Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday 31st May 2010 Mullion and Poldhu Coves

Once again it rained during the night, and to our surprise and pleasure it was sunny when we got up: As it is Bank Holiday Monday we didn't fancy a long trip as there was we thought likely to be heavy traffic on the main roads, so the decision was to drive just fifteen or so miles to Mullion Cove.
We found we were among the first people to arrive and there wasn't any traffic about, so parked in the lower car park and walked down into the cove.
There is a souvenir shop on the left which had this old Saracen figure head from a shipwrecked sailing ship outside.

Pat was amused to see the same notice we had first found in Seahouses in the shop window!
(This is one of Pats photos)

As you can see here apart from a couple of cars belonging to locals the place was practically deserted, and very pleasant to walk round and take our time.
Over on the left of the harbour there is a walkway out onto the harbour wall, up some stone steps

I did this panorama as there is no way that any wide angle lens can take in the view
The only occupants of the beach were these two, from the squeals of laughter young superman was really enjoying having the beach all to himself
(This is one of Pats photos)

As we went up onto the harbour wall this was the view across the other side, it really is a charming little place.
The water is calm in the harbour, but extremely rough outside the harbour wall, as this image shows
(This is one of Pats photos)

The Cove itself is very large I had to stitch three wide angle images together to get the view all in.
Across the harbour again this guy was taking it easy!
(This is one of Pats photos)

And this artist attracted a crowd of new arrivals as we watched, his work must have been interesting!
(This is one of Pats photos)

We decided to move on and the cove literally next door is called Poldhu, and a big family favourite as there is something for everyone there.
See waht I mean, an elderly couple soak up the sun in folding chairs, kids paddle in the shallow fresh water stream that runs across the beach and forms pools before reaching the sea, and in the distance Surf's up! for the more adventurous.
As usual the RNLI provide a lifeguard service, their flags and surfboards providing a nice splash of colour for a photo!
And when we got down to the waters edge we could see the waves that attracted the younger element to this beach, just look at those waves!
Some of the surfers were really very skilled as we notices a young woman setting u a folding notice board advertising a "Surfing School" during the afternoon.
The beach has toilets and a cafe too, so we decided to have Cheeseburgers (I had chips too) and a coffee, and we had a very tasty and agreeable lunch with a good view from our table (under a canopy!) of the activities in the bayBy now we were feeling rather tired, and we had some supermarket shopping to do, so off we went to Penzance to the big Tesco.
We had thought of going out after tea, but the rain started, so an evening in was obviously a much better bet!
We had a German caravan come on which had to full height doors in the right hand side, it turned out to have been adapted to take a wheelchair, there was even a fold out gadget that the thought at first was a ramp, but turned out to be a powered lift!
Amazing! we have never seen anything like it before, it makes a lot of sense for someone who has a handicapped partner or child.
This has been the oddest Bank Holiday down here as there wasn't really any more traffic, or bigger crowds than we had last weekend, it didn't seem like a bank holiday at all, and the campsite never got any busier, in fact tonight a lot of units have gone home after the weekend.
Still mustn't complain, it was a great weekend from our point of view!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday 30th May Porthcurno and Trengwainton Gardens

The weather forecast for today was dull in the morning and light rain from lunch time on, so imagine our pleasure and surprise when we woke to fitful sunshine!
No holiday in Cornwall is complete for us without a visit to the most beautiful beach in the British Isles, I mean of course Porthcurno!

We were very early and actually the first car on the car park.
This is a very unusual beach in that over generations the sand has built up into a 1 in 4 slope, so it's easy to get down to the water's edge, by very hard work to get back up again!
Someone has taken a lot of time and trouble to collect all these shells and spell out the name of the bay with such loving care!
At low tide the beach flattens out and the water is safe and shallow, but at high tide as here it is a very different story and the waves need to be treated with respect or you will be swept away!
These early arrivals are content to find a spot and wait for the tide to recede and reveal shallow areas where the kids can paddle. Though it is hard to believe when the tide is fully out you can wade out hundreds of yards to an exposed sandbar and people take out chairs to sit there surrounded by the shallow sea. This is one of Pat's Photos.
Because of the danger the RNLI lifeguards protect the beach, though with an on-shore wind it should be less problematic today!
Behind this happy family you can see Treen and the Logan Rock on the far side of the bay
Pat really struggled getting back up the steep beach, but insisted we go on to visit Trengwainton Gardens. A Latte in the tea room revived her somewhat and she insisted we go round the garden before we had lunch.
This is one of Pat's Photos.

The shop had the usual array of garden decorations including these giddy looking fairy toadstools
Just look at the beauty of this fern unfolding as it grows: marvellous!
The bees were having a whale of a time in the walled garden, which had been built according the guide book,in the shape and dimensions of "Noah's Ark" (it must have been a very large ship!)
Lovely Rhododendrons seem to be everywhere here in Cornwall and this garden was no exception.
This is one of Pat's Photos.

This cheeky little Robin caused Pat to stop and take his picture
This is one of Pat's Photos.

Inside the garden they had very cleverly raised banks to catch the sunshine, this ones was growing a fine crop of lettuces.
And just the ticket for an old tramp is this environmentally friendly shelter from the weather!
This is one of Pat's Photos.

At last it was lunchtime and we had a really delicious meal in the tearoom, Morrocan lamb on a bed of Vegetable Cous cous, with Flaked Almonds, with herbs of course, it was really delicious!Just as we left the gardens the rain finally arrived, but we didn't care as we had had a great morning out and we were shattered!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday 29th May 2010. Penzance and Godrevy Point

The weather which had been so good for so long broke at last and we woke after a windy and wet night, since there was little chance of sunshine we decided to seek a Launderette to do some of the build up of washing from the last couple of weeks, and drove down into Penzance, where there is a very good one just across the road from the Railway Station.
While Pat sat watching the machine and doing her crocheting, I went for a walk and took some photos with my compact of the harbour

And around the town centre, this is on a hillside with this statue of Sir Humphrey Davey outside the town hall, no doubt his safety lamp was a huge benefit to the Cornish Tin Miners of long ago.
What you are looking at here is a Sponsored "Climb of Mount Everest" by the safety services, who were climbing the ladder than coming back down the stairs for lord knows how many hundreds of times to equate with 27,000 plus feet!
Rather them than me!

Can anyone translate this for me? the inscription is in old Cornish (the last person who spoke it died in 17 hundred something at the age of 90!
And here is the boss outside the shop that we believe sells the best Cornish pasties in the known universe: Hampsons of Hayle.
We bought their smaller ones (more on this later!)

Since it wasnt raining all the time we decided we would complete our earlier plan and go round to Godrevy point, a National Trust beach that is on the opposite side of the bay to St Ives.
As usual the tide was out and it was spitting with rain so Pat stayed in the car and I took her camera in a plastic bag down to the beach.
These rocks are much taller than I am

And they are encrusted with mussels, which were large enough to be edible (if you like that sort of thing!)
As I cleared the rocks I spotted these hardy souls off to do a bit of surfing, they are going in the direction of the areas of the bay that enjoy lifeguard protection from RNLI volunteers
And here is the subject I climbed down the cliff to photograph, the lighthouse on it's island
Here it is again with some of the huge rocks to give it scale
Here is one of the small Cornish pasties that pat bought in Hayle, I have just cut it open and looked at the size of the problem in some alarm.
There are times when I regret buying her that camera, and this is one of them! Pat called it the " Man-Eating Cornish pasty!
I will get my own back, I promise!
Note the Glass of Cider; it would be sacriledge to have one without the other!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday 28th May 2010, Falmouth and Glendurgan Gardens

We set off early anticipated heavier than usual traffic with it being Bank Holiday Weekend and drove to Falmnouth where we had hoped to have a walk along the sea front. We found that the place was very busy and the only parking would have meant too long a walk for Pat, bearing in mind that we wanted to visit two gardens as well.
So we drove to the outskirts of Falmouth and visited our favourite garden. We knew that is couldn't be as spectacular as it was the last time we visited in July two years ago, but we were pleasantly surprised with the flowers that were already blooming.

As you can see here it isn't a mass of colour as it will be in a couple of months time, nevertheless if you look closely there are some lovely flowers to be found
Look at this little beauty, and they came in several different colours too.
There were lots of beautiful irises like this one, they look too delicate to grow outside in the wind and rain, don't they?
Here is yet another exotic flower, needless to say I have no idea what it is called, but it sure looks lovely!
The gardeners were taking an impromptu break from their weeding and planting, and enjoying tea and bacon sandwiches, as you can see the grass must have been dry!!
Our main visit was to Glendurgan Gardens, a National Trust property and a must see if you are ever in the area, it is on a steep hillside and well sheltered, so many tropical trees thrive here as you can see, this area had lots of palms and ferns and also a little pool under the trees full of tadpoles.

And on a water lily in the pool Pat took this shot of her first Damsel Fly using her new camera, she was very pleased with the result!
One of the attractions of the garden is this fine maze, today it was busy with lots of foreign visitors (mainly German) who were clearly having a wonderful time!

Here is Pat completely overshadowed by one of the Rhododendrons, some of them here are over forty feet high!
There is a Tea Room (Cafe) on the site and we had dinner there, "Homicky Pie" which was Cheese and Potato and onion, served with Salad and a coffee to wash it down it was delicious.
Then it was time to make our way home through the narrow country lanes, Pat caught this shot of the Mawdach estuary (we couldn't stop) on the way back to Helston and home.

Late afternoon I left Pat sleeping and took myself off for a walk up to the village. This is the site entrance, a great place to stay if you are down here!

Walking through the footpaths I had the chance to play with the macro settings of Pat's new Camera, here is a moth
Two very Jazzy flies on a tree trunk, they were sunning themselves and half asleep, so made for an easy shot
And this was much more challenging, this bee was racing around like a mad thing, just look at those blurred wings as it flies upside down to collect nectar from a flower
Finally here is something you don't seem to see in Yorkshire: this is the local equivalent of a Cattle Grid, stone slabs with a whacking great gap between them, and drop beneath!