Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Lizard to Kynance Cove

Here are the last photos of my long walk around The Lizard peninsula in Cornwall. The most southerly point of the UK is in the second photograph above, the first photo illustrates the most southerly example of english humour in the UK.

Todays walk is a nice easy stroll in comparison to yesterdays six hour epic and clocks in at a comfortable two hours, with a forty minute walk back to The Lizard and the bus stop, pausing briefly in the village to check out the two pubs and drink some Rattler scrumpy in them.

The journey along the coast passes the lifeboat station which is one of the few places where you can actually reach the shoreline around here. There is a large beach a bit further on which is now unreachable due to the unstable cliffs. Kynance cove has some nice islands and is one of the few beaches I know of where the tide comes in from two different sides, which can be confusing if you are pottering about on the farther side.

Cornwall has many beautiful stone walls across it's landscape, one of which can be seen in the picture above, though I think that they could be the subject of a serious photographic study in themselves.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The ocean roared against the shore

The ocean roared against the shore, in the dark before the day. I pulled my coat around my throat and I turned my face away. So sung Robin Williamson in his song By Weary Well, in a set of lyrics so fine that I was tempted to just put his song up here instead of my own blathering, but blather I must I suppose.

Cornwall is a rocky place and has a fine reputation for its often lethal and unpredictable waters. The number of ships wrecked around the south Cornish coast has been estimated to be as many as three thousand, though full information seems to be difficult to find.

I had a few run-in's with the sea around here as a child, firstly mistiming my passage through a large atlantic wave at Sennen Cove so that it landed on my head, and after much tumbling and banging about I ended up about a hundred feet inshore in around six inches of water with a nicely dazed bonce. Another time on a very calm afternoon sitting on the harbour wall at Mullion (see picture above) with many others, a freak wave suddenly came over the top, drenching us all, though luckily not sending us all into the harbour.

The name of this area, The Lizard, has nothing to do with the animal but seems to be named after the cornish word, lezou, meaning headland. The Cornish have their own language, known as kernewek which is a recognised minority language of the UK and is similar to the Welsh and Breton languages, brought here by the early settlers who moved up around the western coasts a few thousand years ago.

There's not a lot of shelter around here apart from the occasional rock and a few hollows for sheep or cattle to get out of the wind. I choose a large overhanging rock to shelter under for a quick smoke and a sarnie, as stopping when wet will soon make you cold, so it is best to keep moving if possible.

Well onward and into the weather we go friends, as there's a good few miles to walk yet and then tomorrow there's the most southerly point to do and with it the walk back up to Kynance Cove. (Moves forward humming excerpts from Vaughan Williams English Folk Song Suite which is soon lost to the sound of wind and rain).