jeannie's old home for sale!

And this was once her father's shop.
But it sold vegetables and fruit then.

It has been a great stay, even if there are some places where Cornwall seems to be being loved to death, even this early in the season.


  1. Haha, I love it, "mostly she enjoyed it" (the bike ride)!!! Bet it's nice to be back in your old stomping ground, Jeannie! It looks like a very picturesque place to grow up. Hope you had a lovely celebration for your Wedding Anniversary. xo

  2. Lovely photos Papa, haven't shown Marty the green drain gutters yet but I think he's going to like it . . .
    We were at the Italian Pantry this morning and David O'Bryne was busying launching something along with a whole bunch of journalists and tv crews, much to Marty's joy! He completely got in everyone's way but the minister for the environment parks and heritage didn't seem to mind! He's got two little ones and says it only get better.
    Lucky those Italians are so kind to children, as they all see Marty coming now and say "Cheese, cheese" as they know where he's headed . . .

  3. Happy Anniversary to you!

    What an auspicious event to be celebrating as you are......

    Amazing to see your family home on the market....were you tempted to go and visit Jeannie?

    Beautiful photos, and Kerriers looks just so charming and cozy....


  4. Very belated happy anniversary to you both and thank you so much for your postcard, very excited to read it. Your photo's are so beautiful and tell a wonderful story. I can imagine how much fun Marty would have in the green gutters and what about that house and the time to visit. Wow.
    All is good, on this end of the coast, have had some of Easter away in the Motorhome, travelling with friends doing a little Safari. Good fun.