Sunday, July 30, 2006

WALKS cont.

SWCP - Friday

Realised never finished the posts about our holiday walking from St Ives to St Ives!

We had been given a lift (backwards) to the Tower Campsite - so we could get some food. Food not worth talking about.

Next morning we left the campsite on the earliest start yet - 07.25hrs, to get the 7.38hrs bus back to Lamorna Turn. Started walking in the blazing sunshine - heat - granite rock - a runner passes us by. We made it to Mousehole for a full english Breakfast at Pam's Pantry - yum yum. Strolling through Mousehole window shopping - we saw calabrese pillow sculptures and fishy danglings with tins in their middles. The whole place is visual overload.

Walked on in blazing heat and stopped along the way to dry off tents and have a paddle in the sea on a very rocky shore. Eventually we reach Penzance, and stop for a fruit smoothie. Jane went to fetch money from the ATM in town and the machine wouldn't accept her PIN so she sulked.

Walked along the beach - miles of sand and St Michael's Mount approaching. We searched Marazion for a Tourist Information Place but it doesn't exist - so resorted to another cream tea in the Seacove Gallery Tearooms and resisted the Kurt Jackson books on sale.

Walked along more rocky shore past extremely eroded cliffs with houses falling into the sea, all the way to the Victoria Inn in Perranthunoe. NO FOOD as it's father's day and fully booked. Met a very interesting 85 yr old bloke called Joseph who we decided must be a rich, eccentric artist, who was in the same predicament. He gave us a lift (Syd and all) in his brand new yellow mini to Praa Sands. After a relaxing supper we decide to walk back to St Ives from Marazion instead of going on. So the entire expedition has a point - or not - being circular.

I sulk on the way back to the campsite as it's at the TOP of the hill.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Alison's 'Little Bit of Fun to Help Things Along'...
this being my second attempt to post this - I managed to upload three versions this morning then deleted all of them - DUH!

1) What is your favorite season of the year?
Got to be the season of mists and mellow fruitfullness: AUTUMN! I love the colours - yellows, reds, rusts, burnt umber etc. I love the smells: of bonfires and rotting leaves. I like the weather: walking the dogs in breezy autumnal sunshine kicking up piles of leaves, or tucked up in front of a fire with a book (and my knitting) while it rains outside. Mushrooms! Apples!
Harvest feasts!

2) Where is your favorite vacation spot?
OOoo, difficult. I guess I'll go for the generic: I like to be off the beaten track and don't mind roughing it. I like to meet different folk, and love meandering around markets. I love camping in the wilds, by a river or seaside, or in the mountains, forests. I love sitting around campfires playing games or telling ghost stories or singing silly songs.
I'm not a great lover of hot - unless I'm doing something like kayaking on a river or the sea and getting very wet. Favourite places I have been: Morocco, kayaking in the mid Atlas; China, walking Tiger Leaping Gorge; Turkey, rafting slowly down the Euphrates.

3) If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
I'm going to Thailand in October - that will be fab. But no better than strolling the South West Coast Path in Cornwall - just different. One day I'd like to visit Canada, Peru (or somewhere in South America) and Iceland.
I've done a lot of planning to go kayaking in Slovenia some time soon. As you can see, I wanna go lots of places, roll on retirement!
4) If you could pick any job, and be paid well, what would it be?
I'd probably stay a baby catcher as I'm too long in the tooth to change now, but I'd HALVE my caseload and then I'd have more time to get proficient as an artist and craftsperson.

5) If you were going on vacation for 1 week, and had to take ONLY one project with you, what would it be? Socks are portable and very practical - can pick em up and put em down.

6) If you won a shopping spree to your favorite Yarn shop, what would you get?? What? unlimited funds? The entire stock no doubt! We have a brand new LYS in Bovey Tracey - Have I mentioned it? I'm so excited! It's so new I haven't yet had time to really explore it. See 'Spin a Yarn' for a little info. - site yet to be developed. Disappointingly, Joyce hasn't really stocked any needles but the usual boring grey ones, but YARNS! oh boy!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Second SECRET PAL 8 parcel arrives: Best yet, says tutmut! NUM!

What can it be? I savoured the opening this time... And ate the chocolate smartish, so my son couldn't filch it. (Greedy, ay?) . What's in the gold tissue paper? And here we have it: Yarn Harlot's 'At Knit's End' which has lurked on my wish list for aaaages and has given me a few giggles already. Eg p.50 "A rolling ball of yarn will also roll as far away from you as possible, likely out of the car, down the aisle of the church (where you hoped noone would notice you were knitting), or into any available liquid." I have noticed this phenomenon myself. I give, as an example, a time when I used to knit at bus stops. Specifically one occasion when I was waiting to go to college many moons ago. I hopped on the bus and was moving down the aisle as the bus moved off, when a fellow passenger pointed out the trail of yarn behind me. Yep, I'd left the ball at the bus stop. So I'm standing in the doorway of the bus frantically rolling in my ball of yarn, which is bouncing in every puddle it can find behind the bus...

There is also a set of Addi needles - my first ever. I've heard so many people rave about them, I'll now get a chance to find out what they're going on about. They LOOK posh. Very flash - gold. Also three balls of Louisa Harding softly variagated yarn. SOFT! And probably hugely extravagant. Maybe I should knit a beard with them. Whaddya think? The transparent rectangle is clear glycerine soap. It smells of mandarin - isn't it a wonderful colour? and everything looks mandarin coloured when you look through it. I get so excited about things like this. OK, I'm a big kid. Thanks muchly, hugely, my secret Pal - reckon I'm the luckiest spoilee in the game. There was only one sour puss amidst all this spoildom: DH! He reckons he's going to be washed away in a tidal wave of yarn. Rubbish. Methinks he does exaggerate.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The SWCP - Thursday
We had every intention of capitalising on our extra couple of miles and getting an early start - but the sea had to be paddled in, the stream sloshed about in, and by the time we had breakfasted, photographed, and packed up, it was gone 10am.

Syd is looking fed up! wishes he could unzip his fur coat, let alone the indignity of having to carry a rucksack in this hot sun...

The next ten miles to Lamorna were designated 'strenuous' in our guide book - much up and down compounded by hot sun. We did come across a lovely cafe at St Loy: Cove Cottage for 'walkers only' and had cream tea (recommended), before clambering down to a boulder filled beach... By the time we got to Lamorna we just wanted food, shower, bed. Sadly the pub there didn't serve food - but the barman's wife kindly offered to give us a lift to a campsite at St Buryan's where there was a pub serving food too. So we went 2 1/2 miles backwards towards Porthcurno. Showers were worth it, and we noted we could catch a bus at 7.38am back to Lamorna turn. The bar food was the most average yet, but, when you're hungry!
Argh - blogger is NOT letting me upload AGAIN. More tomorrow (only three more days of trekking left!). Cornwall is beautiful, Rain, unless of course it rains! But I reckon the Lake District must be just as beautiful...
South West Coast Path, Wednesday

We woke up early and got back on the coastal path with the aim of getting to Pendeen in time for breakfast - When we got there, couldn't see any cafes so I went and knocked on the back door of the Radjel Inn because it promised 'bed and breakfast' on the sign outside (the name is from an old nickname for the pub which means a fox's lair, so called as an early landlord was known as Fox), and begged some breakfast from the landlady. She did us proud! We were given cereal, a fry up of eggs, crispy bacon, mushrooms, and bread, the offer of more toast, two mugs of coffee and water for Sydney - all for the princely sum of £5 each. Sitting in the sun, surrounded by petunias - life doesn't get much better.
We stopped off at the shop and bought flapjacks and other emergency foods for later and set off for Cornwall Park Watch, where there was a snack bar for lunch - food not anything like as good as we'd already had.

Picture below is of Cornwall Park...

Just over the hill from Cornwall Park, it had got so hot I had to stop and change into shorts and apply more suntan lotion - we met Mr Richards who chatted with us for over 3/4 hour before we managed to escape. On we trudged to Sennen Cove, where, sadly, dogs aren't allowed on the beach. We met a lady in the pub there who asked if we were camping 'wild' - (grrr). She told us about a magical camping spot above Nanjizal beach not far past Land's End.

The sun was setting as we passed Land's End (which was tacky) and we had just enough light to set up camp on a flat area by an old water mill on a stream which tumbles over a ledge onto the most beautiful little beach . We sat and dunked choccie biscuits and watched the sun disappear. Syd was WET and SMELLY and not coming in MY tent. Oh, alright then.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

South West Coast Path Stroll part the second.

Just to remind you: we're on the second day, and that's me, sitting in the rain, supping a cuppa for breakfast...

The sun had come out by early afternoon by which time we were well on our way to Zennor.

Saw rock sedum and fox gloves amongst other things.

A Dragonfly duo...

My sister saw this snail and snapped him up. By the time we got to Zennor it was 15.30hrs and we'd had enough sun (sacrilege I know!), had sore feet/paws (delete as nec.), twinging ankle, not enough water. We hadn't brought any iodine tabs but decided to blame Jane for any lurgies when we opted to drink from the numerous streamlets running down to the sea. Dried out the soggy tents just past Zennor and then decided to walk on to the Gurnard's Head Hotel for supper. What a wise decision that was: Most wonderful pint that went down smooth, and the food was the best (and not to be surpassed for the rest of the week!). The owner had trained with Davina Allen (Ireland's Delia according to sis) and, for a reasonable cost, our meal was absolutely divine - I had a salad of beetroot, goats cheese and rosemaried lentils - the goats cheese was fresh and sharp. Jane had turbot. The meal was served with soda bread and butter, and we had a side dish of mixed leaves and chips which came crisp on the outside and melting in the middle. MMMmm. Fully refreshed, we decided to walk on to the 'Public convenience' marked on the map, near Morvah. It was closed - but a phone number was given for emergencies! What sort of emergency did they have in mind, we wondered? We camped by the wall in the field next door, all alone and quiet except for the sound of the surf crashing on the rocks in the distance. Another amazing sunset and fair weather forecast. Bliss.

Blogger STILL won't let me upload pics. rassa*!@?mplgrrrrrrrr.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I am a very bad blogger - I have lots of excuses, none of which you want to hear - but I've just found my notebook so I can now tell you about our wonderful holiday. Holiday snaps - yay!
The South West Coast Path: St. Ives to St. Ives
Day One, June 12th
Monday - disorganised as usual. Jane (sis) had had little sleep, travelling overnight on the ferry from Eire, and I had left packing till the last moment. Jane also wanted to buy a bivi tent like mine from Argos - cheap, good value and perfectly adequate for summer backpacking. (Nayy)

So, by the time I've chucked a few things in the rucksack, and Jane has done her shopping, it's 5pm before we get to the railway station - that's my sis, and Sydney the dog under the seat in the shadows. Tilly had to stay at home as she is too elderly to cope with the distance - she was very sad when I left her with friends :-(
Alas, there is serious delays and we have to change at Plymouth and so miss the connection at St Erth. As compensation we get to sit in First Class (that's why I have the cheesy grin) (Note the sock yarn on the table in front of me - my holiday knitting!) - this means that we get into St Ives MUCH later than expected - to witness a glorious sunset...
We wondered around in the dark, up and down cobbled lanes, looking for somewhere to pitch camp: and eventually stumbled on the Ayr Holiday Park - which was fully booked up but had space for two backpackers and one dog. Deluxe showers! Hot running water in gorgeous spumes by the gallon in a luxurious brand new shower block. I discover that my container of instant coffee wasn't closed properly and has distributed granules all over sleeping bag, towel, rucksack - it's amazing how far a few granules can travel. Have to wash out rucksack as best as can. Eau de cafe - verrry nice. By which time it's gone 11pm and everywhere in town is shut up and we haven't had anything to eat :-( We envisage a late start in the morning and a HUGE FRY UP!
Jane uses her brand new lightweight MSR stove and storm matches - which are a tad over the top in civilised St Ives but make us a reasonable cup of coffee with remaining granules and fluff.
The only drawback was very loud neighbours who insisted in staying up all night drinking beer and discussing football - only to disappear off site at around 5am without paying.

Day two: Tuesday June 13th
It's raining! We remain optimistic because the weather forecast promises brighter weather later. Jane wears red poncho - she thinks she looks like some S. American jungle fighter. NO comment. We have a lovely breakfast roll stuffed with bacon and egg for breakfast with some real coffee to wash it down from a kiosk run by a surfer type on the site. Spend morning wondering around St Ives buying maps from tourist info and map case, two pasties and clotted cream fudge for later. Syd starts to attract much attention with his 'Outward Hound' panniers - has his photograph taken by complete stranger. WE finally set off on the coast path at 11.30hrs.

Along the route we see: dogrose, rock sedum, mallow, daisies, fox gloves, sea campions, ragged robin, sea thistles, thrift, yellow flag, pennywort and fushcias.
And here I'm going to have to stop as blogger won't allow me to upload any more pics :-(