Wednesday, June 7, 2017

South to the Lizard

The Lizard is the most southern spot in England. The Spanish Armada sailed this way in 1588 and the Titanic passed this point on her final, fateful voyage. We expected rain in the afternoon, but made an early start in order to take advantage of the sunshine. 

The coastal walk began in the town of Lizard.  As we walked toward the trailhead we passed a field of grazing sheep with the lighthouse in the background.  As we watched the sheep began to move. At first they walked toward a gate, but soon the whole flock was running pell mell toward an opening we couldn't see.
There was no apparent reason for this stampede, but Lillian began looking for the dog. When almost all the sheep had crossed the field we noticed one man in the distance, standing still and unmoving, and one small brown dog bringing up the rear. How one dog and a stationary shepherd could move a couple hundred sheep through an open gate was a mystery, but it was marvelous to watch. 

The sky was hazy, but the scenery was just as magnificent as yesterday. The trail was full of other hikers today.  Birds sang in the hedgerows, and gannets rode the updraft of the cliffs. Wildflowers dotted our view.
There were a few houses looking out to sea, one of which was as pink as bubblegum, and seemed strangely incongruous.
There was the British equivalent of a coastguard station with a new boat launch. The trail ended at Church Cove which had been used for some Poldark filming.
Raindrops began to fall as we climbed the hill back to town. We stopped at another ancient church dedicated to a local saint from the 6th century with an improbable name St. Wynwallow. The rain had stopped by the time we made it back to the car and we decided to head for Kynance Cove. 

Kynance Cove is billed as one of the most beautiful
in the world. It was used for some of the Poldark filming, and some of the visitors were definitely on a Poldark pilgrimage. The trail led off the scrubby moor, down a hill and across the local serpentine rock, which is used in some of the beautiful local hand made jewelry. Our hiking poles helped keep us balanced as we crossed the polished rocks. The storms had unsettled the ocean as the tide came in. Ferocious  waves broke on the rocky chimneys and white sand. Nevertheless brave swimmers plunged in to ride the waves to shore. We sat mesmerized and watched from the picnic tables sharing a pot of tea accompanied by a flapjack, which is our preferred tea cake. It is full of oats and makes us feel virtuous about our treat. 

The rain still held off enough for us to return to the town of Lizard to wander through the souvenir shops. There were so many beautiful things that we couldn't choose. Instead we continued to the very end of the road where we found a cafe overlooking the water that sold the most wonderful hot chocolat.  As we sipped and checked email the rain began to fall in earnest.  Peter struck up a conversation with a German couple from Kiel, who were on holiday. It was a good moment. The rain paused long enough to get to the car. 

As we left Lizard we stopped at Ann's because as Lillian says, "She makes the best pastys."  Ann herself was at the counter in a floury apron. She was full of fascinating conversation about her travels with a rowing team, her views on Poldark and her knowledge of Cornish families who had emigrated to New England.  We would still be there if we hadn't found a way to end the conversation. We left with a warm bag of pastys destined for our dinner which would be combined with Lillian's leek soup waiting in the refrigerator. 

No comments:

Post a Comment