Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Gardens, Grand Views and Pub Fare

.After yesterday's storm, the day dawned bright. The sun shone brilliantly on the shiny wet leaves as we entered the Trelissick Gardens. The storm had left damage and beaten flowers and branches lay across the paths, but we found magnificent trees and graceful plantings.

Wisteria wept on the footbridge.  A few camélias and rhododendrons were still blooming. We discovered a tulip tree in bloom and found the different stages of blossoms endlessly fascinating.  

We met a group of a dozen teenagers who were speaking French. When they discovered we could understand them, they cleaned up their language and told us how much Cornwall resembled Brittany, which we had also been noticing. After a good walk we reconvened at the cafe for sandwiches and tea. 

To get to our walk on Porth, we crossed the river at King Harry's Ferry. This was not Henry V, whom Shakespeare calls Harry. It was that Harry's son, Henry VI, a saintly and unstable king for whom this crossing of the Fal River was a pilgrimage route to St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall. This site has been a crossing for over 500 years. We drove onto the platform, and long chains pulled us across the river in about 5 minutes. Peter called it the cog railway version of a ferry. 

We drove into the peninsula of Roseland in the direction of the small, beautiful and ancient church of St Just Roseland. The church community began in the 6th century, but the first priest came in the 12th century. It was set on a hill beside an inlet of the tidal river. The surrounding cemetery was full of beautiful old crosses.

We enjoyed wandering inside and outside in the peaceful setting.

Bill had chosen a 3 1/2 mile hike along a magnificent coastal footpath near Porth, and we set off with our new Paria hiking poles and plenty of pixels in the camera.  

The sky was bright blue and dancing  with white clouds, although "the wind was almost as fierce as yesterday. We followed the path overlooking beautiful white beaches and black, rocky cliffs. Each hill revealed new vistas, and we stopped constantly for even better photos. We were vividly reminded of the summer on 1988 when we had hiked similar footpaths in Bretagne with an 11 year old Martin who was constantly at the edge putting our hearts in our mouths. This time no one came that close to plunging to the rocks below. Instead we followed Bill as he followed his map. Eventually we turned inland to cross back to the river side of the peninsula.  We passed a magnificent chateau as we climbed through a beautiful forest path with glimpses of the coastal town. Finally, weary and hungry, we arrived back at the car. Our boots and pants were muddy, our bodies exhausted, but our hearts were singing. 

We decided that we would head for a pub for dinner.  The pub Bill had chosen had been a favorite, and we were ready to indulge ourselves after such a fine walk. But when we got to the town of Constantine we could not find the place. We asked a local, we followed a sign, we turned round and round, but finally, we made it to  Trengilly Wartha Inn. It was almost 8:30, but the chef was still in the kitchen and the steak and ale pies that came to the table were magnificent.  What a great ending to the day. The moon was nearly full as we arrived home, and we were all in bed in short order. 

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