Sunday, June 26, 2005

Home again

Well, I'm back from Cornwall! Spent a week getting sunburned and sandy - an improvement on the usual Cornish fare of chilly and damp. Fabulous beaches on the north coast - we were between Newquay and Tintagel, and yes, they are as good as they sound.

A selection of photos:

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Port Isaac (the village I stayed in), viewed from the coast path. Yes, those are cars on the beach, and yes, the beach is the floor of the harbour. There are notices telling you that if you leave your car there overnight, it will end up underwater.

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Tintagel Head, viewed from The Edge cafe/bar, Port Isaac. If you look carefully, you can see the reflection of my camera through the window. They sell Budvar draft here. I seem to have developed a taste for lager.

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Tintagel. This is the bit of the headland known as the Island, although it's attached by a spit of rock. You go over the bridge and up a path that's pretty much like climbing a sheer rock face. Not for the faint-hearted (including me - I'm terrified of heights). Most of the remains here are of the 12th century stronghold; the King Arthur thing is more of a rumour. Although there are remains dating from his approximate era. The cave near the beach (well, imagine the beach, it's at high tide) is called Merlin's Cave. You can walk through it at low tide to the beach on the other side.

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The village of Boscastle, from the harbour. Doesn't really give a sense of just how steep the valley walls are - you need a damn good low-range gearbox to get up them, a bloody great handbrake, and lots of guts. If you walk, you'll need new calf muscles. If you cycle - well, you just can't cycle. Boscastle was devastated by flash floods last year - two rivers cascade down the valley and converge under a pretty bridge by the harbour. Several buildings were washed away, helped in no small part by the cars that got washed down from the car park, acting as battering rams. Some of the buildings are being rebuilt, using as much of the original stone as possible, and we saw people searching the river for pieces of stone to use in this. Remarkably, not a single person was killed in the floods, despite it being high summer and full of tourists. People were rescued from rooftops - as the water came up to their ankles - by the RNLI, who must be commended in all things. The worst human injury was a broken finger. Sadly, several animals were killed in the floods. Dogs just can't climb on rooftops.

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The view from Creel Cottage, where we stayed the bulk of the time (my parents rented two cottages, a week each. The other one was just down the road - literally, at the back of the Carriage House, facing Creel Cottage). The 'street' leading to Creel Cottage is typical of Port Isaac - it's about one car wide. Canny drivers could just about turn around at the top of the street, using the driveway of one of the very few houses in the village to have its own parking. Most visitors park at the top of the village (where there are newer houses and streets three cars wide!) and walk down hills that are about 1/6 inclines. I think therre are even a couple of 1/4 hills. Hard enough going down; calf-shredding coming back up!

The cat in the picture was called Sid, at least by us, after the children's story of Six Dinner Sid. I have honestly never seen a fatter cat in my life, and I've seen plenty of fatties. Sid looked like he'd just swallowed a chicken whole. He came into the cottage, nosed around, and curled up on my parents' bed. Love that cat!

Speaking of fat cats, Meu's rose has come into bloom. Being that she was a big, fat, beautiful ginger cat, we planted an orange tearose over her grave. Big, beautiful bloom for a big, beautiful cat.

3 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures Kate! Sounds like you had a great trip.

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  2. Now I'm pea-green with envy. Beautiful picks and looks like you had a wonderful time.

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  3. Oh, I long to be there! That looks like a DREAM!

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